May 15, 2023 · 3 min read

Join CZI and Check Out Along at ISTELive23

Educators to discuss how they are using strong teacher-student connections to drive student engagement.

Panelists speaking during the “Where Connection Starts with a Simple Question” ISTELive 22 Spotlight on Solutions session.
Educators, education leaders, and researchers in discussion during the “Where Connection Starts with a Simple Question” ISTELive 22 Spotlight on Solutions session. | Photograph via Along

Join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) at this year’s ISTELive 23 Edtech conference in Philadelphia, PA June 25-28. We’ll be in room 126B where you can learn more about CZI’s work in education to equip teachers with the research, tools, and partners they need to center students’ well-being in support of academic achievement and success. Our team and partners at Gradient Learning will be onsite providing a hands-on demonstration of one of those tools, Along, that helps build strong teacher-student connections.

CZI and Gradient Learning will also be hosting a Spotlight on Solutions session – full details below:

Trust is a Two-Way Street: Amplifying Student Voice to Help Improve Learning Outcomes
June 27, 2023 | 3:00 pm ET | Room 108AB – Spotlight on Solutions Room

Improving student engagement is top of mind for educators and is critical for academic success. How can educators capture and incorporate student input so they have the data they need to increase motivation and engagement while also helping students on their path towards becoming successful adults?

The solution is to build strong teacher-student connections, which sets the stage for more motivated students and for improved learning outcomes. Don’t miss this chance to hear from a panel of experts on strategies — such as Along — that help educators use student perspective to boost engagement.

Panel participants include:

  • Desirée Stanley | Senior Content Manager, Along (moderator)
  • Natalia Benjamin | Coordinator for Multilingual Learning, Rochester (MN) Public Schools
  • Christopher Chatmon | CEO, Kingmakers of Oakland
  • Dave Hersh | CEO, Character Lab
  • Nathan Mirin | Character Lab CLIP Student Program Participant 2021-2023


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our communities. Through collaboration, providing resources and building technology, our mission is to help build a more inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit

About Along
Along is a teacher-student connection builder provided at no cost by Gradient Learning, a nonprofit organization founded and led by educators who are driven to bring communities, schools, and families together in pursuit of meeting the needs of every student. Using simple, yet powerful, reflection questions, Along helps to solve the connection gap between teachers and their students by fostering authentic conversations. It has earned the iKeepSafe FERPA and COPPA privacy badges in recognition of its alignment with privacy, safety, and security best practice guidelines. With the support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Gradient Learning partners with communities, schools, and educators to create solutions—such as the Summit Learning program and Along—to meet the holistic needs of every student while fostering success for all.

Educators Turn Student Insights Into Action Using the Expanded Along Teacher-Student Connection Builder
Schools To Research The Impact of Their Environments on Students