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Designers Needed to Help Build Software to Teach Kids Literacy

Jono Bacon - Tue, 27/01/2015 - 18:00

Designers! Imagine you could design a piece of Open Source tablet software that teaches a child how to read, write, and perform arithmetic, without the aid of a teacher. This is not designed to replace teachers, but to bring education where little or none exists.

Just think of the impact. UNESCO tells us that 54 million children have zero access to education. 250 million kids have rudimentary access to education but don’t have any literacy skills. If we can build software that teaches kids literacy, think of the opportunities this opens up in their lives, and the ability to help bring nations out of poverty.

The Global Learning XPRIZE is working to solve that problem and help build this technology.

A Foundation of Awesome Design

This is where designers come in.

We want to encourage designers to use their talent and imagination to explore and share ideas of how this software could look and work. Designers create and craft unique and innovative experiences, and these ideas can be the formation of great discussions with other members of the community.

We are asking designers to explore and create those experiences and then share those wireframes/mockups in the XPRIZE community. This will inspire discussion and ideas for how we create this important software. This is such an important way in which you can participate.

Find out more about how to participate by clicking right here and please share this call for designers widely – the more designs we can see, the more designers involved, the more ideas we can explore. Every one of you can play such a key role in building this technology. Thanks!

Global Learning XPRIZE: Call For Teams!

Jono Bacon - Mon, 26/01/2015 - 17:46

As many of my regular readers will know, I joined the XPRIZE Foundation last year. At XPRIZE we run large competitions that incentivize the solution of some of the grandest challenges that face humanity.

My role at XPRIZE is to create a global community that can practically change the world via XPRIZE, inside and outside of these competitions. You will be reading more about this in the coming months.

Back in September we launched the Global Learning XPRIZE. This is a $15 million competition that has the ability to impact over 250 million kids. From the website:

The Global Learning XPRIZE challenges teams from around the world to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within the 18 month period of competition field testing. Our goal is an empowered generation that will positively impact their communities, countries and the world.

Many of my readers here are Open Source folks, and this prize is an enormous Open Source opportunity. Here we can not only change the world, but we can create Open Source technology that is at the core of this revolution in education.

Not only that, but a key goal we have with the competition is to encourage teams and other contributors to collaborate around common areas of interest. Think about collaboration around storytelling platforms, power management, design, voice recognition, and more. We will be encouraging this collaboration openly on our forum and in GitHub.

You will be hearing more and more about this in the coming months, but be sure to join our forum to keep up to date.

Call For Teams

Since we launched the prize, we have seen an awesome number of teams registering to participate. Our view though is that the more teams the better…it creates a stronger environment of collaboration and competition. We want more though!

Can’t see the video? See it here!

As such, I want to encourage you all to consider joining up as a team. We recommend people form diverse teams of developers, designers, artists, scientists, and more to feed into and explore how we build software that can automate the teaching of literacy. Just think about the impact that this software could have on the world, and also how interesting a technical and interaction challenge this is.

To find out more, and to sign up, head over to learning.xprize.org and be sure to join our community forum to be a part of our community as it grows!

Time is money.

Dick Turpin - Mon, 26/01/2015 - 10:38
So I listened to one of my colleagues (Who is not clued up on websites) struggle with a call and offered to take it over.

Me: "Hi xyz, so this is not difficult. Go to your current hosting company and ask them for a backup of your website. They will more than likely zip this up for you and offer you a URL for you/us to download it from."
Prospect: "You should be doing this! If I swap banks they do it all for me!"
Me: "We're not a bank though? Also, you'd have to get in touch with them anyway to give us permission soooo if you are contacting them it's no extra to ask them for a backup?"
Prospect: "LOOK! I've already wasted half an hour of my day on this!"
Me: "So have I."

I do so love people who complain about things they've not even paid for.

Automated twitter compilation up to 25 January 2015

David Goodwin - Sun, 25/01/2015 - 06:00

Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog up to 25 January 2015

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