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NCTI to Award Adaptive Tech Research Grants

The National Center for Technology Innovation kicked off its annual competition for researchers and vendors working together to produce quick-turnaround studies of the effectiveness of adaptive technologies in schools. The "Tech in the Works" contest aims to nurture new talent in the field and encourage the development of effective products for improving learning among students with disabilities, and the student population at large.

Up to four matching grants of $20,000 each will be awarded in early May to the most promising proposals that include collaboration between researchers and vendors. The group is requesting letters of intent from participants by March 23, and will accept submissions through April 6.

The center is especially interested in studies that look at emerging and innovative technologies, or strategies for applying existing technologies in new ways for special populations, said Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, deputy director of the Washington-based NCTI.

"Schools are desperate to know what they should get to serve the most students, meet their varying needs, and promote achievement for all," she said.

"This competition supports breakthrough technologies that enhance access, achievement, and inclusion of students with disabilities," NCTI Director Tracy Gray said in a statement. "Our past winners have gone on to develop commercial products, extend their grant funding, and expand into new markets."

One previous awardee studied the closed captioning technology designed to make television more accessible to deaf viewers and how it can be used to help English learners and other students understand complex science content. The captioning was used to display vocabulary within a science video, as well as labeled illustrations and concept maps that explain visual content.

There is a full description of the contest here.

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