Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's AmritaCREATE (Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education) was selected to be one of five finalist teams for the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation's Adult Literacy XPRIZE in an awards ceremony on June 25, 2018, in New Orleans. This global competition challenges teams to develop reading apps for android devices. The AmritaCREATE team has been selected from among 109 teams representing 15 countries. Winning teams are judged by an increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners. Each finalist team has been awarded $100K. In early 2019, a $3M grand prize will be awarded to the team whose app demonstrates the best performance across all adult learners over a usage period of 15 months.
The educational technology research, led by Dr. Prema Nedungadi, Director, AmritaCREATE, has been providing adult literacy through RITE (Rural India Tablet Education) and other projects in collaboration with the Live-in-Labs® program of Amrita Center for International Programs (ACIP) in Amrita SeRVe villages. Amrita CREATE's research develops educational technology to address the needs of underserved populations, wherever they may be.
“We are thrilled that the Amrita Learning App was selected as a finalist. It was Chancellor AMMA herself who encouraged us to design the app and compete. So, we would like to offer this achievement to her," said Dr. Prema Nedungadi. "It is AMMAs vision of 'quality education for all' that motivated us to develop the Amrita Learning App."
"Through the Amrita Learning App, we see a great scope to help people in need. Every adult who receives educational services benefits his or her immediate family and future generations. Moreover, other community members often decide to seek help when they see a peer achieve success. It is also our goal that the strong value system modeled by the characters in the fictional and nonfictional reading passages will inspire learners to live in accordance with universal values such as compassion, kindness and service-mindedness,” she said.
The Barbara Bush Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by Dollar General Literacy Foundation aims to dramatically change the way the United States meets the needs of the 36 million adults across the nation with low literacy skills by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic literacy – access, retention and scale.