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$100,000 "Enabling Writers" Global Prize Competition

April 22, 2014

Prize Competition Summary

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) has launched “Enabling Writers,” a $100,000 global prize competition to incentivize the development of software solutions that allow writers to easily create and export decodable and leveled fiction and non-fiction readers in mother tongue languages to help early primary students (ie. grades one to three) learn to read.

To solve this important challenge, ACR GCD aims to attract individuals, companies and communities from all fields, but especially the software development, digital literacy and education communities.

Applicants are invited to submit their software applications until October 1, 2014. Following formal evaluation, three finalists will receive feedback and awards of $12,000 each. After they incorporate the judges’ feedback, their innovations will be piloted and reviewed in three countries with ACR GCD partner programs. The highest performing software will win a grand prize of $100,000.

Background

One of the main barriers to improving children’s reading skills is the lack of appropriate and engaging reading materials in mother tongue languages, meaning children are unable to get the reading practice they need in the language they speak and understand.

The Enabling Writers prize competition seeks to drive the creation of new software technologies—and the improvement of existing programs—that make it easier, more cost-effective and efficient to write high-quality early grade reading materials that follow tested reading instruction methodologies.

The prize competition is powered by InnoCentive, a global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems.

The Software

‘Enabling Writers’ aims to spur the development of software that would allow writers to use an easy step-by-step process, on a computer or mobile device, to create texts that follow tested early-grade reading instruction methodologies. The software would:

  • Work for writers who know a story they want to write or a subject matter they want to present, but also provide less prepared writers with existing stories and nonfiction text that they could adapt for their audiences;
  • Support the creation of both decodable and levelled readers
  • Ensure writers are kept within technical boundaries appropriate for the target reader and reading level; and
  • Provide directions and prompts in a common national language, but allow authors to write in both national and local languages.

The winning software will be freely available and released to the public for open source development.

 

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