Announcement: Michael Lindsay from the X Prize Foundation

Michael Lindsay from the X Prize Foundation announced the possible development of an upcoming series of education X Prizes. After a video about past and current X Prizes, Lindsay provided new details about their latest incentive competitions.

Education is a challenge, especially in the United States. The public perceives the school system as broken. The system is antiquated and tailored toward groups of children rather than an individual student.

X Prize will focus on educational software improvements in upcoming education prizes. Competitors will creates adaptive educational software with near real-time student assessment and diagnostic capabilities with interactive game-like interfaces. The subjects to be covered first are Algebra 1, Basic Literacy, and Second Language Acquisition.

A learning achievement goals of two sigma (average student achievement greater than 98% of classroom students) was suggested.

Can software improve learning? A recent study suggests current software solutions do not, but the X Prize Foundation would like to show that breakthrough software could do so in the near future. Some possibilities include networked gaming settings, intelligent software, peer-to-peer, and teacher-assisted.

While no specific prizes and amounts were announced, Lindsay asked for audience comments regarding development of future prizes. The responses were, perhaps expectedly, opinionated and passionate. When asked by Lindsay if the problem of education might be solved within ten years, a minority of audience members raised their hands.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.