The call for applications to the Open Education Challenge closed on March 21, resulting in a grand total of 611 submissions from 74 countries worldwide. This response represents a wellspring of innovative technologies and practices for opening up education.
A summary of the location of applicants
The Open Education Challenge had its inaugural launch on 22 January, 2014. The first phase of the Challenge was the call for applications, open to anyone from any country to submit a business idea “with the potential to transform education.”
Results are promising for the education sector
The response to the call for applications shows that there is strong interest in bringing new technologies and approaches into the field of education. Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, founder of the Open Education Challenge, wrote in his latest blog post:
“In less than two months, 500 applications have been submitted. This is new evidence of the changes taking place in education worldwide: each proposal we receive is a proxy for new contents and teaching practices, innovative devices, technological assessment tools… And a promise to give users the opportunity to learn what, where and when they want.”
Key concepts that the trailblazers are talking about
Certain key concepts were clearly present in the pool of applications. This table shows which keywords were used the most often, and how many times each one appeared.
Phase 2 starts now
The next phase of the Challenge is to evaluate the proposals and create a shortlist for the next round of evaluation. More information about the results of the call for applications is available on the Open Education Challenge blog. Eventually only 10 of the proposals will be selected to join the European Incubator for Innovation in Education, which offers seed capital of up to 20 000 Euros and mentorship from top experts in education, entrepreneurship, and technology.
Europeana Creative has launched two innovation challenges to create educational apps for teaching Natural History and History Education.
The challenge is to come up with a great idea for an educational app that re-uses the Europeana collections of cultural heritage.
The Europeana collection consists of over 30 million cultural and historical artefacts (documents, images, audio, etc.) that can be re-used in new mediums like websites, apps, or games.
The winning team will get a hands-on incubation support package provided by the project consortium to bring the product successfully to the market! The package comprises consultation with experts offering business support, technical support, facilitation of access to investments and business partnerships, access to specialised testing environments and marketing and promotion support.
The Europeana Creative Challenges are open to any private, public or non-profit organisation within Europe. Applicants must be a legal person registered in one of the 28 EU member states. The deadline to apply is 31 March 2014.
Barcelona (Spain) has won the 2014 “iCapital” prize for the European Capital of Innovation, the European Commission announced yesterday.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said:
"Barcelona is a deserving winner of the first iCapital award, for its dedication to using new technology for the benefit of its inhabitants.”
Grenoble (France) and Groningen (The Netherlands) were close competitors, among the many other cities that are creatively working to improve the living conditions of their citizens.
“There were many other great initiatives and proposals, and I want cities and regions to join together and share their experiences. Outstanding initiatives at the local level will contribute to keep turning the European Union into an Innovation Union," commented Geoghegan-Quinn.
What makes Barcelona so innovative?
Here is a small sample of some of the municipal projects that are forging new paths in sustainable and smart urban living.
The Barcelona Open Data portal opens up all public sector information in standardized digital formats so that anyone can reuse the data however they want.
The Factory of the Sun is an environmental education facility that integrates and showcases a number of services relating to renewable energy, urban environment, and sustainability.
Barcelona Activa is a municipal company that promotes quality and future-oriented employment and businesses. It hosts 115 companies in its Business Incubator and Technology Park, introduces people to new technologies in its Cybernarium, and offers training and coaching to job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Open Education Europa is making its own contribution to innovation in Barcelona through our partnership with the Open Education Challenge. The Open Education Challenge aims to develop, strengthen and fund innovative education startups.
The iCapital prize is worth 500 000 Euros, which will go towards scaling up and expand Barcelona’s innovation efforts.
The competition is open to all secondary schools (students 12-18 years old) across the EU. It is an exciting opportunity to work with a partner school in another country on your project. Online Shopping covers a range of topics including online advertising, shopping safely online, choosing the best products, value for money and the benefits of EU and national regulations.
Last years' winning class visited the main EU institutions in Brussels where they met Neven Mimica, Member of the European Commission in charge of Consumer Policy.
Using interactive tools and forums on the Consumer Classroom website, teachers can create and share an intercultural experience of learning and engage their class with the chance of winning great prizes. First prize is a trip to Brussels for the project team to visit the European Capital and the main European Union Institutions. The second prize this year will be one item of their choice to equip the winners' class/school.
The Open Education Challenge, launched in partnership with the European Commission, is a new opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators passionate about education to develop, strengthen and fund their start-up. This new European-wide initiative is part of the Opening up Education initiative and of Startup Europe, and is under the patronage of Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, member of the European Commission.
Applicants may be aspiring entrepreneurs or existing startups in the first stage of development. All projects are welcome; the only condition is that they must contribute to transforming education. Your proposal can address, for instance, one or more of the following:
- Learning contents
- Devices, tools and connectivity
- Learning assessment and analytics
- School management and organisation
- Learning communities.
We accept applications from all over the world. All selected startup teams must commit full time to the incubation process and will be required to have registered or register within the EU.
