18-19 Special Category:

Transforming Education through Technology

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As a leader in educational technology for over 30 years, SMART has seen the power of technology to transform learning. As part of our commitment to help schools achieve better outcomes, SMART and the Conrad Challenge are collaborating to support the student perspective and drive new educational innovations that will improve outcomes in the classroom and beyond.

Have you ever wanted to reimagine your educational experiences? This is your chance!

Consider the future – how might we implement new technologies or improve usage of existing ones, to support enhanced educational experiences and better outcomes for future students?

Technology has been used in classrooms around the world for almost 50 years. From overhead projectors to interactive displays and virtual reality, educational technology has evolved and the role that it plays in the classroom has grown significantly. Despite $7 billion dollars being spent on educational technology annually, there has been no remarkable impact or effect on student progress or achievement.

Numerous studies have shown that more technology in the classroom doesn’t automatically equal better outcomes, however, in the right conditions technology can help accelerate and advance learning. How can we ensure that students and educators can measurably see the benefits of educational technology? New and innovative methodologies and tools are needed.

For the 2018-2019 Conrad Challenge, students are invited to design new technologies or services that will help transform education experiences and drive better outcomes for individual students, schools or communities. Positive outcomes may include test scores and pass rates, as well as impacts to soft skills including Social Emotional Learning and 21st Century Skills. These solutions can come in many forms and be applied to the Challenge's traditional categories.

Students participating in this category are strongly encouraged to utilize the Conrad Design Method®: No Box Tool Box platform as SMART Technologies' experts will be actively engaged on the platform to work directly with student teams. In addition, teams who advance to Round Two: Business Plan will be given access to a SMART resource kit that will provide downloads of SMART software and helpful tips along the way! All of this information will be emailed to your team from the Conrad Challenge.

Below are articles and research that discuss the impact of technology in the classroom, and may help inspire your project:

A few brainstorming ideas to help you get started: 

How might we implement new technologies or improve usage of existing ones, to support enhanced educational experiences and better outcomes for future students?

Consider new technologies or services in the following areas:

  • Physical space – reimagine your learning environment, how can it be improved to be more effective?

  • Curriculum and content – how might we improve learning content to support better student outcomes?

  • Processes – what new processes might we employ to improve learning tool implementations or educational community communications?

  • Learning systems/ tools for students and teachers - how might content be delivered differently?


  • The Transforming Education through Technology category will follow all of the traditional guidelines of the Conrad Challenge and adhere to the Challenge timeline.

  • Teams are subject to the full registration fee of $300, unless they have registered in another Challenge category. Register here.

  • Teams will be judged based on the same Challenge criteria and a Pete Conrad Scholar will be selected within this category. This category will also have special judges from SMART TECHNOLOGIES with the potential for additional prizes and awards.

About SMART Technologies

SMART is a world leader in classroom technology, providing interactive solutions to help every student and teacher discover and develop the greatness within them. A consistent innovator for more than 30 years, SMART is the inventor of the SMART Board® and the developer of SMART Notebook®, the world’s most popular collaborative learning software, and part of the SMART Learning Suite. With its full range of interconnected displays, software and accessories used in more than 3 million classrooms, SMART helps students and teachers around the world achieve better learning outcomes. To learn more, visit