College Football Playoff Foundation contributes $800,000 to Indiana eLearning lab

The College Football Playoff Foundation and the host committee for the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis on Wednesday announced an $800,000 donation to a statewide eLearning lab.

The CFP Foundation is the community investment arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The college football national championship will be played in Indianapolis in January 2022.

The CFP Foundation chooses a legacy project to invest in in each of the host cities the game is played. In Indianapolis, that will be the eLearning lab to support teachers and families as eLearning becomes part of the “new normal.” The Indiana eLearning Lab aligns with the CFP Foundation’s focus on helping teachers in four core areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.

The eLearning lab is a virtual hub that educators across the state can use to access teaching content, share best practices for eLearning, find community and grow professionally. Teachers can access lesson plans they can personalize, form cohorts to discuss challenges and successes in eLearning, and participate in online professional development. Families also will have access to the hub to find resources that can assist their children participate in eLearning.

The lab was announced several months ago as a project by the Indianapolis eLearning Fund, which was formed to support teachers and schools in Indianapolis as they transitioned to eLearning. The fund contributed $1.6 million to developing the lab, which is now up and running at inelearninglab.com.

The lab will help meet pressing needs among educators in Indiana, organizers say, pointing to a May survey of public and private school teachers from across the state that showed 90% of teachers are interested in accessing virtual professional development and 93% are interested in connecting with other educators to discuss approaches or resources for eLearning. More than 80% of respondents reported challenges keeping students engaged in eLearning.

Wednesday’s announcement comes as schools across the state grapple with whether to bring students back to the classroom full-time for the new school year.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association, a national not-for-profit focused on eLearning, and Five Star Technology Solutions, an Indiana-based education technology provider, were chosen to launch and operate the Lab through a competitive RFP issued several weeks ago. Indianapolis education not-for-profit The Mind Trust is overseeing the first year of implementation in partnership with the Indianapolis eLearning Fund.

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