New Project: Technology Testing for Adult Learning & Employment
October 30, 2017
The Employment Technology Fund (ETF) launched this year through the joint efforts of the Joyce, Kellogg, Walmart, and Rockefeller Foundations to advance economic mobility for lower-skilled, low-wage workers through targeted investments in the development of technology tools for education, training, and employment. To be effective, the ETF’s product selection and investment process needs to be informed by the perspective of on-the-ground practitioners across multiple contexts as well as the low-income adults they serve. Many developers of products for learning and training, skills assessment, mentoring and career planning, and job search and placement don’t fully understand lower skilled adults’ learning and employment challenges. They also may not recognize the potential of their technology to mitigate these challenges, or have a grasp of best practices for designing or adapting technology tools to serve a less-skilled demographic.
Through funding from Walmart, the EdTech Center @ World Education ensures maximum impact for the ETF investments through three main strategies:
- Advising developers of ETF-funded tools on tool adaptations;
- Field testing the tools to identify the most promising tools and practices; and
- Broadly disseminating effective employment technology products and practices.
The dissemination plan informs the practice of employers, adult education, and workforce providers. It includes national webinars, online conversations, conference presentations, articles and blogs, and the creation of a searchable, online Employment Technology Tool Resource Center repository.
Currently, ETF is investigating which tools they will be in investing in. The first two tools that have been selected are Cell-Ed and Northstar. Field test sites in diverse settings are being identified for testing to start in early 2018.
To receive updates about the project, subscribe to the EdTech Center e-newsletter.