VIDEO: NYC launches app challenge to help schoolkids learn math @nycgov @nycschools #gapapp

NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today launched a new software development competition for programs to help middle school students excel in math. The Gap App Challenge invites developers to submit applications, games or other programs that focus on middle school math and can be used by students, teachers or parents. The winning programs will be announced this June and all submissions will be considered for school-based pilots to begin next fall. The competition is a part of the Department of Education’s Innovation Zone (iZone) program, which includes 250 schools that use new approaches to help students learn at their own pace. It is the first such competition to be led by a school district in the country, and also the first in a series of challenges the City will host to develop new teaching tools. The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcement at the East Bronx Academy for the Future, an iZone school, where they were joined by Principal Sarah Scrogin, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot and IDEO partner Duane Bray. Video is below.

The tools may be intended for use by students, teachers or parents, and either in or out of the classroom. Submissions will be accepted through April 10, 2013, and will be reviewed by two panels: one comprised of public school principals and teachers, and the second comprised of Department of Education officials and experts in technology, media and design. The criteria include idea originality, potential impact and feasibility.

The Gap App Challenge winners will be announced in June and will receive up to $104,000 in cash prizes and other services, including web and database support from sponsor companies like Amazon. Awards will be made for Best Instructional App and Best Administrative and Engagement App.