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2023-24 Tools Competition

Accelerating & Assessing Learning

Finalists for this track have been announced. Learn more here.

Phase III results were released on April 4, 2024. For Phase II competitors, please contact our team at if you would like to receive feedback on your Phase II proposal. 

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Learn About the Track

Track Description

Tools to accelerate and assess PreK-12 learning outcomes and improve the learning experience. Competitors in this track may propose solutions that boost rigorous instruction in core content areas, transform assessments, foster a positive learning environment, and support educators to ensure students are on track.

This track targets solutions that can dramatically improve learning outcomes for students, and address declines in academic progress that are perpetuating opportunity gaps across different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, geographies, and disability statuses. 

This may include, but is not limited to, tools that:

Despite the importance of educational attainment for lifelong outcomes, learners across the globe struggle to obtain the baseline education needed to effectively contribute to their community. In fact, academic performance in some parts of the world is stagnant or has declined. In the United States, two decades of math and reading progress in the United States has been wiped out. Globally, the United Nations estimates that by 2030, 300 million children attending school will leave unable to read and write.
Competitive tools should facilitate continuous data collection in order to drive timely and effective interventions, and support research insights on factors affecting learning outcomes for diverse student populations and learning conditions.

Target User/Audience

Tools should target Pre-K through secondary learners or educators as the primary user group.

Who should submit?

Competitors worldwide are invited to submit (see the official rules for any restrictions). We welcome proposals from teams or individuals from all backgrounds, including edtech companies, researchers/universities, educators, or students (undergraduate or graduate).

Competitive Priorities

Based on the most pressing needs in learning and learning technologies, a subset of awards will be reserved for tools that:


While the Tools Competition has different tracks and competitive priorities from year to year, the winning tools below are examples of what would be considered compelling for the Accelerating and Assessing Learning Track in this year’s competition.


Tools Competition judges play a critical role in selecting Tools Competition Winners and bring expertise spanning philanthropy, research, industry, and education. Judges will hear virtual pitches from finalists in Phase III of the competition.

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Folarin Adesalu Jr

Senior Analyst
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
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Tracey Albert

Scholar, Columbia University
Education leader across India & West Africa
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Armando Ali

PAL Network
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Angela Bahng

Senior Program Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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Francis Bizoza Bigirimana

Curriculum Designer
Learning Equality
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Dr. Joanna Cannon, PhD

Walton Family Foundation
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Jennifer Darling-Aduana

Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies
Georgia State University
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Kumar Garg

Vice President of Partnerships
Schmidt Futures
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Heather Graham

Director, Learning Differences
Oak Foundation
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Gouri Gupta

Project Director, EdTech
Central Square Foundation
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Lindsey Henderson

Secondary Mathematics Specialist
Utah State Board of Education
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Natashia Hill

Academy Coach
Phoebus High School/Hampton City Schools
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Laurence Holt

Entrepreneur In Residence
XQ Institute
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Kate Howland

Professor of Interaction Design
University of Sussex
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Kysie Jensen

Senior Program Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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Sarah Johnson

Teaching Lab
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Micah Joselow

Portfolio Manager, Education
One8 Foundation
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Natalia Ingebretsen Kucirkova

Professor and CEO
University of Stavanger and WiKIT
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Shashanka Lakshmipathy

Head of Program Design
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Liz McCreary

Impact Director
Digital Harbor Foundation
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Alfons Prince

Middle School Math Teacher
Center City PCS
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Lucas Rocha

Director, Education
Lemann Foundation
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Maria Mercedes Rodrigo

Ateneo de Manila University
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Josefa Rubilar

English Language Teacher
Enseña Chile
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Sameer Sampat

Executive Director
Pousaz Philanthropies
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Arielle Starkman

Inclusive Education Consultant
Founder, ACS Creative LLC
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Josh Taylor

Carina Initiatives
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Daniel Uribe Villa


Compete in this Track

1. Select your award level

When submitting a proposal, competitors must select the relevant award level based on the size and scale of their tool. Proposals at all award levels should detail how the proposed tool will solve a defined problem, rather than focus on past achievements.

Catalyst Level Awards: $50,000

These awards are designed for early-stage competitors.

Growth Level Awards: $150,000

These awards are designed for competitors with a tool with some users and scale.

Transform Level Awards : $300,000

These awards are designed for advanced competitors with an established tool.

2. Apply for the OpenAI Learning Impact Prize

Determine whether you are eligible to apply for the OpenAI Learning Impact Prize (optional).

In partnership with OpenAI, the Tools Competition is thrilled to offer the OpenAI Learning Impact Prize to catalyze the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on learning outcomes and drive edtech innovation leveraging advanced computational methods.

Given the rise of ChatGPT and growing interest in the possibilities of AI in educational settings, the 2023-24 competition is especially interested in supporting teams that are exploring, testing, or using AI-enabled tools and services to impact learning.
OpenAI will select up to three recipients of the OpenAI Learning Impact Prize among competition winners who will receive $100,000 in additional funds, $10,000 in OpenAI API credits, and technical guidance from OpenAI engineers. Select contenders will also receive $2,500 in OpenAI API credits

Competitors across all tracks that indicate an interest in being considered for this award will complete additional requirements when submitting their proposal materials. 

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Proposals will be evaluated for the following criteria



Novelty of the tool
and technology



Potential impact and likelihood to
improve learning



Attention to equity to support learning of historically marginalized populations



Demand from learners, families, and educators



Ability to support
learning engineering



Ability to scale to additional users and/or domains

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What is a Tool?

The Tools Competition funds edtech tools and technologies that support learning outcomes and can contribute to learning science research.

Eligible tools have the potential to generate novel learning data that researchers can study to better understand learning at scale. This may include an app, software, algorithm, or other digital technology that facilitates or supports continuous data collection and has the potential to scale at minimal cost.

Please note that this definition is not exhaustive. As technology continues to develop and innovations are created globally, other tool concepts may also be competitive.

Not sure your tool is eligible? Explore winning tools from previous years or get in touch.



September 21, 2023
Competition Launch
November 10, 2023
Deadline for Phase I Abstracts

Competitors submit an abstract describing the concept for their tool and responding to the evaluation criteria.

December 8, 2023
Select competitors invited to Phase II
February 2, 2024
Deadline for Phase II Proposals

Competitors develop a proposal and budget detailing their tool and its technology and responding in detail to the evaluation criteria. Rubrics will be posted when Phase II opens.

April 2024
Finalists invited to Phase III pitches
April-May 2024
Phase III Pitches (virtual)
Finalists pitch before a panel of expert judges and have the opportunity for support and feedback in crafting their pitch.
June 2024
Winners Announced
Winners are announced and receive the first installment of their award. Winners receive coaching, the opportunity to connect with leaders in the field, and the ability to present to researchers or to refine their tool.
Year Following the Competition - Winner Impact Study
All winners will work with Georgia State University during the year following the competition to define impact measures for their tool and set up processes for ongoing data collection and evaluation.
December 2024
Product Review Day
Winners present on their progress to date and receive feedback from other winners and leaders in the field. Progress is considered against winner’s proposal and receive the second installment of their award after Product Review Day.
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Explore a Different Track

Phase III results for the Building an Adaptive & Competitive Workforce track will be released in late May. Meet the finalists for all other tracks here.