In 2013, the New York City Department of Education held its inaugural Gap App competition, aimed at spurring software developers to create apps and games to help students learn and
administrative/engagement tools for educators. The first Gap App competition, held in early 2013, focused on ways to support math for middle school students. A followup activity in June 2013 was a music education hackathon.
The Gap App competition was the brainchild of Innovate NYC, an initiative that functions as the R&D lab for a group of 250 New York City schools called the iZone. Schools accepted into the New York City iZone are tasked with exploring innovative teaching methods and technologies to support personalized learning.
As of mid 2013: Gap App winners are expected to partner with specific New York City schools to implement and adapt their apps. Weiner said he anticipated that work to start this fall. Schools won’t be limited to choosing from the four winners or the nine finalists; all Gap App submissions will be made available to schools. Schools will be able to choose how many Gap Apps to pilot and how large they want their trial to be.
Leaders in the NYC DOE said the department plans to share data about the Gap App trials with other school districts in 2014.
The winners of the first Gap App Competition were:
- Best Instructional App: KnowRe
- Best Instructional App (second place): Mathalicious
- Best Administration/Engagement App: Hapara
- Best Administration/Engagement App (second place): LiveSchool
You can see all the Gap App finalists on EdSurge here.