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Educational Technologies and Applications


Administrative Information
Submitted proposals for education applications should provide storyboards, sketches, or descriptions of how the proposed application will work and provide examples of how users would interact with the application and how learning takes place. Projects that propose technologies or products similar to those in the marketplace or those similar to existing products and processes are unlikely to be funded without a case for a strong innovative technical component. Projects that can be easily replicated by potential competitors such as curricula, tutorials, and paper or generic electronic publications are not likely to be funded as they usually lack sufficient technical innovation. Systems that simply combine existing knowledge with existing technologies tend to lack innovation and are unlikely to be funded.
When submitting a proposal to the EA Topic, indicate the corresponding subtopic where the strongest case for the project’s technical innovation can be made. For example, use EA1 for proposed projects that are in the area of "General Education Applications”, followed by appropriate keywords such as K-12, high school, informal education, chemistry, health, information technology, physics, social media, search engines, robotics, etc. Keywords may be used by NSF to help find reviewers familiar with your project’s innovation, technology, education, and commercial environment.

EA1. General Education
EA1 topics can include 1) technology transfer of innovative and sustainable products and services that leverage and commercialize education research investments made to educational institutions by the National Science Foundation and other government agencies; 2) authentic and active learning approaches that are more student-centered in environments that are familiar to learners; these approaches should provide solutions that address the needs of a variety of learners, including K-12 students, college students, families, particular types of community members, teachers, and the general public; 3) innovative delivery, applications, open content, and curricula on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that provides new or alternative forms of sharing and repurposing of information, content, pedagogies, and experiences that are long-term and sustainable; 4) learning technologies that motivate and enhance the self-esteem and learning performance of students; 5) innovative applications that better enable classroom management, recordkeeping, and standards-aligned planning, and facilitate or ease the burden of the ever-increasing roles and responsibilities of educators while permitting more effective use of educational resources; 6) systems and tools that may better enable education leaders to benefit from agile start up models to implement change across institutional settings; and 7) authoring systems and content generators that easily allow educators to create, distribute, and share new resources across multiple platforms; 8) applications that better enable informal and traditional learning or applications that help bridge formal and informal learning environments or effectively promote positive behavior changes; and 9) technologies to preserve the nation’s collective and cultural heritage including the protection of objects, artifacts, documents, conservation, and archival objects that can include physical, artistic, cultural, engineering, electronic, and other multi-disciplinary educational documents.

EA2. Global andCollaborativeEducation
EA 2 topics can include 1) innovative applications that use online learning, hybrid learning, crowdsourcing, collective intelligence, and collaborative models with new tools with the potential to deliver new and powerful educational opportunities in STEM disciplines; 2) learning environments that allow students to control and experiment with educational situations in relationship to their personal learning style to acquire knowledge anytime, anywhere; 3) technologies that enable innovative forms of educational collaboration across national boundaries; 4) learning applications that provide for better decision making and informed judgments about problems and situations affecting global issues related to theory, education technology, and data; 5) projects in which technology allows the tailoring of learning experiences to special needs and interests of groups or individuals or allows expanding formal education beyond classroom settings; 6) applications that support and promote cultural diversity, international awareness, and understanding; 7) interoperable mobile learning environments that enable students to access and connect to vast resources of knowledge, wherever they may be located, through smart phones, tablets, wearable devices, or tools that have yet to be developed; 8) virtual and remote laboratories that enhance the physical science laboratory for use in global and distance learning to leverage the availability of equipment that may otherwise be unavailable; 9) natural voice, video, and online learning tools that humanize the online learning experience such as mimicking and detecting face-to-face experiences and interactions to communicate more authentically in a global environment; 10) gesture-based computing applications, semantic analysis, and intuitive technology tools that enable individual and collaborative work with multiple students interacting on content simultaneously; and 11) sensors and systems that detect student engagement, frustration, or boredom while providing real time feedback to both students and teachers.

