Help Spread a Love of Math Worldwide by financially supporting the Math Attacks! Open Innovation Competition – Crowdfunding Campaign.

We want to raise $50,000 to help bring math games to kids in developing countries.

Support the mEducation Alliance's EdTech Innovation Fund

 

The members of the mEducation Alliance are joining forces with a consortium of globally recognized math organizations and champions and other development partners (see our Technical Advisory Committee members below) to officially announce the crowdfunding launch phase of Math Attacks!: The Power of Math in Everyday Life. The $50,000 will be used as incentive prizes for the prototype stages for Math Attacks! app development.

Goal: The goal of Math Attacks! is to inspire kids, particularly those in developing countries and out-of-school because of COVID-19, to joyfully engage with “math” through use of games via low cost tech and non-tech. Math Attacks! is intended as a fun and provocative way to showcase the global math community’s proactive response to combat the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to reach learners, primarily in out-of-school settings, and to share the love of math as something which should be entertaining and meaningful regardless of the circumstances.

Why: More than 1.5 billion students and youth across the planet are affected by school and university closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has interrupted traditional school and educational content access and the global community is seeking global solutions to help support learning instruction during this period of time and in response and recovery efforts.

Our Mission: To mobilize a tech and global math community response to support COVID-19 impacted learners’ access to compelling and entertaining math activities through the use of game descriptions  which can be disseminated via low-tech, low-cost media platforms typically found in developing country context. Likely output products will be audio, video, and SMS math game descriptions (for low-end feature phones) of non-tech math games into households.

What We Are Seeking: Competition respondents will be invited to develop staged prototypes of a technical application of a math game describer which will enable the receipt, review, collation, and dissemination of math game descriptions which would lead to demand-driven math games being played with resources found in a typical low-income household and communities. Importantly, we want this initiative to a) inspire and nurture kids to love playing math games and b) that these games advance identified learning goals.

We are looking for tech-based solutions as dissemination platforms that are commonly accessible in developing country context, for example via SMS, video, voice (e.g, IVR), but not math games dependent upon higher end smartphones, higher bandwidth Internet provision, and/or other other hardware/software applications that are unlikely to be found in such settings.

An example math game description for dissemination might focus on using dice for math.

Target location of activities: Developing country households, community libraries, schools, etc.

Prototype Criteria:

By the end of October, individuals and teams will be invited to start developing a proof of concept prototype (and 3 min. video) of a Math Attacks! platform which has the following components:

  1. The “front-end” of the app (e.g., audio, video, SMS, other) must be adaptable and accessible for typical dissemination platforms and users found in lower-resource developing country context,
  2. The “back-end” can be sophisticated (e.g., using AI, robust search for matching game descriptions with identified learning goals and language versions)
  3. Includes intake and rubric fields for description, classification, and categorization of submissions (e.g., type of math game, language, target age, alignment with national math standards),
  4. Can incorporate internal and external reviewer “scoring” for quality selection of math game submissions for dissemination,
  5. Allows for machine or crowdsourced translation of selected content into a variety of local languages,
  6. Follows universal design for learning (UDL) principles to ensure that input and output content can be accessible (e.g., WCAG 2.0) by learners with various learning disabilities, and
  7. Is open source and available under creative commons licensing.

 

Judging:  There will be a juried and open public review for selecting and providing funding for the alpha prototype stage of the top 3 Math Attacks! prototypes. The final competition stage will select one prototype for an additional award for beta development, and pilot testing.

Crowd-funding: We don’t have a defined pool of funding yet, but are confident that we can attract significant financial and technical support for high-quality submissions through organizational support and crowdfunding. Please consider donating via the Alliance’s EdTech Innovation Fund icon above.

Collaboration: As supporting activities to the open innovation competition call, the organizers are seeking partners in the following areas:

  • Financing: Individual and organizational funding to support administration, incentive prizes, field testing, research, and staged deployment.
  • Social Media: Assistance with social media and other promotion campaigns to attract globally recognized and original math game submissions including those which are locally derived.
  • Communication and media platforms: For lowering the costs and supporting the sustainability and replicability of math game content receipt and dissemination into households, typically found in lower-income countries.
  • Open and crowd translation: Conversion of promising math game descriptions into local languages, and,
  • Field level testing and deployment: To validate demand-driven nature of the initiative and support staged roll-out, feedback loops, and future refinements.

 

Timeline:

Ongoing:  Content identification, collation, social promotion, etc.

September 2020:  Launch of Crowdfunding campaign (e.g. incentive prize pool of $50,000; 2 year campaign goal of $500,000 including beta testing and piloting)

November 2020:  Launch Math Attacks! open innovation competition

January 2021:  Receive, review, and fund top 3  alpha prototype submissions

March 2021:  Receive, review, and fund beta and pilot funding for one prototype

April 2021:  Global and local Math Attacks! recognition and incentive prizes for partners and beneficiaries, etc..

Current Math Attacks! Technical Advisory Committee Members:

 

Math Attacks! is one of the signature activities of the Alliance designed to fill specific gaps of access to quality education in low-resource, developing country context.

Want to partner with us on Math Attacks!

Please contact the mEducation Alliance at meducation@meducationalliance.org for more information and please reference “Math Attacks!” in your subject heading.


About the mEducation Alliance 

The mEducation Alliance is a non-governmental organization  focused on the evidence-driven and sustainable role of technology in education to  advance quality educational outcomes. Formed in 2010, the mEducation Alliance is a  unique, multi-stakeholder convening platform for government and donor policymakers, other investors, researchers, and practitioners to work together, particularly in lower-resource, developing country contexts.