The Learning Engineering Tools Competition 2022 is a multi-million dollar prize challenge to leverage technology, data, and learning science to meet the urgent needs of learners. This year’s Tools Competition will award more than $3 million in prizes and will be one of the largest edtech competitions ever.

The 2022 Tools Competition is a philanthropic initiative sponsored by Schmidt Futures, Kenneth C. Griffin, Citadel and Citadel Securities, the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and AlleyCorp.

The Need

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. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that 20 percent of students within member countries do not complete high school.

In fact, academic performance in some parts of the world is stagnant or has declined. Performance in math and other STEM fields are especially problematic, with COVID exacerbating a crisis of learning. Take the US, as an example, on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, student performance across all races and income levels declined in both math and reading, wiping out two decades of progress.

Historically marginalized learners fare far worse, especially after prolonged COVID school disruptions. Lack of access to infrastructure for remote learning widened persistent opportunity gaps and reported confidence in learning potential.

The pandemic has also exacerbated the challenges and responsibilities associated with teaching. Nearly one in four teachers in the US have indicated that working during the pandemic has made them consider changing jobs. What’s more, the pressures from the pandemic have heightened a growing teacher shortage in many regions of the world. Replacing a single teacher can cost a school district in America more than $20,000.

The growing digital era has made way for new interventions to support all learners, educators, and families. Better understanding of the science of learning – and more advanced computational methods – has enabled innovation that was once not thought possible.

For instance, 2021 Tools winner ThinkCerca is developing tools to give students better feedback on their writing using AI. 2020 Tools winner Rising On Air Interactive is using an AI-powered chatbot tutor to deliver instruction via popular messaging tools.

Much more is possible – and needed. To close achievement gaps and compensate for learning loss, the field must develop and scale solutions that dramatically accelerate learning. These new tools will need to encourage continuous improvement and other approaches to maximize our understanding of what works for student learning.


The Opportunity

The Learning Engineering Tools Competition aims to spur the development and deployment of technologies that address pressing education issues from early childhood to secondary education while advancing the field of learning engineering.

Rather than designing silver bullet solutions, these tools will be designed for continuous improvement to maximize their effectiveness over time.

The Tools Competition invites technologists, digital learning platforms, researchers, students, and teachers from around the globe to propose innovative tools or technologies that address one of the pressing challenges in education. We support tools at all phases of ideation or development.

The organizers will award over $3 million in prizes through a three-phase selection process that provides competitors time for ideation, team-building, and project refinement.

In addition to the prize funds, winners will have the opportunity to connect with prominent education researchers, edtech leaders, and representatives of large philanthropic organizations to scale their work. The three-phase competition process provides all competitors with opportunities for feedback from organizers and technical experts, to refine their proposals during each phase of the process, and to build their network of edtech innovators in a supportive community.

Learn more about how to compete.

What is Learning Engineering?

Learning Engineering is an emerging discipline at the intersection of learning science and computer science. It prioritizes continuous data- and research- driven improvements in learning technology and student outcomes.

We aim to support tools that leverage data and research partnerships to help better understand what works for learning and to demonstrate efficacy. You may already be doing this – if not, we can help.

Discover more with these resources:


Target Beneficiaries

Tools may target one or multiple of the following grade bands:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
The 2022 competition expands the scope to tools that support early childhood education given the importance of technologies to capture new information about our youngest learners to drive learning and development.


Competition Tracks

Competitors will compete in one of four competition tracks addressing priority areas in education.

Transforming assessments

Transforming assessments to collect new measures, drive quality, and reduce cost.

This track supports tools that capture traditionally unmeasured elements of learning and development or generally improve the quality of assessment to better meet the needs of educators, children, and families. All forms of assessment, including stealth assessment, are encouraged.

There are three competitive priorities for proposals that (a) include non-academic measures such as codeswitching, agency, identity, and creativity in early childhood education (b) include non-academic measures in elementary and secondary education and (c) support math learning across Pre-K to secondary education.

learning science research

Facilitating faster, better, and cheaper
learning science research.

This track looks at tools that can accelerate the learning science research process in order to improve learning interventions. Tools may facilitate A/B testing and randomized controlled trials, improve research design, promote replication, or release knowledge and data for external research.

There is a competitive priority for proposals that support math learning.

strengthening teacher development and support

Strengthening teacher development and support.

This track looks at tools that cultivate or support prospective, developing, and established teachers to improve their practice and maximize learning for all. Tools that support retention, satisfaction and effectiveness across schools are encouraged.

strengthening teacher development and support

Accelerating learning for all.

This track supports tools that accelerate outcomes in literacy and math and increase relevance of instruction to prepare students for college and career.

There is a competitive priority for proposals that support math learning.



Read the Tools Competition FAQs.

Email : ToolsCompetition@the-learning-agency.com



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