Post by Debi Lewis, director on the Verizon Wireless Corporate Communications team, overseeing national communications efforts around innovation.
When Verizon announced its Powerful Answers Award nearly a year ago, the company challenged innovators, developers and entrepreneurs to create ideas that would leverage Verizon’s cloud, broadband and wireless networks to deliver great solutions and social good. The Award carries with it a total of $10 million in cash prizes and the potential to collaborate with Verizon’s network experts.
More than 1,300 entries, three rounds of judging and lots of great conversation later, the 15 winning ideas were announced last month. On Jan. 8, 2014, the winners in the three categories – healthcare, sustainability and education – will be in Las Vegas at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show as Verizon reveals the prize amounts for each company and the culmination of the Award program.
The five winners in the education category delivered a wide range of solutions, from apps to help children with autism and those who teach them, to apps that teach financial literacy to students, to apps that help children with developmental delays. The other winners are a solution that lets kids build their own apps and an online educational platform focused on women’s advancement as leaders.
BridgingApps – Mobile technology has the power to revolutionize education for students with disabilities – if it is properly used. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, can help bridge the gap by providing access to the mobile technology and applications needed to enable children with special needs to communicate for the first time, participate in the classroom and exceed educational goals. BridgingApps will focus on the development and use of assistive mobile technology, apps and training to improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities and to address the gap between available technology and its effective use in the classroom.
TinyTap – TinyTap was built from watching children interact with mobile devices and is the first mobile platform that lets users create their own fun personalized apps from their photos and designs in seconds. Today, TinyTap is a growing social platform where children, parents, schools and special needs teachers enjoy and share the apps they create while learning from each other. TinyTap allows children, parents and teachers to create fun educational games that can be tailored to suit a child’s unique learning needs. With cloud capabilities, TinyTap is building the world’s first user-generated content (UGC) educational app store.
WebTeam Corporation – The company’s goal is to be highly innovative in the area of mobile and touch-screen computing through the use of cameras and voice-related technologies to create new products and services for the education and health care industries for autism intervention. In the United States, 1 in 50 school children has autism, and individualized and intense intervention is the key to making these individuals independent. WebTech Corporation’s developed apps and kiosk-based programs utilize evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programming and are customizable for all other research supported interventions.
WomenLEAD, Inc.– WomenLEAD’s mission is to make an impact on the global economy by educating and advancing women in their careers, increasing the retention of women in organizations and closing the gender gap. WomenLEAD, Inc. is an innovative online educational platform designed to accelerate women’s advancement as leaders that combines the power of the social network with the appetite that women have to advance, and is out to disrupt and revolutionize mentorship with its online “Personal Advisory Board” platform. The platform also functions as a professional development engine whose online training offerings address issues that have been identified as areas where women must focus if they are to make substantial inroads in the corporate world.
Zapatilism – Zapatilsm is a financial literacy app from LavaMind, which specializes in creating business simulation games. These apps and games are used by thousands of schools all over the world. Telecoms typically sell Web-based learning platforms to schools and mobile learning Value Added Services (VAS) subscriptions to consumers.
To see the other winners, click here.
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