Students and Developers Deliver Winning Ideas in Desire2Learn Edge Challenge
Following a call for developers to build educational mobile apps that improve the experiences of teachers, students, and administrators, judges recognize a number of winning ideas
Kitchener-Waterloo/Baltimore, MD - Desire2Learn Incorporated announced the winners of the Desire2Learn Edge Challenge, a competition designed for students and developers to build educational software solutions that improve the teaching and learning experience.
After receiving submissions from hundreds of participants, the submissions were narrowed to a shortlist of 27 apps. Eight leaders from the eLearning industry reviewed all the shortlisted entries and selected a number of winners across several categories.
The Grand Prize winner is an organization called MPrep, offering a platform that gives students access to quality study materials aligned to local content using ubiquitous mobile devices. MPrep believes that even schools that do not yet have access to the Internet deserve quality educational materials. MPrep will be awarded $25,000 and a mentoring session with eLearning leaders at FUSION 2012 - Desire2Learn's annual users' conference.
The Desire2Learn Edge Challenge Grand Prize selection - MPrep
Founded in 2011 by Kenyan teachers and educators, MPrep sought to create content for a basic study tool combining assessment, feedback, and learner engagement. Now, MPrep is focused on building an assessment-based system that quizzes students on a multi-media platform accessible to as many students and schools as possible. To view a demo of the MPrep platform, please see the video here.
A number of other winners were also chosen by the judges:
Second Place prize of $5,000 awarded to the Pear Tool from the University of Guelph, a peer evaluation, assessment, and review tool
Third Place prize of $2,000 awarded to Instragrok, a platform which delivers age-appropriate educational content and generates quiz questions based on the age group
The Learners' Choice Prize - the submission with the most potential to have a lasting impact on teaching and learning - was awarded to Learning Sherpa, an online resource designed to tailor content with real-world curricula and unique student interests
The Valence Prize - granted to an exceptional submission using the Desire2Learn Valence SDK - was awarded to BookNeto, a social learning application designed to enhance collaborative exchange on educational resources.
In addition to the selections made by the Edge Challenge judges, a number of sponsored prizes have also been awarded:
Research in Motion (RIM) awarded two prizes to submissions using the Blackberry® smartphone SDK. RIM awarded their first pick, Confabulation, an event/conference planning mobile application, a $9,500 prize to students from the University of Guelph
RIM awarded $6,000 to Conestoga College students for their transit Run submission, a mobile app to check transportation schedules, routes, and on-time departures
Submissions using the Sybase SQL Anywhere SDK were eligible for a $5,000 prize; Sybase chose transit Run as their winning app
Domino's Pizza granted a $500 prize to a Shippensburg University Software Engineering Team for Tune In, a product designed to help students and teachers stay connected in large or distant classes through improved communication
With an extensible platform based on open architecture, Desire2Learn launched the Edge Challenge as part of a broader effort to build a learning community combining the best ideas from instructors, administrators, technologists, students, and educators. The Desire2Learn platform is continually improved through innovation, the pursuit of new ideas and knowledge, and ongoing discussions with clients. When a learning community focuses on improving education, learners are empowered to reach their full potential. The Edge Challenge represented one of many initiatives to propel teaching and learning forward with new and innovative ideas.
"Desire2Learn thanks all of the judges and sponsors for supporting the Edge Challenge, and congratulates all the entrants and winners," remarks John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. "These students and developers represent the incredible depth of talent and possibility that exists within the learning community. Desire2Learn is committed to bringing together all of these visionary ideas to build the best possible ecosystem of educational tools to improve the experience of learners and instructors worldwide."
Desire2Learn extends special thanks to our Edge Challenge Partners; Microsoft, Motorola, Intelliresponse, Research in Motion, Sybase, Mobile Computing Corporation, Communitech, The Canadian Digital Network, University of Waterloo, Procom, Domino's Pizza, and Pitchburner.