Education technology is an $8 billion industry in America, with accelerators and incubators popping up on both coasts. The power to better individualize instruction has caught the attention of policy makers, districts, educators, and families nationally and right here in Chicago. But little is known about what education technology tools actually work. And, even the best tools face roadblocks when it comes to scaling across schools and districts.

We want to help change that. Think of us as the R&D hub for education innovation, by bringing the best education technologies to Chicago to pilot, research and scale.

What’s really exciting is what works here will be relevant across the entire country: The Chicago region is diverse – a microcosm of the nation. What we prove here is relevant to cities and towns everywhere, multiplying our impact exponentially. We have the third largest public school district, the largest parochial school district, and a substantial proportion of students in charter schools. The region includes rural and wealthy suburban districts, one of the largest city colleges and a core of elite universities.

Our three key initiatives:

The LEAP Innovations Collaboratory is a place to convene educators, tech innovators and other stakeholders to discover, share and scale tools and strategies that advance personalized learning.

In the LEAP Innovations Pilot Network, we work directly with educators and tech innovators to discover and pilot personalized learning technologies and innovative practices, and then share our research nationally to scale what works.

Breakthrough Schools Chicago is a $4 million program that supports local educators as they develop transformative, whole-school personalized learning approaches to serve as models for the future of education through workshops, access to national experts, and funding.