In recognition of James A. Kelly’s remarkable career reforming school finance, reducing inequities in schools, establishing high standards for teaching, and improving learning for all students, the School of Education is honored to launch a competition to inspire a new generation of problem-solvers and leaders. The James A. Kelly Learning Lever Prize is a competition designed to challenge University of Michigan students to invent digital tools with the potential to significantly improve student learning. This prize encourages a culture of innovation in education, and rewards the creative, interdisciplinary work of University of Michigan students.
The goal of the James A. Kelly Learning Levers Prize is to support scalable, research-based innovative Ideas promoting student learning in pre-K–12 education. It seeks to:
- Encourage a culture of innovation in education
- Reward research-based interdisciplinary education innovations
- Incentivize impactful and scalable education innovations
- Leverage technology to enhance learning
A Learning Lever is an interactive digital tool that helps pre-K–12 students learn more effectively, while empowering them to assume more control over their learning. A Learning Lever harnesses the power of technology to provide students with direct access to content, inquiry, and support.
Learning Levers may include but are not limited to: (a) software programs, applications, games, and competitions; (b) text, workbooks, problem-solving lessons, and inquiry activities or experiences; (c) individual feedback, avatars, and tutoring; and (d) peer collaboration on research, investigation, problem-solving, and sharing.
Successful projects will use sound pedagogy and may be applicable in school, home, museum, or other settings.
University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate students from any campus (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint) in good standing at any school or college are eligible to enter as individuals or in teams. Students who apply for other entrepreneurial competitions on campus are welcome to participate in the Learning Lever competition.
Participants in other innovation competitions, such as Innovation in Action, Optimize, or Zillion Solutions are encouraged to apply. Participation in these programs is not required, however, and all students and student teams with great ideas should consider applying!
|Call for proposals||January 27|
|Initial proposals due||February 28|
|Initial interviews begin||March 6|
|Office hours||February - April|
|Practice pitches||March - April 6|
|Learning Levers final pitch event||April 9|
A committee that may include University of Michigan faculty, staff, students, alumni, and topical experts will decide which teams receive funding to move their ideas forward. Prizes fall into two categories:
- Can be awarded to multiple projects/teams
- Supports further development and iteration
- Between $1,000–$4,000
The Learning Levers Prize
- Awarded to a single team
- Supports scalability, maturation, and dissemination
- Between $5,000–$10,000
All teams selected to present at the pitch event will have the opportunity to promote worthy projects to experts in technology, education, and entrepreneurship, as well as to potential venture capitalists and other commercial partners.
Submit your Learning Levers proposal
To learn more about Learning Levers, to schedule a consultation on education topics, or to receive support year-round, contact Nate Phipps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Managing Director, Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER)
610 East University Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259