Twenty finalists will get a chance to go to Barcelona to pitch their idea in front of a European jury, chaired by Lord Puttnam. We will select the 10 most promising startups to join our Incubator:
- 12 weeks – 24x7.
- In successive European cities: Paris, London, Berlin and Helsinki.
- With the best European experts in education, technology and entrepreneurship.
- Seed funding of up to €20,000.
- Access to Our Open Education Investment Club from day one.
The inGenious competition recognizes creative and exceptional initiatives that raise students’ awareness of STEM studies and careers. Any teacher who works to introduce their pupils to innovative sectors, break down stereotypes, and address tomorrows challenges is encouraged to enter the competition.
The inGenious competition is open to school teachers from any of the EU states, Israel, and Turkey who have a passion for inspiring and leading students towards innovative careers in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Teachers are asked to come up with and carry out a creative and engaging campaign to expose students to the opportunities of the STEM sector. This could include activities, role-plays, debates and discussions, school visits, industry collaborations, inspiring videos and much more. To enter the competition, teachers should submit a description of the activity along with a Flickr album and at least one YouTube video.
Campaigns carried out between September 2013 and January 2014 are eligible. The evaluation process to select the winners takes place in three steps:
- a language-based evaluation and public voting
- evaluation by a panel of education experts
- winner selection by a European Grand Jury
The 30 finalists will be invited to the Award Ceremony in Brussels and the winners will be invited to the Science Disseminators’ workshop.
Most importantly, the competition aims to share great ideas between like-minded teachers and ignite a passion for STEM subjects in schools across Europe.
Der Wettbewerb für das Jahr 2014 ist gestartet. Alle weiteren Informationen sind über die Website des PySV abrufbar
What is the future of learning? What could it look like? A new contest seeks to find the best pictures that show great ideas for the future of learning in Europe.
The European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL), in partnership with the UEF/Learning for Well-Being and InterRail, has launched a new contest called “Picture the Future of Learning.” Any resident or citizen of Europe can present their creative vision for the future of education in Europe by submitting a photo, image, or infographic in the contest. The ten best images will be exhibited at the European Parliament as part of the Lifelong Learning Week, which takes place 2-6 December 2013. The selected winners will also receive an Interrail Global Pass.
The contest has three categories:
- Learning environments: Learning takes place everyday, everywhere. Where and with whom would you like to learn?
- Learning diversity: The motto of Europe is “united in diversity”. How could we include different learners and take into account different ways of learning?
- Learning Europe: The EU is contributing to our future. How could we live, learn and shape Europe?
The contest is free to enter and the deadline is 10 November, 2013. You can also participate by voting for your favourite pictures among the submissions.
The winners of the MEDEA Awards 2012 were announced during the MEDEA Awards Ceremony which took place on 14 November 2012 as part of the Media & Learning Conference in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training headquarters in Brussels. Speaking at the awards, Mathy Vanbuel, Chairperson of the MEDEA Awards Committee, highlighted the fact that both winners have a really strong narrative element which highlights the importance of storytelling for learning. Discover their names here.
French entry 'Quand la colère fait tomber les masques' by is the winner of the MEDEA Professional Production Award and the entry And the Oscar goes to ... is the winner of the MEDEA User-Generated Award, a collaboration between two classes from 5th Primary school of Alexandroupolis in Greece and Ecole Primaire de Rolampont in France. This announcement was made during the MEDEA Awards Ceremony which took place on 14 November 2012 as part of the Media & Learning Conference in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training headquarters in Brussels.
Speaking at the awards, Mathy Vanbuel, Chairperson of the MEDEA Awards Committee, highlighted the fact that both winners have a really strong narrative element which highlights the importance of storytelling for learning. “Narration is increasingly used to capture interest in the learning context, it is a way to keep learners motivated, to encourage them to press forward and to take a real interest in what is going on through their concern for what is happening to the characters in the stories that we tell. Everyone loves a good story, and nowhere is this more evident than in the MEDEA Awards this year.”
This year the Special Prize for European Collaboration was awarded to Historiana - Your Portal to the Past by EUROCLIO - European Association of History Educators, The Netherlands. The prize for Educational Media Encouraging Active Ageing, set up to coincide with the European Year of Active Aging and Solidarity between Generations was won by All that Jazz made by Fundación Universidad Carlos III, Spain.
Two additional prizes were awarded: the first, the Special Jury Prize was given to Flying Start made by the University of Leeds, UK. The second, winner of the audience favourite prize, was won by Schoolovision made by schools all over Europe. The other finalists who took part in the MEDEA Awards last night were: Il Girotondo del Tempo made by Hyperfilm srl, Italy; Moving Image Techniques by Christina dePian, Greece; and SignMedia by the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
This year the competition attracted 213 entries from 32 countries. In addition to the finalists, the Organising Committee also announced 15 entries that are Highly Commended.
Find out more about these winners, finalists as well as the 15 Highly Commended in the press release (PDF) and don't forget: the closing date for receipt of entries for MEDEA 2013 is 30 September 2013.