The XPRIZE organization has offered many big prizes for technological solutions to problem. Now, they’ve set their sights on education and want to “disrupt” it.
The prize is:
challenging teams around the world to develop tablet-based software solutions that can bring children who have little or no access to quality education to a higher level of performance in reading, writing and arithmetic in eighteen months. The winning team will create an independent learning environment for each child, empowering them to take control of their own learning and, ultimately, their future.
And they’re doing this because:
The traditional model of education is no longer scalable or sustainable. We simply can’t build enough schools or train enough teachers to meet the need.
For all I know, some decent learning software might come out of this effort. Unfortunately, though, they’ve drunk the “kool-aid” of all the high-tech folks who know little about education and want to create a technological magical solution.
Granted, there certainly are substantial challenges to education in developing countries. But having good, plentiful schools with quality teachers is “scalable” and “sustainable” with a broad-based political push to make it happen.
Some nice software will not…
As legendary organizer Fred Ross, Sr. once said:
Short-cuts usually end in detours, which lead to dead ends.
Here’s a video on the new Prize (this is where I got the quotations):