AWS Public Sector Blog

Announcing the finalists for the Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge

In July, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new contest in collaboration with SXSW EDU designed to find the best application of voice technology in education. Our challenge to the EdTech world? Tell us how you would use Alexa to transform education.

From tutoring help and language learning programs to teaching guides and career planning tools – we’ve been amazed by the creativity and potential impact of the ideas EdTechs sent us. Submissions focused on challenges like how to increase student learning, improve accessibility, save educators time, and build a strong home-school connection. The six finalists invited to compete at the live competition at SXSW EDU 2020 in Austin, Texas are: Blast Learning, Healthy Teen Network, NuMoola, SayKid, StrongMind, and VOGO Voice.

The six US-based EdTech companies will now develop their proposed Alexa skill and compete for a chance to win $50,000 in AWS Promotional Credits. Finalists and alternates will receive guidance and support from the AWS team as they build their skill. On March 12, 2020 at the SXSW EDU conference, finalists will present their skills onstage in front of a live audience and panel of judges. The winner will receive $50,000 in AWS Promotional Credits while runner-ups will each receive $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credits.

Get to know our six finalists and two alternates below:

Blast Learning is a memory reinforcement system designed to solve the problem of forgetting. Students learn a core concept once, and then Blast Learning reinforces the material in multiple personalized study “blasts” at timed intervals to activate the formation of durable long-term memories. Blast increases academic performance and training effectiveness.

Healthy Teen Network is a national nonprofit organization that works at the intersection of public health, human-centered design, and technology. They develop innovative educational solutions to improve the sexual health outcomes of young people.

NuMoola is an educational, family-focused consumer banking financial technology platform. Their software enables full family engagement in the financial well-being of a child through child-focused tools for personal savings, goal setting, investing, charitable giving, and gamified financial education. NuMoola’s banking and educational services create engaged customers across the entire family network.

SayKid is a voice technology company that developed the world’s first screen-less, play-based learning platform. By combining conversational software in the form of an Alexa-enabled plush robot, SayKid helps kids learn in a safe, natural, and engaging way – by playing the role of teacher.

StrongMind works with schools to build innovative digital learning solutions that address unique school challenges. With a consultative approach, engaging curriculum, leading-edge assessments, advanced reporting and analytics, and a mobile engagement engine, plus educational services, StrongMind supports student achievement and school success.

VOGO Voice designs and builds unique and engaging voice skills for industries including education, civic, transportation, business, and nonprofits. They do this using their voice user interface designer that allows for data integration and in-depth customization.

(Alternate) Capstone is a leading content creator for digital solutions, children’s books, and literacy programs for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading, including the award-winning PebbleGo research database and the YouChoose interactive adventure series.

(Alternate) SchoolBzz is the easiest way for parents to stay connected and actively engaged in their child’s education. Designed from the ground up with parents’ needs in mind, SchoolBzz consolidates many of the products used today giving families a more equitable opportunity to support their child at home.

 

Join us in Austin, Texas for the live event on March 12, 2020 at SXSW EDU 2020 to catch these companies presenting their skills. Learn more about how Alexa is being used in education by checking out the Alexa in Education website.

 

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the AWS Public Sector blog team writes for the government, education, and nonprofit sector around the globe. Learn more about AWS for the public sector by visiting our website (https://aws.amazon.com/government-education/), or following us on Twitter (@AWS_gov, @AWS_edu, and @AWS_Nonprofits).