Monday, January 23, 2012

The NEA Foundation, Microsoft-US Partners in Learning Seek Solutions Using Technology to Engage Students

New Challenge to Innovate Query Offers $1,000 Awards for Educators’ Best Ideas

WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 23, 2012) -- How can interactive technology and game-based learning help students learn? In its latest Challenge to Innovate (C2i) initiative, the NEA Foundation has partnered with Microsoft – US Partners in Learning to encourage public school educators to explore, share, and discuss their responses to this question on the Department of Education’s Open Innovation Portal. The best 10 ideas, as judged by the C2i community on the portal, will receive $1,000 cash awards and recognition as their solutions are shared with educators nationwide.

“Nine out of 10 kids, between the ages of two and 17, play electronic games in the U.S, according to a recent national study. Should these new tools be limited to simple fun, or can they open new doors to learning?” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “The next great teaching frontier is light years away from chalk and erasers. If we change the classroom conversation from a one-way exercise to an engaging process that is constantly being renewed and refined, what would happen? Can gaming and education be combined in effective ways?”

Sanford said that the Foundation created C2i last year in partnership with the Department of Education to explore crowd sourcing as a way to exchange ideas and identify innovative solutions to a range of instructional challenges. With the help of an expert panel, the Foundation reviews the community’s top selection and gives cash awards for the best ideas. To date, more than 9,350 individuals have joined the C2i community.

Proposed solutions for the gaming challenge will be accepted from Jan. 23 through March 5, 2012. To submit or to review, comment, or vote on solutions, participants must register on the Department of Education’s Portal.

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About The NEA Foundation
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