AWS Public Sector Blog

Announcing the finalists for the Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge EMEA 2020

Alexa skills EMEA

In January 2020 at the BETT show in London, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new contest designed to find some of the best applications of voice technology in education. Our challenge to the EdTechs in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)? Tell us how you would use Alexa to transform education.

From tutoring help and language learning programs to teaching guides and career planning tools, EdTechs submitted a range of creative and potentially impactful ideas. Submissions focused on challenges like how to improve teaching practices, learning throughout life, continuing professional development, and administration and assessment processes. The six finalists invited to compete in a digital event this July are: ambiently, Classlife Education, k/d media, Little Bridge, My School Portal, and ZenTeach.

The six EMEA-based EdTech companies will now develop their proposed Alexa skill, receiving guidance and support from the AWS team as they build their skill and follow “Seven Tips for Building a Sticky Alexa Skill for Education“. The judges’ choice for winner will receive $50,000 in AWS Promotional Credit and the people’s choice for winner will receive $25,000 in AWS Promotional Credit. All other final contestants will receive $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credit.

The six EdTech finalists are:

  • ambiently is a voice-first edtech startup based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK). Their mission is to deliver intuitive, secure, and manageable voice-first solutions that bring learners closer to the resources, tools, and services they need to achieve their goals.
  • Classlife Education is an all-in-one school management platform. The platform combines a robust set of tools to manage everyday school activities in an easy-to-use and collaborative platform connecting sales, finance, student information services, and learning management systems to engage fully with the school and re-imagine the online campus experience.
  • k/d media is a team of ambitious freelancers with a focus on creating educational skills for Alexa. In 2019, k/d media developed a skill for a German school publisher to help students train for their A-Levels exams.
  • Little Bridge is disrupting language learning by combining strong, proven, and personalised pedagogical content with a fully moderated, age-appropriate social community. Language learned through more than 1,000 activities (including interactive activities, videos, songs, games etc.) is put into “real-world” practise as children connect with each other and make international friends.
  • My School Portal is a communications platform used by over 150 independent schools worldwide, by over 300,000 staff, student, and parent/guardian users. Supporting many feeds, applications, and integrations, it streamlines school communications, requiring one set of login details. My School Portal is fully GDPR-compliant and a member of BSME and BESA.
  • ZenTeach helps teachers plan quality lessons. It’s built on a powerful mind-mapping technology called a Knowledge Graph, which reorganizes the curriculum from basic principles to increasingly complex ones. This enables teachers to construct quality lessons in minutes.

A panel of education experts will select the judges’ choice award. The panel includes: Adva Levin, Alexa champion and CEO and founder of Pretzel Labs; Caroline Wright, director at BESA; Eloisa Carrasco, marketing manager at Oxford University Press; Guy Daly, deputy vice-chancellor at Coventry University; Rose Luckin, director at UCL Educate, and Tobias Himmerich, director and founder at EDUvation.

“Alexa is such a wonderful tool for education, combining both ease of use and a truly voice driven experience that gives the user the benefits of being proactive, imaginative, and conversational. I am looking forward to seeing how the competition puts a spotlight on educational use cases for educators and for learners, and can’t wait to see these new innovative and useful experiences.” Adva Levin, Alexa champion and CEO and founder of Pretzel Labs.

Learn more about how Alexa is being used in education by checking out the Alexa in Education website.