Endless Key Partner Spotlight: 49ers EDU
Updated: Jan 18
49ers EDU and the Endless Key program score big for offline students.
The Endless OS Foundation and 49ers EDU (a direct program of the 49ers Foundation) continue to partner around the Endless Key initiative for offline students in the USA. In addition to contributing their “Digital Playbook” as content to be included on the Endless Key, 49ers EDU has also distributed Keys to students in the San Francisco Bay Area at an event held at Levi’s® Stadium.
The 49ers EDU Digital Playbook is a collection of STEAM education lessons that use the game of football to teach topics like physics, engineering, geometry, reading comprehension and more, challenging students to think creatively and take each lesson's learnings to then complete activities. 49ers EDU staff educators teach lessons both in-person and virtually.
The 49ers EDU Digital Playbook is a collection of STEAM education lessons that use the game of football to teach topics like physics, engineering, geometry, reading comprehension and more.
In the offline setting of the Endless Key these lessons have been imported and adapted to fit the Key’s interactive, digital format so that offline students anywhere can plug the 128 gigabyte USB drive into their PC and access the 49ers EDU content, along with a large variety of other channel topics, for learning and discovering at their own self-guided pace.
As examples of 49ers EDU STEAM lessons contained on the Key, students might be asked to identify all of the geometric shapes they can find in an analysis of Levi’s Stadium architecture, determine how math concepts are applied in the game of football, or review art and graphic design elements embedded in many aspects of game day. All of these lessons bring football to life while clearly demonstrating the practical application of STEAM concepts in one of the USA’s most popular sports. In 2021 alone, 49ers EDU digital resources positively impacted upwards of 127,000 students.
Each 49ers EDU educator that presents a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Math lesson acts as an ambassador for not only football and STEAM, but also a culture of inclusiveness by promoting that STEAM topics are for everyone, and anyone can bring forward an innovative STEAM-related idea that can positively impact their home and community.
In a TV interview, 49ers EDU Program Director Jesse Lovejoy explained that the Digital Playbook was developed when COVID-19 prevented kids from coming to Levi’s Stadium for normal in-person field trips. By digitizing the Playbook, students could access the lessons from the safety of their own homes, and eventually their schools, via a new online interactive interface. When the Endless Key was presented to 49ers EDU, the team jumped at the opportunity to include their content and also reach offline students who might not have access to the online version of the Digital Playbook. As they say in the Playbook: “extra point”!
The Digital Playbook lessons bring many aspects of the game of football to life in a variety of ways, clearly demonstrating the practical application of STEAM concepts found within one of the USA's most popular sports.
“We had a great time collaborating with the Endless team to launch our partnership and increase our commitment to closing the digital divide,” said 49ers EDU Director Jesse Lovejoy. “Coming from Silicon Valley, our team always tries to remain on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. Despite the array of tech in our area, however, we remain conscious of the populations that do not have access to regular internet connections. Partnering with Endless allowed us to bring our educational offerings to a new – and important – audience.”
Despite the array of tech in their area, 49ers EDU remains conscious of the populations that do not have access to regular internet connections. Partnering with Endless allowed them to bring their educational offerings to a new and important audience.
Bunmi Esho, VP of Programs at the Endless OS Foundation had this to say about the Key partnership with 49ers EDU, “In 2022, we talk about the opportunity gap that exists in learning, which basically means that many of our K-12 students experience layered educational inequities. At Endless, we know that through the power of partnerships, we can help solve issues around digital access and inequity. Thanks to partners like 49ers EDU, content that is normally accessible only to students with reliable internet or transportation, can now be enjoyed by all students.”
To Bunmi’s point about transportation to live events, in December of last year, 49ers EDU hosted an Endless Key distribution event at Levi's Stadium, where USB drives were handed out to a group of Title I students from the area. During the event inside the 49ers Museum, students were given a tutorial on how to use the Key and the 49ers EDU Digital Playbook. In his TV interview Jesse said he looks forward to distributing more Endless Keys in the future.
"Up to 16 million students across the USA still struggle with connectivity outside of school, so we are very excited to be collaborating with 49ers EDU to bring their Digital Playbook and the Endless Key to offline students," said Rob McQueen, CEO at Endless. "The Endless Key program relies on partnerships to assure that quality learning and discovery resources are available to those in need." As a point of reference, 16 million offline students is a population larger than all of Los Angeles County or the state of Pennsylvania.
To assist this offline student population, the Endless Key USB drive comes preloaded with 128GB of high-quality learning and discovery resources that can be accessed without an internet connection. The Endless Key program was started in 2020 as a complement to the USA's broadband-for-all rollout, and offline students' distance learning challenges. 2022 is a critical year for the program to scale to a size that will allow for robust and valuable feedback from students, educators and partners, allowing for maximum impact in future rollouts.
Thanks to partners like 49ers EDU, content that is normally accessible only to students with reliable internet or transportation, can now be enjoyed by all students.
We look forward to furthering our partnership with 49ers EDU as we continue to search for solutions to keep all kids learning and discovering during the protracted broadband-for-all implementation across the USA. Please check back for updates on this partnership and the Endless Key program.