$1 Million ED Challenge Seeks Digital Tools to Help Adult Learners Navigate Careers – Campus Tech

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Workforce preparation

$1M ED Challenge seeks digital tools to help adult learners navigate careers

The United States Department of Education has launched the Future Finder Challenge, calling on strategists, developers, user-centered designers, and educators to create digital tools that better support adult learners on their learning journey. labor market education. The multi-stage challenge offers a $1 million prize pool: $50,000 each for up to five finalists; $500,000 for a Grand Prize winner; and $250,000 shared between up to two finalists.

Career navigation tools help people understand, choose and prepare for career opportunities, the Department explained in a press release, but current tools are not designed for adult learners, who may need additional support to retrain in in-demand careers.

“Too many workers have been unable to enter today’s fast-growing fields because our adult education programs have not kept pace with the technological evolution of our economy,” said the U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement. “To build a more equitable and inclusive economy, we must raise the bar for adult education in the United States and give learners of all ages the tools and opportunities they need to improve their skills and climb the ladder. Our Future Finder Challenge is about encouraging innovation and creating tools that help adult learners better navigate the job market and take advantage of career opportunities in today’s most in-demand fields. . »

The challenge asks participants to submit a prototype digital tool and describe how the tool will improve career navigation outcomes for adult learners, such as increased self-awareness, career knowledge, confidence and/or or obtaining high-quality employment, in-demand occupations and high-growth industries, ED said. Entrants should also explain how their tools will integrate with existing career navigation systems and how they will collect and share usage, user and outcome data. An independent judging panel will select up to five finalists, who will then participate in a virtual accelerator that provides access to resources, mentorship and other support, culminating in a live demo day.

Final winners will receive support through 2024 as they deploy their solutions in the adult education ecosystem, ED said.

“Developing digital career navigation tools for adult learners will expand equitable access to career opportunities, which will increase upward mobility and strengthen the broader American workforce,” commented Amy Loyd, assistant secretary of ED’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. “Through the Future Finder Challenge, we are using open innovation to invest in the adult education technology ecosystem, fostering greater collaboration between adult learners and developers, educators and employers.”

The registration deadline is December 15, 2022. The challenge team will hold a virtual information session on October 13. For more information, visit the challenge website.

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About the author: Rhea Kelly is editor-in-chief of Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].




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