EA3. Simulations and GamingTechnologies
EA3 topics can include STEM-related innovative educational gaming applications that enable engaging learning experiences, digital literacy, collaboration, problem solving, communications, critical thinking, and skill improvement; 1) single-player, small-groups, or massively multiplayer online gaming applications that foster cooperation and can include card, board, or digital games; 2) serious games, simulation-based games, and entrepreneurial type games with substantial innovations that go beyond porting current knowledge, processes, and applications towards existing technologies and delivery platforms; 3) games that target the assessment of student knowledge while providing intrinsic motivation for student participation; 4) games that better enable entrepreneurs to learn and effectively compete in a global economy; 5) games that support immersive and experimental learning; 6) simulations and role-playing games where students can participate in providing creative solutions to difficult or complex situations; and 7) laboratory simulations that accurately reflect similar physical environments that may otherwise be costly, use precious resources, expose students to dangerous situations, or otherwise be unavailable for general student use.

EA4. Entrepreneurial and Maker Education
EA4 topics can include 1) entrepreneurship education and training that integrates diverse topics such as strategic planning, business model development, opportunity recognition, product design development and entry, intellectual property, project management, legal requirements, custom manufacturing, production scale-up, crowdsource funding, and business constraints in in new and innovative ways for success in the contemporary global economy; 2) maker empowerment with education and innovative tools for citizens who create things such as entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, inventors, researchers, educators, and students to dream, design, create, manufacture, and commercialize products and services or to provide life-long learning experiences; 3) innovative techniques and systems that can increase the participation or demonstration in hands-on learning related to citizen science, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship of technical products and services; 4) innovative tools to learn or judge the effectiveness and validity of external resources for research, product launch, and effective operations of technological and education related products and services; and 5) devices and tools that enable expanded dimensional learning such as 3D modeling and printing, computer aided design (CAD), as well as new materials and technologies for science, engineering, and technological learning environments.

EA5. Learning and Assessment
EA5 topics can include 1) data-driven learning and assessment using new sources of data for a personalized learning experience and the assessment and measurement of performance, 2) learning analytics tools to process and analyze data streams to modify learning goals and strategies in real time; 3) adaptive learning environments combined with assessments that provide alternative paths of instruction; 4) personal learning environments that allow students to control their environment in relationship to their personal learning style to acquire knowledge with consideration of their teacher’s expectations; 5) big data, searching, data mining, data analysis, intelligent agents, knowledge modeling, user models, mobile tools, and decision support systems that improve the understanding of teaching and learning to improve student performance, retention, and transfer in environments that may include one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships; and 6) collecting, analyzing, sharing, and managing data that promotes learning or leads to designed learning environments.

EA6. Computer Science and Information Technology for Education
EA6 topics can include 1) tools that build real-time information from data-mining on complexity, diversity, and similar types of information to generate knowledge that can be used to revise curricula and teaching; 2) cloud-based services and applications that support collaboration, file storage, teacher and student productivity, data collection, data security, data privacy, and ubiquitous access to information in secure environments in an educational setting; 3) innovations that provide for better learning and knowledge transfer in many-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many environments; 4) education tools that benefit from objects having their own IP address or location based services for new types of communications, assistive technologies, and new applications of benefit primarily to education; 5) wearable information centers, power sources, flexible displays, jewelry, glasses, output devices, and input tools that allow students to interface with computers and other devices in creative new ways that help overcome natural or physical barriers to learning; 6) virtual assistive technologies that may combine developments in engineering, computer science, and biometrics that add substance to both formal and informal learning situations; 7) systems and applications that address privacy concerns of educators and students including the safeguarding of personal data in connected education environments; 8) innovative tools to quickly automate and allow for the rapid conversion of educational media for easy archival and porting to multiple devices and formats; 9) innovations that allows students and others to use technologies that may improve their performance, knowledge, expertise, and provide for a rich educational experience.

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