For Immediate Release: October 7, 2015


The EDU App Challenge - the first ever Canadian event bringing together developers and educators to create learning tools for K-12 students - is happening in Calgary November 6 – 8th , with over $10,000 in cash & prizes provided by founding sponsors The Royal Conservatory, Robots and Pencils, and TELUS.


The EDU App Challenge aims to bridge the very different perspectives of educators and developers, leading to the design of tools that expand a generalist teacher’s toolkit and empower students to take charge of their learning.  It is the first event of its kind in Canada (a similar event in the U.S. attracts 1,000 developers annually).


October 7, 2015, Calgary, AB: In recent years, The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) program has experienced rising demand from the 800+ teachers it works with across Canada for digital media arts training and resources. To better understand the reasons behind this demand, LTTA commissioned a survey of School Board CIO’s, Principals, Superintendents, and teachers to find out how they view existing educational technology. 

The study found a big gap between the perspectives of the developer community and educators. Teachers believe in-school technology can enhance education, but fear being replaced.  By creating the EDU App Challenge, LTTA realized that it could play a vital role as a bridge between developers and educators by building a suite of apps focused on making video, animation, and soundtrack easy for teachers and students to work with on a daily basis in classrooms. 
It truly takes a community to build effective interactive educational software.  The EDU App Challenge is encouraging everyone, ages 14 +, no matter their skills to participate November 6 - 8, 2015.  They need coders, developers, designers, parents, educators, and students.  It’s only $35 to register, it’s free for students and educators plus includes food for the whole weekend and $10,000 in cash & prizes.  To further encourage brainstorming, community engagement and rapid prototyping, the EDU App Challenge has partnered with Telus and Robots and Pencils.    

We’re thrilled to be supporting an app challenge that is promoting the development of creative and innovative educational tools for students. Participants will be using our app-making tool PencilCase: Studio to bring their ideas to life over the weekend. Not only is it a great platform to help facilitate this event, it can also easily be incorporated into the classroom, allowing both students and teachers to create engaging, mobile content.
— Michael Sikorsky, CEO and Co-founder of Robots and Pencils.

The solutions developed through the EDU App Challenge will be put to work right away enhancing learning for the 20,000+ students involved in LTTA this year. The LTTA program also hopes to use the tools to make its proven approaches to learning accessible to every classroom in Canada, with the long term goal that these tools will be in the hands of tens of thousands of students over the next three years. 

Teachers value digital media arts projects because they include multiple literacies: you need to create a storyboard, write a script, record your voice, create a sound track, and think about imagery. These are the very skills students will need to communicate effectively in their future careers. Furthermore, digital media arts projects like video are anchored in storytelling fundamentals, a key component of the language arts curriculum.
— Shaun Elder, Executive Director of Learning Through The Arts.

While the focus of the 2015 inaugural App Challenge is on the specific needs identified by LTTA, the vision is to expand over the years to become a resource to all Canadian school boards and non profits involved in education or related programming. 

About Learning Through The Arts

The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts® (LTTA) is a proven educational program that enriches instruction and learning through the integration of arts experiences with core curriculum. LTTA’s professional artists mentor and support public school generalist teachers as they learn to design arts experiences that empower students to do their best work in all subject areas.

The program has a well documented impact on student success. For example, a 2014 study found that the percentage of Fort McMurray Catholic School District aboriginal students who achieved provincial standard in Grade 9 Mathematics increased from 44.7% to 66.1% after the students participated in LTTA programming. A total of 261,000 students across Canada have benefited from LTTA programming since 2003/04.


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For more information, please contact: 
Hannah Cree