Quill.org Receives a $1 Million Donation from the Pineapple Fund to Teach Critical Thinking to 10 Million Students

Funding to Support Artificial Intelligence Research & Development

January 4th, 2018, New York, NY — In the past four years, more than 700,000 elementary, middle, and high school students attending over 5,000 schools across the United States have used Quill.org’s free online tools to improve their writing and grammar skills.

Over the course of the last year, the Quill team has begun incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence in order to serve feedback on open-ended writing and grammar activities. This technology has been featured by Fast Company and The 74 Million, and it will enable more than one million students to write and receive feedback on 100 million sentences during the 2017–2018 school year. In recognition of the potential for this technology to help educate tens of millions of students across the country, the Pineapple Fund has awarded Quill a $1 million donation to support its artificial intelligence research and development efforts.

The donation will be allocated to Quill’s engineering team over the next four years. The team will be focused on developing new open source algorithms that can analyze the quality of evidence and clarity of the logic in student writing. These algorithms will provide us with a strong foundation for then evaluating student writing in thesis statements, paragraphs, and essays.

Quill is working with leading OER curriculum developers, such as developers of the EngageNY curriculum, to create interactive writing activities that align to the core curriculum. In each writing activity, students will construct claims and provide reasons that support those claims, and Quill’s algorithms will instantly serve helpful feedback so that students can quickly develop their writing and critical thinking skills and teachers can save hundreds of hours spent on grading homework.

To develop these algorithms, the Quill team is working with researchers from Stanford University and Harvard University. As an open source organization, the Quill team has worked with more than 100 volunteer educators and developers to build our software, and the organization aims to bring together thousands in the future to create a suite of stellar educational tools. 100% of Quill’s content will always be free for students and teachers so that every student, regardless of income, has a chance to become a better writer. In support of these efforts, Quill has also recently won support from the AT&T Foundation to develop a mobile app and the Heckscher Foundation to conduct a randomized control trial research study.

The Pineapple Fund is Quill’s largest donation to date. Covered by the New York Times, the Pineapple Fund is providing $86 million in Bitcoin donations to innovative nonprofit organizations. Quill joins a cohort that includes organizations like Charity:Water, the EFF, Pencils of Promise, and the Internet Archive.

Quill now accepts both Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash donations, and donors interested in supporting open source educational technology can learn more at quill.org/donate

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