Digital Promise is a global nonprofit working to expand opportunity for every learner. Working with a wide range of partners and practitioners in the U.S. and around the world, our initiatives have impacted over 4.4 million students and 180,000 teachers across 173 districts and in 27 countries to date.
Digital Promise was authorized by Congress in 2008, signed into law by President George W. Bush, and formally launched by President Barack Obama in September 2011. Startup support came from the U.S. Department of Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since then, Digital Promise has grown rapidly with support from both original and new funders.
Scroll through the timeline below for highlights of our history. This speech by Lawrence K. Grossman at the National Coalition of Independent Scholars in 2015 also offers more insight.
Lawrence K. Grossman, former president of NBC News and PBS, and Newton N. Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and PBS, along with several colleagues, had an idea. They wanted to convene leaders from schools, universities, libraries, museums and public broadcasting companies across the United States to figure out how to harness the power of breakthrough technologies to serve the public interest in education.
A Digital Gift to the Nation: Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital and Internet Age, a book by Grossman and Minow, was released. It included recommendations based on 6 years of research into how new and interactive technologies for teaching and learning could be used. (Explore more in this episode of PBS’s “The Open Mind.”)
A proposal to create the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT), a forerunner to Digital Promise, was submitted to Congress.
Digital Promise was authorized by Congress as the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies through Section 802 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush.
The Carnegie Foundation produced a report highlighting the creation of Digital Promise.
Expanded membership in the League to 32 districts in 21 states, serving 2.5M students