The LIT lab Wins Ed Tech Competition to Address COVID-19 Learning Loss

March 19, 2021

Cambridge –The LIT lab was named a winner in the Futures Forum on Learning: Tools Competition, a global competition aimed at developing new technologies to address student learning loss from the coronavirus pandemic. The lab will receive 35’000$ to develop two tools to support data science literacy: a website that allows learners to collect rich multimodal dataset, from any webcam or video recording, and a platform where students can watch instructional videos, while multimodal data is collected. In analyzing this data, students improve their data analysis skills, and teachers can better understand students’ learning.

The competition was convened and sponsored by Schmidt Futures and Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin to accelerate pandemic-related learning recovery and advance the field of learning engineering. The 18 winning teams, made up of entrepreneurs, learning scientists, and researchers from around the world, are eligible to share a total of more than $1.5 million in awards to fund tools, technologies, platforms, and research projects ranging from interactive learning apps to on-demand tutoring.

Launched in July 2020 at the Futures Forum on Learning, the Tools Competition generated nearly 900 proposals from 55 countries, showcasing innovative ways to accelerate learning recovery and mitigate the educational impact of COVID-19 on K-12 students. The educational tools developed by the winning teams have the potential to serve one million students by the end of 2021 and close to 20 million students within the next three years, according to estimates calculated by each team.

“The pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in long-term innovative solutions that improve student outcomes,” said Ken Griffin, Citadel Founder and CEO. “Every student should have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed, and I applaud the winners of our Tools Competition for their commitment to improving education for students globally.”

“The Tools Competition is built on three big ideas,” said Kumar Garg, Managing Director and Head of Partnerships at Schmidt Futures. “We must address the global learning loss from the pandemic now, or risk the consequences lasting for years. We must develop new solutions. And we can’t just chase after silver bullets—we have to actually invest in tools that use the best learning science and have the infrastructure for continuous improvement. That’s the value of learning engineering, and that’s what all of these winners exemplify.”

The 18 winning teams come from institutions and organizations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In addition to receiving financial prizes, the winning teams will share insights from their work with external researchers to facilitate experimentation to improve student outcomes and better understand student learning.

To see a full list of winners, their award amounts, and a synopsis of their proposals, please visit here.