Despite being involved in many innovative companies, Elon Musk didn’t forget about his interest in education. He exerted a sizable amount of effort including funding a contest that will help startups and students in developing working models for a futuristic Hyperloop.
Just recently, the billionaire donated $15 million to the Global Learning XPRIZE program. The XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit organization, promotes and designs public competitions that will bring forth technological developments that will be beneficial to humanity. Among their many programs is Global Learning XPRIZE, which has the goal of empowering children to gain control over their learning. The program, more specifically, challenges teams from all over the world to develop open source, scalable software that will help children from developing countries teach themselves basic arithmetic and literacy skills in just 15 months.
5 finalists were chosen which will advance in the competition. Each received a milestone prize of $1 million. Each team’s education technology solution will be tested in the field in Tanzania this November in partnership with World Food Program (WFP) and UNESCO.
Below are the 5 finalist teams that were chosen from almost 200 companies that applied for the award:
CCI from New York, US developed sequential and structured instructional programs aside from a platform that will enable non-coders to develop engaging learning content for any subject area or language.
Chimple from Bangladore, India developed a learning platform that’s aimed at teaching kids how to read, write, and learn mathematics with the use of a tablet. The platform has 70 different stories and at least 60 explorative games.
Kitkit School from Berkeley, US developed a learning program that has a game-based core. The program has a flexible learning architecture to help children independently learn regardless of their environment, skill, and knowledge.
Onebillion from Tanzania/Malawi/UK merged numeracy content to new literacy material in order to provide directed creative and learning activities alongside constant monitoring for a quick response to the different needs of the children.
RoboTutor from Pittsburgh, US leveraged the research of Carnegie Mellon in math and reading tutors, speech synthesis and recognition, educational data mining, human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, and machine learning.
According to Global Learning XPRIZE's senior director, Matt Keller, the 5 finalists that were chosen developed promising software solutions that they think will enable kids to teach themselves. The finalists were all chosen by expert judges.
"As we move on to the field testing, which is the final phase, we're a step closer to scale transformative technology solutions which foster learning and provide education that's world-class," said Keller.
Once the final testing phase is over, the team that provides the greatest gains in proficiency will receive $10 million as Grand Prize. The winner will be announced in April 2019.