The world faces persistent gaps in learning and educational opportunities. Globally, 250 million children are not in school, and hundreds of millions are in classrooms that lack adequate access to learning materials or disability-adapted infrastructure. In addition, the skills taught—in school or via other informal pathways—may not allow people to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Technology in education works best when centered on the needs of communities and learners, and when designed to complement rather than replace human interaction. In doing so, it can offer new assistive tools, help cross language barriers, and support educators in creating more adaptive and inclusive learning opportunities. High-impact ideas can use technology for efficient network and scale, even as the end goal remains learner success.
MIT Solve seeks exceptional solutions leveraging technology to address equity gaps in learning. While we are excited to select and support innovators across any learning area, we have a particular interest for 2024 in solutions that:
- Ensure that all children are learning in good educational environments, particularly those affected by poverty or displacement.
- Use inclusive design to ensure engagement and better outcomes for learners with disabilities and neurodivergent learners, while benefiting all learners.
- Provide the skills that people need to thrive in both their community and a complex world, including social-emotional competencies, problem-solving, and literacy around new technologies such as AI.
Special Call: Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program
Pre-pandemic, closing the learning gaps between Black, Latine, and white students in the US was estimated to take 60 to 160 years. The pandemic has widened racial gaps, and new technology can address – or exacerbate – biases. As part of Solve’s ongoing work on US racial equity, we encourage those working to address racial disparities in US communities to apply for the Challenge and receive additional support through our Black & Brown Innovators Program.