RTI International wins 2018 Digital Edge 50 award for education tool

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC— RTI International has been honored with a 2018 Digital Edge 50 Award for being a leader in digital innovation. The prestigious award recognizes a new open-source tool recently developed by RTI to measure executive function (EF) skills in pre-school aged children. EF skills refer to a variety of cognitive processes that facilitate early learning, problem solving, and goal-directed behavior.

The tool, EF Touch, is administered using Tangerine®, RTI’s open source software that was designed to transform the way teachers, coaches and researchers assess and observe literacy and numeracy teaching and learning. More than 60 organizations worldwide have used Tangerine to conduct more than 1.5 million surveys in 60 countries and 100 languages, primarily Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs).

RTI modified Tangerine to accommodate the specific audio-visual needs of EF Touch in low- and middle-income areas where standard tools for measurement of executive function do not currently exist. According to Carmen Strigel, Director of Technology for Education and Training at RTI, the battery of EF Touch tasks are scientifically rigorous, cost-efficient, offline-enabled, highly customizable, and scalable in developing countries.

“Assessing and improving executive function skills in early childhood is important because they can contribute to improved learning outcomes for young children and have long-lasting impacts on their educational and occupational opportunities later in life,” said Michael Willoughby, fellow in Education and Workforce Development at RTI.

For use in a variety of lower income country contexts, EF touch will undergo an iterative process of development and evaluation, and RTI is actively seeking partnerships with external organizations and researchers who have interest in using EF Touch and would like to collaborate on these efforts.

The Digital Edge 50 Awards recognize digital innovations that have been developed through technologies such as mobile, analytics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and the cloud. Selected by a panel of industry experts and business and technology executives, winning applications are driving greater customer engagement, higher sales conversions and new products, as well as revenue and profit growth.

The award is sponsored by CIO, the premier content and community resource for information technology executives and leaders. CIO is published by IDG Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of International Data Group.

“This year we have many winners employing AI and machine learning, or a combination of the two, demonstrating how quickly those technologies are taking hold,” said Anne McCrory, Digital Edge program chair and Group VP, Customer Experience and Operations, IDG Events and CIO Executive Council. “There are projects on data accessibility, digital assistants, sensors, and integrating numerous systems and data types for mobile users. All have remarkable returns, whether those are efficiencies or sales from new capabilities or even new businesses launching.”

The award will be formally presented at the AGENDA18 conference held March 19-21, 2018, in Miami. 

An assessor uses RTI’s Tangerine software to gauge pre-reading skills of a young pupil in Nairobi, Kenya

Highlights

  • RTI International has been honored with a 2018 Digital Edge 50 Award for being a leader in digital innovation
  • The prestigious award recognizes a new open-source tool recently developed by RTI to measure executive function (EF) skills in pre-school aged children
  • The tool, EF Touch, is administered using Tangerine®, RTI’s open source software that was designed to transform the way teachers, coaches and researchers assess and observe literacy and numeracy teaching and learning