Results of Phase 1 (call for applications)
After a sixty-day frenzy of emails, Tweets, phone calls, blogs, and meetings, Phase 1 of the Open Education Challenge is now over. In total, we received 611 applications from 74 countries worldwide. For statistical purposes we only counted one country per application, but many of the applications came from international and even intercontinental teams.
We're feeling good about this
*Montse is not pictured because she was still in the kitchen with the ice cream :)
We were more than happy with the results: We even had a little office ice cream party to celebrate! Why are we so happy? It's not just about trumpeting big numbers. The response we received shows that education is truly in a transformative phase, with an abundance of talented and ambitious people pushing forward new ideas and approaches. We are proud to be part of a larger movement that is taking place all over the world. As OEC founder Pierre Antoine Ullmo wrote in his blog:
"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."
So what's next?
We now embark on Phase 2, when our team of evaluators will score the applications and whittle them down to a shortlist. Over the next six weeks, each application will be read by several evaluators to come up with an average score based on four criteria:
- Educational quality
- Technological innovation
- Business sustainability
- Team value
Every applicant will be contacted personally with their score and comments by May 10. Everyone who scores over 70 points will move on to Phase 3. To find out more about the selectionprocess, read our blog post How We Pick the Winners.
In the meantime, we have an amazing opportunity in front of us. The collective expertise and energy of the 611 individuals and teams who rose to the Challenge is a high-potential resource that could be even more valuable if we develop an ecosystem that helps us all to thrive. How are we going to do that?
We're creating a collaborative map of all the OEC applicants. Don't worry, we won't share any of your information without your permission - actually, you need to put yourself on the map. Go to the Google map and create a new marker on the "All Applicants" layer. You decide how to present yourself, but we suggest including your company's name, a short description, and a link to your website (or social media page). Who knows, you might find some potential partners or even friends in your area!
There were some common themes that stood out among the applications: social learning, personalized learning, data analtyics, for example. We will invite guest bloggers from our pool of applicants to share their expertise on these hot topics.
Connecting with the Open Education Europa community
One of our key partners is Open Education Europa, the online portal of the European Commission's Opening Up Education initiative. The portal is a community of over 40 000 educators, students, researchers and policy-makers with an interest in open education and education technology. We will provide opportunities for a few Open Education Challenge applicants to test their idea with the Open Education Europa community and get knowledgable feedback.
Let's get to know each other better
We hope that you don't think of each other as competitors, but more as peers in part of a larger movement. We were blown away by the dedication and passion for education that we saw in the applications. But don't take our word for it - here are some of our applicants' Tweets from the last few days.
The Open Education Challenge deadline was March 21, 2014. Here are what some of our applicants were saying in the last two days to submit proposals.