It was great to witness the culmination of the inaugural Cooney Center Prizes for Innovation in Children’s Learning yesterday at E3 in downtown Los Angeles. The Winner of the Breakthroughs in Mobile learning category was Project NOAH, a mobile app for teaching children and youth to appreciate our natural surroundings. Coincidentally, Aneesh mentioned during the announcement that Project NOAH was inspiration for CrisisCommons’ Oil Reporter an open data initiative which is collecting and sharing information on local instances of distressed wildlife due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Kudos to Project NOAH for all the great work that they are doing (and for picking up $50,000 in prize money).

In the Breakthroughs in Literacy Learning: Innovate with The Electric Company category, Jay Schiffman was named the winner for his entry The Electric Company Heroes. Jay received $10,000 in prizes, but perhaps more significantly, gained an opportunity to collaborate with the Sesame Workshop to carry his idea forward.

Overall, it was a fantastic event and a great way to celebrate not only the winners, but all who participated. In attendance were distinguished jury members including Warren Buckleitner, Editor, Children’s Technology Review; Alan Gershenfeld, President and CEO, E-Line Ventures; Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop, Laird Malamed, Senior Vice President, Activision Blizzard and Liz Perle, Editor-in-Chief, Common Sense Media. Also in attendance was Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, Office of Science and Technology Policy for the White House.


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