As I start to pull together my research on the networks that are driving education technology narratives, I wanted to gather the think tanks whose research and advocacy helps shapes these (policy) discussions. I also wanted to list the foundations that are actively funding programs and products – and similarly shaping the stories we hear about the future of education.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of either think tanks or foundations – just the ones most active in education and technology issues and thus most likely to be cited in my work. I will be keeping this information updated (and obviously, improving upon it). (You can file issues on the GitHub repository that powers this project if you see any glaring mistakes or omissions.)
Why Does This Matter
These extra-governmental organizations have an inordinate influence on politics and policies. Part of this research project:
- How do foundations decide where to spend their money?
- Who's funding these initiatives? (Who funds the funders?)
- How do certain ideas about reform get spread?
The data for these organizations come primarily from their own websites, as well as sourcewatch.org, a project of The Center for Media and Democracy. (Finding funding data is particularly challenging as not everyone is very forthcoming about their finances.)
I have the data in a Google Spreadsheet, which I use to generate a YAML file. (YAML means “YAML ain’t markup language.” Aren’t programmers hilarious.) As I use Jekyll and GitHub to run my websites, YAML files help configure what gets displayed and how. YAML is a structured data format, and I am using it – rather than a database per se – in order to store data for my research projects.
(Kin and I plan to write up – and perhaps record a walkthrough – more details on how all this works technically.)