Enuma’s Kitkit School Selected as Finalist for Global Learning XPRIZE; Granted $1M Funding for Children’s Educational Software
Enuma, a company devoted to helping children meet their fullest potential through accessible learning applications, was today announced as one of five finalists in the Global Learning XPRIZE competition. Judges have recognized Kitkit School, an application designed by Enuma to bring high quality foundational learning experiences to the children who need it most around the globe. The $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE is a socially-progressive competition where teams develop an open source, scalable software solution to enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Announced yesterday at the Social Good Summit in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly week, the $1 million finalist milestone award will be used to fund further development of Kitkit School for the 15-month field test in Tanzania run by XPRIZE, UNESCO and World Food Program (WFP), with the goal of advancing the universal access to quality learning for every child.
In development for over two years by a dedicated team within Enuma, best known for the multiple award winning app Todo Math, Kitkit School is named for the Thai word “to think.” The tablet-based app features a comprehensive curriculum meant to provide early childhood- through early elementary-aged children with crucial cognitive skills. Enuma’s founders utilize their background in video game development to design an app that spotlights each child’s individual learning experience. Kitkit School combines best practices in literacy and math education using the Universal Design for Learning framework, and is designed to empower every child to be an independent learner. This flexible learning architecture includes a suite of mini-games, books, videos and quizzes along with a free-reign library that allows children to practice reading, writing, counting and math as well as music and art.
In building the product, Enuma conducted extensive field tests in Tanzania and Kenya to observe users, gather feedback and evaluate students’ learning progress. This development is made possible by partnerships with KOICA, Good Neighbors and Xavier Project.
“Kitkit School is the result of decades of education, gaming and international development experience. We’re incredibly grateful to XPRIZE for this honor and are eager to share our mission of aiding diverse learners around the world,” said Sooinn
Lee, CEO and Creative Lead of Enuma. “We believe all children deserve quality learning opportunities to meet their potential, regardless of their situation, and we are proud to help provide that opportunity with KitKit School.”
In May, the field of 198 teams was narrowed to 11 semifinalists by an independent panel of expert judges. Today’s $1 million prize enables Enuma to continue development on Kitkit School to compete along with the other four finalists. Approximately 4,000 children in 150 villages in the Tanga region of Tanzania will use 8,000 Pixel C tablets donated by Google to test the top software solutions for approximately 15 months. Beginning soon, the 15-month field test takes place without oversight from the teams, putting a sharp emphasis on the application’s intuitive usability. The winning team will be awarded $10 million by demonstrating the most growth in children’s reading, writing and arithmetic proficiency. Kitkit School and other entrants use open-sourced software to illustrate that accessible technology can revolutionize the learning sector and provide all children with the ability to teach themselves these early fundamentals.
“Our five finalists are developing the most promising software solutions to enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic, as determined by our panel of expert judges,” said Matt Keller, senior director of the Global Learning XPRIZE. “As we move to the final field testing phase, we are one step closer to scaling transformative technology solutions that foster child-driven learning and provide a world- class education for all.”
The Global Learning XPRIZE board of trustees includes visionaries and luminaries like James Cameron, Richard Garriott, Larry Page and Arianna Huffington. The competition challenges entrants to create a learning solution for the estimated 250 million children around the world, particularly in developing nations, that lack access to basic education, organized school systems or adequate teaching resources.