2010 WISE Awards Honor Educational Excellence

MIT OpenCourseWare among six global projects honored for their outstanding initiatives in transforming education

Nov 18, 2010, 16:51 ET from World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE

DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of the Qatar Foundation, today announced the six global winners of its 2010 WISE Awards, including MIT's OpenCourseWare project, a large-scale, web-based publication of educational materials from virtually all MIT courses.

Initiated last year, the WISE Awards identify and promote innovative educational projects from around the world. This year's awards recognize exceptional achievement in Transforming Education: Innovation, Investment and Inclusion. The projects display a capacity for spreading their influence far and wide and connecting with a global community. Each award-winning project also received a $20,000 grant.

The six WISE Awards 2010 Laureates are:

Name: Mushtaq Chhapra

Country: Pakistan

Project: The Citizens Foundation

Name: Ayla Goksel

Country: Turkey

Project: Mother Child Education Program

Name: Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Country: Nigeria

Project: The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio (Farm 98.0 FM)

Name: Cecilia D'Oliveira

Country: USA

Project: MIT OpenCourseWare

Name: Tove Romsaas Wang

Country: United Kingdom

Project: Rewrite the Future

Name: Neil Turok

Country: South Africa

Project: AIMS Next Einstein Initiative

For details on each project, please visit: www.wise-qatar.org

Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of the WISE Awards International Jury, said: "This year, once again, the diversity and quality of applications have been exceptional, and I am confident that the WISE Awards 2010 laureates will offer inspiration to educational practitioners across the world. This is a fine illustration of what WISE can achieve as a global forum for the sharing of best practice and experience. Its worldwide reach is multiplying the beneficial effects of individual educational initiatives and improving people's lives."

Education is experiencing transformation on a global scale, with the emergence of innovations that are changing how education is both administered and absorbed. The projects submitted this year showed that transformations in education are taking place by:

  • Sharing high quality content through Open Access.
  • Bringing quality education to all through inclusive, adapted and cost- effective means – i.e., bringing education to people.
  • Building a holistic approach to education, taking into account the entire community, including its culture, personnel, traditions, and resources.

The WISE Awards 2010 build upon the momentum generated by the inaugural WISE Awards last year, attracting applications from 89 countries representing all regions of the globe.

On Dec. 7-9, 2010, in Doha, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development will host some 1,000 political, business and educational leaders to discuss progressive measures in education -- from grade school through advanced degree programs. The main topics: "Improving Education Systems" (e.g., adaptable curricula), "Funding Education" (e.g., the role of families, government and private enterprise) and "Innovative Trends" (e.g., social media in education, cognitive science).

Including the award-winning MIT OpenCourseWare, there were eight award finalists from the United States:

  • UT Solar Decathlon, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.: Students work across disciplines to develop sustainable housing solutions, participating in the design, construction and exhibition of a sustainable design-build project.
  • The Open Learning Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh: Educators are building an online learning environment, featuring automated tutoring, virtual labs, simulations, and frequent assessment and feedback.
  • PocketSchool, Palo Alto, Calif.: The project uses mobile technology to motivate children to learn, read, write and create innovative content in the form of stories. Storytelling workshops help children express themselves by engaging in game-based mobile learning.
  • Open Educational Resources Commons Teacher Training, Half Moon Bay, Calif.: Offers teachers a collaborative professional development model based on engagement with a freely available curriculum.
  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Project, Chapel Hill, N.C.: Awards higher education scholarships to early childhood professionals. The objective is to produce more skilled teachers who choose to stay in the early education field.
  • Illuminations, Reston, Va.: Offers free online resources to teachers, including 500 lesson plans, 100 computer-based activities and a suite of 10 math strategy games.
  • JSTOR Plant Science, Princeton, N.J.: A collaborative effort of 160 botanical institutions globally to digitize core materials on plant type specimen to preserve biodiversity.

Note to Editors:

Applications for the WISE Awards 2010 were from the following geographical regions: Sub-Saharan Africa: 20%; Asia/Oceania: 29%; Europe: 14%; North America: 12%; Middle East and North Africa: 14%; and Central and South America: 11%.


A high-profile International Jury selected the six winners of the WISE Awards 2010. The International Jury consisted of seven leading experts drawn from governmental institutions, civil society, international organisations and universities.

Chairman: Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of WISE, Qatar Foundation

Prof Fasli Jalal, Vice Minister of National Education, Indonesia

Dr Judith Eaton, President, Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), USA

Prof Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Director School and Community Science and Technology Studies (SACOST), University of Education Winneba, Ghana

Dr Abdul Waheed Khan, President, Talal Abu Ghazaleh Business University, Kingdom of Bahrain

Former Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO

Prof Zhou Qifeng, President, Peking University, Beijing, China

Mr Mike Gibbons, CEO, Richard Rose Federation, UK


WISE is an initiative of Qatar Foundation, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, with a mission to address the urgent challenges and powerful economic, demographic and technological pressures facing 21st-century education. The annual WISE Summit brings together eminent decision-makers and thought-leaders from multiple sectors to generate dialogue, seek innovative solutions, raise awareness of the importance of learning and inspire actions which will make a real difference to the lives of people across the globe. WISE is also a year-round platform and forum for the sharing of experience and best practices. Qatar Foundation's partners in WISE are currently: Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), RAND Corporation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

SOURCE World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE