The Pearson Foundation helps develop and share innovations that put young people and their technologies at the center of the learning process.
We’re helping schools make use of mobile and digital technologies to improve student learning; identifying and supporting new approaches that encourage deeper learning inside and outside the classroom; and celebrating the remarkable ways that young people are using 21st century skills to make a difference in their local communities.
Much of our effort is focused on work we manage ourselves and in concert with leading partner organizations. In 2011, for example, we launched two new programs that aim to provide educators with perspectives with the potential to significantly improve their own schools and better student outcomes.
Our focus on great learning began with the development of the Mobile Learning Institute—a hands-on program we designed and delivered with Nokia. Between 2006 and 2011, Mobile Learning Institute workshops helped share learning experiences that made use of the latest mobile technologies with more than 35,000 young people and educators in classrooms and community organizations across the United States. Since 2009, the Mobile Learning Institute at the Smithsonian has made it possible for Smithsonian educators—beginning at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and at the National Postal Museum—to test and share ways to use mobile devices and digital media in a museum setting.
As mobile and digital technologies have taken hold, so too have new ways of shaping experiences for young people that help provide deeper learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. We’ve been helping give voice to these innovations and to the people who are discovering them in video series that bring these practices to life.
Two related programs aim to do more. Our New Learning Institute works with leading learning innovators to develop, document, and present mobile- and digital-learning projects taking place in classrooms, museums, and community organizations across the United States. Our digital magazine, Learning Starts, similarly shares with parents and teachers the ways in which these deeper approaches and new technologies are changing the way young people learn now.
Finally, because we know that most young people learn just as much outside the classroom as they do in school, we’ve also developed two programs that honor young people who are employing critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills to make a big difference in their local communities.
The Pearson Prize celebrates people making a difference while in school and beyond. Recognized each year, Pearson Prize National Fellows honor U.S college and university students who are giving back while still in enrolled in college or university.
The Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation similarly recognizes exemplary young leaders around the globe who are using their ingenuity, passion, and energy to build better lives for themselves and for others through social entrepreneurship.
Together these students join other Pearson Foundation Fellows—teachers, education thinkers, and others—whose work we gladly support in the interest of fostering a strong connection between education and local communities. These efforts—together with ongoing partnerships that further the work of great non-profits including Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program; PeaceJam; and TakingITGlobal—help young people develop and share important experiences with their peers and with others around the world.