Can tech train children to educate themselves? XPRIZE, Google, and the UN group up to find out


The UN is another accomplice, UNESCO and the sector meals Programme, specially. even as aspirants to the prize paintings on their submissions, these groups are laying the foundation for the trying out that will come later.

“It’s a lot of legwork,” said Keller, who was in Tanzania himself all through the interview. “We need todiscover villages to paintings with, quick tribal leaders and elders.”

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As different programs have discovered out, there are issues with losing hundreds of thousands of greenbacks really worth of 5bf1289bdb38b4a57d54c435c7e4aa1c electronics into an impoverished and far flung place, and i’m now not speakme approximately tech guide. If humans aren’t invested within thesoftware, the drugs could be stolen and bought, in conjunction with the infrastructure.

The solar chargers being set up to hold the capsules crowned up, for example, organizers had to switchfrom being particular to the device to being everyday and free for all and sundry to apply. by means ofmaking the tech community assets, Keller stated, they can mitigate against horrific effects. dad and mom, it turns out, end up protecting of the devices as long as the blessings are clean.

actual testing will start in 2017, and will ultimate for 18 months; the crew whose app produces the greateffects will receive the $10 million grand prize.

Promising parallel efforts

This isn’t the first try and observe tech to a problem that has its roots in poverty, isolation, and terribleresiding situations. And whilst programs like OLPC have had very blended success, research from the Curious studying program, a multi-college collaboration, indicates that, with the right caveats, thistechnique has the capability to be very beneficialthough it’s a long way from a whole answer.


The preliminary outcomes of this system were presented at a conference this week. drugs loaded with literacy apps were furnished to 3 places: rural Ethiopia, where no colleges or even written language have been to be found; suburban South Africa, where a 60:1 studenttrainer ratio makes arms-on trainingdifficult; and a rural U.S. school with low-income studentsa median Western schooling state of affairs for evaluation.

The outcomes are promising: youngsters as younger as 4 who had get right of entry to to drugs knewextra letters and words, 2d-graders in South Africa likewise had progressed vocabulary and studyingabilties, and the youngsters in Ethiopia — who had little or publicity to any written language, not to mention English — were capable of apprehend roman characters and discover phrases by way of sight.

Small steps, sure, however even the slightest foot inside the door is a massive advantage on the subject of early adolescence education and literacy. similarly trying out is now underway in Uganda, Bangladesh, India, and elsewhere in the States.

soon the organization’s findings could be augmented by using XPRIZE’s personal.

“Human-primarily based faculties can’t scale to attain the children you have to reach,” said Keller. “Thequestion is, can technology be used in a way that speaks to the kid?”

“The dream,” he said, “is you hand the child a pill and also you walk away, and that they get ainternational class education.”

in reality a dream for now, however one that might be inching toward truth. test returned in some years.