Surrey teacher a judge in project to help 250 million kids access education

Maple Green Elementary teacher Linda Dyck is one of two teachers in the world chosen to be a judge

A Surrey elementary school teacher has been chosen to be part of a global experiment aimed at helping more than 250 million children learn basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Linda Dyck (fourth from left) with other selected judges.

Linda Dyck, a Grade 4 teacher at Maple Green Elementary, is one of just eleven judges – and only two teachers – selected worldwide for the Global Learning XPRIZE, a $15-million contest to develop software that will allow children in remote African villages to teach themselves how to read and do simple math.

“Being chosen among such a prestigious group of accomplished people and participating in such an important project has been amazing,” Dyck said in a release.

She was invited to be an XPRIZE judge after being recognized as an education leader in 2014 by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

“Being a part of such a huge project is both exciting and rewarding,” she said of her latest assignment. “The best part of my ISTE Outstanding Teacher award is having this opportunity to be part of Global Learning Xprize.”

The underlying goal of the project — which is sponsored by UNESCO and The World Food Program as well as the Tanzania government, Google and a $15-million prize provided by Elon Musk — is to “enable a child to learn autonomously.”

The project challenged teams from around the world to design an app, in both English and Swahili, that will allow children ages seven to 10 to teach themselves.

The initial 193 entrants were whittled down to five finalists, who received $1 million apiece to proceed with testing in Tanzania.

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