UF wins Gates Foundation grant to build Algebra Nation teacher-development network
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning has received a $250,000 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to build a teacher-development network as part of its highly successful e-learning resource, Algebra Nation.
A virtual home for teachers, the Algebra Nation Teacher-Development Network will allow them to collaboratively enhance their grasp and use of the latest state standards, as well as their leadership skills.
“We’re thrilled to create an interactive, robust area in Algebra Nation dedicated to teachers,” said Don Pemberton, who directs the UF Lastinger Center.
Built by the UF Lastinger Cter in partnership with Gainesville-based education technology firm Study Edge, Algebra Nation is a free, 24/7 online resource aligned with the latest state standards that prepares Florida middle- and high-school students for the high-stakes End-of-Course exam. Launched last year, the program has exceeded expectations. About 250,000 students and nearly 4,000 teachers in all 67 Florida school districts are active in this e-learning system. The Florida Legislature has invested $2 million in the program.
With the Gates Foundation’s support, the UF Lastinger Center is expanding and enhancing its Algebra Nation professional development.
The Algebra Nation Teacher-Development Network will use an interactive wall where teachers can share their best practices. Teachers will also have access to a wealth of materials and information to help them stay on top of the curriculum change.
“We want teachers to share their own strategies,” said Joy Schackow, UF STEM professor-in-residence in Pinellas County and Algebra Nation’s math expert. “But we will also be providing resources for them.”
The Algebra Nation teacher-development network will feature:
- Videos of classroom instruction that illustrate mathematical practices.
- Sophisticated, searchable discussion forums.
- Lesson plans and classroom materials.
- Guides to help spur discussions and monitor to the site for the accuracy.
Founded in 1994, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparent and privately operated foundation in the world.
Part of the UF College of Education, the Lastinger Center is an educational innovation incubator. It harnesses the university’s intellectual resources to design, build, field-test and scale models that advance teaching, learning and healthy child development. The center continuously evaluates and refines its work, widely disseminates its findings and roots its initiatives in a growing network of partner sites around the state and country.