Crowdsourcing Education Innovation, For Cash

Neal Ungerleider:

One of the largest educational publishers in the world is offering cash prizes to the winners of a crowdsourced learning product innovation competition.
One of the world’s largest educational publishers is turning to crowdsourcing for their next great product idea. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) initiative–the HMH Global Education Challenge–is an Intel Science Fair-style competition for educators that is giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just one important caveat: HMH retains rights to the ideas.
The competition will be the first major attempt to develop for-market pedagogical materials via crowdsourcing. Participants will upload brief descriptions of their potential projects and then are able to view, comment, and vote on other proposals. A panel of judges, including former Education Secretary Bill Bennett and Bob Wise, the former governor of West Virginia, will decide on the winners from a pool of the 20 top-voted entries in September.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is offering a $100,000 grand prize for the winning entrant and a $25,000 second-place prize. Another $125,000 worth of prizes, including iPads, netbooks, and textbook donations, will be distributed to contestants and the schools of their choice.