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Microsoft, Open Data Institute announce initiative to fight digital divide on education

(Xinhua)    08:49, November 11, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Microsoft and Open Data Institute (ODI) on Tuesday announced the launch of an Education Open Data Challenge to help close the digital divide of education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted learning for more than 1.6 billion children and youth worldwide. In response, schools and teachers have attempted to reach students remotely through distance learning tools and platforms, while many students, especially those from marginalized groups or low-income backgrounds, do not have equal access to digital services, according to the announcement.

Microsoft and ODI are encouraging teams to evaluate the current state of the digital divide in K-12 (ages 5 to 18 years old) Formal Education worldwide and suggest innovative solutions to close the divide.

The Education Open Data Challenge tries to help educators and research organizations better understand the potential long-term impact the ongoing disruption to traditional learning will have on the world's most vulnerable learners, Microsoft said.

"As students around the world increasingly rely on technology and connectivity to succeed in school, we must find ways to allow every student, everywhere, to succeed," said Jennifer Yokoyama, vice president of Microsoft. "We're excited to join in the launch of this Education Open Data Challenge to help close the digital divide and level the playing field for students around the world."

ODI is a non-profit company founded in 2012 with its headquarters in London.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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