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  • Writer's pictureKelly Fisher

Embracing advanced technologies in education: the Tools Competition

For the past three years, Injini has been supporting the Tools Competition—an initiative aimed at driving learning outcomes, fostering edtech innovation, and advancing research in learning science.

With exciting new tracks and an increased focus on artificial intelligence in collaboration with OpenAI, the 2023-24 Tools Competition is poised to make an even greater impact on learners worldwide.

Awards include a combined $5.5 million for winning tools, with individual awards ranging from $50,000–$300,000 depending on phase of development. The competition welcomes competitors worldwide from all backgrounds and phases of development are eligible—from early-stage ideas to established platforms.

Why participate?

EdTech has the potential to change the way the world learns and the Tools Competition provides a unique space where both new players and new ideas in education can surface. Launched in 2020 to support education research and development, competition winners are now on pace to impact more than 107 million learners by 2026.

Those who join the Tools Competition have the opportunity to secure funding for their ideas, connect with leaders in the learning engineering community, receive valuable guidance and advice, access resources and virtual events, contribute to research in learning science, and—perhaps most importantly—generate real change for learners across age bands and geographies. And as cutting-edge technologies like ChatGPT increasingly impact education, there has never been a better time to concentrate efforts on bringing innovative solutions to students everywhere. Innovators worldwide—whether they have new ideas or platforms reaching thousands of users—can submit an abstract for consideration.

How is the competition structured?

The 2023-24 competition is divided into five tracks, catering to learners from pre-K through adult education. The tracks encourage participants to propose fresh solutions that tackle pressing issues in learning. Tracks include:

In addition to awards ranging from $50,000–$300,000, the competition offers Impact Prizes of supplemental funding for select winners. The OpenAI Learning Impact Prize is offered in partnership with OpenAI to accelerate the positive impact of AI in EdTech and provides winners with $100,000, API credits, and technical guidance from OpenAI engineers to scale their solutions. Implementation Impact Prizes of $100,000 are designed to encourage competitors to form partnerships to co-design, user-test or conduct research using their product in an educational setting.

What is the selection process?

The selection process consists of three phases, spanning approximately eight months. This deliberate approach allows participants to join a community of fellow innovators, receive feedback, and enhance their proposals along the way.

Phase I requires a brief abstract due November 10, 2023. Those invited to Phase II are required to submit a full proposal. Finalists in Phase III pitch virtually to a panel of judges.

Competitors are evaluated on key criteria, such as potential for impact, novelty of the tool, attention to equity, and ability to scale. Competitors receive support between phases to strengthen their proposals—providing them with an opportunity to hone in on what makes their tool unique and innovative.

Important dates to remember

  • Abstracts are due on Nov. 10, 2023.

  • A recently recorded information session provides an overview of the program and its requirements for Phase I—the abstract submission phase. Other key event dates and opportunities open to competitors can be found here.

Visit the Tools Competition website for additional details on how to participate, the evaluation process, and the various tracks of the competition.

The Tools Competition is a multi-million dollar competition for edtech innovation that leverages digital technology, big data, and learning science to address the urgent needs of learners worldwide.

About Injini

Injini is a registered Non-Profit Company that exists for the sole purpose of improving educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. The company was founded in 2017 and remains the only EdTech specialised accelerator in Africa. Injini’s various programmes and research, via the Injini Think Tank, all contribute towards its mission to increase the quality, accessibility, and relevance of education in the region. Injini is a member of the UVU Africa Group.

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