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Business Technology Categories

Best Artificial Intelligence Driven Technology Solution

Recognizes the best native artificial intelligence, machine or deep learning solution, platform or product that learns, performs and excels at specific automated tasks.

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Best Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Content Solution

Recognizes the product, tool, or solution that leverages artificial intelligence, machine and deep learning algorithms to enhance their product features, and provide users with a more intelligent, automated, scalable solution.

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Best Big Data Tools & Platforms

Recognizes the best platform for enabling organizations in developing, deploying, operating and managing a big data infrastructure/environment.

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Best Business Information or Data Delivery Solution

Recognizes the best information solution that helps business professionals with their daily job functions including strategy, business development, sales, marketing, research or other corporate functions. Solutions could include business and industry news, market research, business directories, company/ industry information, executive profiles, financial data, analyst reports, vertical segment information, competitive intelligence, etc.

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Best Collaboration Solution

Recognizes the best application that aids collaboration, communication, filesharing and the process of problem solving for teams working together over geographic distances.

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Best Content Management Platform

Recognizes the best tool, platform or service that allows users to sort through vast amounts of content and present it in a meaningful and organized way. Solutions allow users to arrange, display, collect, organize, co-create, share and manipulate content.

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Best Corporate / Enterprise Learning Solution

Recognizes the best platform, service or provider that supports the efforts of organizations (business, government, academia) to educate employees about specific knowledge that aids in the successful execution of an employee's job. Includes applications that educate on internal processes, practices, expectations and objectives of workplace assignments. The successful platform helps organizations train, develop, and engage their staff from onboarding through talent development, coaching and mentoring, often offering certifications and/or badges for completion.

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Best CRM Solution

Recognizes the best software solution designed to expand a company's knowledge about, and relationship with, its current or potential customers and/or partners. Includes CRM, PRM, SFA, marketing automation, personalization products and services.

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Best Customer Service Solution

Recognizes the best tool, platform, or service that helps businesses enhance their customer service and support. Includes help-desk services, live chat, social media tools, technology enabled service providers, etc. Note that it is helpful to provide solution access to the judges during the review period for this category.

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Best Customer Success Management Solution

Recognizes the best solution for managing customer development, upselling opportunities, improving retention rates and reducing churn.

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Best DevOps Tool

Recognizes the best tool for supporting collaboration between Development and Operations. Can include tools for logging, performance monitoring and measurement, automation, security, configuration management, testing, collaboration, release management, database management, deployment, event managers, alerting and other software development tools.

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Best eCommerce Solution

Recognizes the best software solution designed to facilitate the purchase of products and services online. includes personalization tools, shopping carts, comparison bots, order forms, delivery/shipping management systems, etc.

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Best Financial Management Solution

Recognizes the best software solution that automates financial accounting and money management including accounts payable/receivable, general ledger, budgeting, resource allocation, reporting, etc.

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Best IoT Platform

Recognizes the best platform that offers advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services including the management use of IoT.  

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Best Payments Solution

Recognizes the best solution for passing authorization, payments, and settlement data between a merchant’s website and the merchant’s processor. Category may include digital payment products and blockchain.

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Best Project Management Solution

Recognizes the best business solution that automates any aspect of managing project-based business activities. Includes estimation and planning, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration, etc.

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Best Subscription Billing Solution

Recognizes the best solution to help companies manage all aspects of the subscription lifecycle. Subscription management includes onboarding, assisted or unassisted subscription sales, pricing and packaging, recurring billing, auto-renewing, paywall management, invoicing, reporting, and financial management.

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Best Vendor Management System (VMS) Platform

Recognizes the best vendor management solution that optimizes and manages any aspect of contingent workforces by providing a centralized repository for communication, project, and payroll management.

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Best Big Data Reporting & Analytics Solution

Recognizes the best solution for reporting and analyzing actionable intelligence from massive data sets containing a variety of data types.

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Best Business Intelligence Solution

Recognizes the best solution that supports decision making in a business process by providing analysis, information delivery and platform integration.

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Best Content Search & Discovery Solution

Recognizes the best search technology that delivers added context to end users and drives a more productive, intuitive search experience by leveraging ontologies, taxonomies, semantic analytics, text data mining and industry or application specific concepts across data, text, geography and time for both structured and unstructured content sets. The category includes enterprise search, insight engines, knowledge discovery, enhanced discoverability, and cognitive computing.

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Best Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Recognizes the Best CDP marketer-managed system that offers a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. The winning CDP should create a comprehensive view of each customer by capturing data from multiple systems, linking information related to the same customer, and storing the information to track behavior over time. The CDP contains personal identifiers used to target marketing messages and track individual-level marketing results, offering marketing teams relevant insights needed to run marketing campaigns.

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Best Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

Recognizes the best solution designed to integrate disparate applications, operating systems, data, and/or business processes used within an organization in order to simplify and automate their use and eliminate silos of information and functionality through dashboards or other approaches.

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Best Platform as a Service

Recognizes the best platform as a service (PaaS) that increases the speed of development of applications, reduces cost of development, automates deployment, and provides flexibility and scalability. This includes enablement capabilities.

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Best Emerging Technology

Recognizes best emerging technology product, tool or solution that is solving a big problem, changing the status quo and opening up new opportunities. Products must be less than three years old or has put out a new version that includes new technology that is disruptive and/ or relatively underdeveloped in potential.

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Best Cloud Management Solution

Recognizes the best solution that ensures cloud computing resources are working optimally and cost effectively. This can include performance monitoring, application management, security and compliance, storage, and disaster recovery.

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Best Digital Process Automation Solution

Recognizes the best solution that creates process applications to automate complex workflows and digital business processes for application development and deployment professionals.

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Best IT Management Solution

Recognizes the best IT management solution that allows IT departments to manage all their systems, devices and applications.

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Best Software Defined Infrastructure

Recognizes the best technical computing platform entirely under the control of software with no operator or human intervention.

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Best Marketing Solution

Recognizes the best solution that enables companies to plan, target, market, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns promoting products and services to consumers and/or businesses online, off-line and via mobile devices. Solutions can include (but are not limited to) marketing programs supporting SEM, social media, online/print advertising, in-product advertising, content marketing, marketing management, campaign management and deployment, as well as mobile marketing.

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Best Sales & Marketing Intelligence Solution

The winning solution empowers sales and marketing professionals with internal and external data, insights and analytics to help drive business development and target new prospects. Solutions may include B2B data, prospect databases, contact information, sales analytics, visual configuration software, conversation intelligence software, outbound call tracking, attribution software and other tools used by sales and marketing professionals.

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Best Sales Enablement Platform

Recognizes the best sales enablement platform, which equips sales teams with the right content and information for any interaction with a potential buyer through document automation and helps progress and accelerate the sales cycle. Sales enablement platforms may include content management solutions that allow sales teams to access all relevant and marketing-approved collateral from a central location, personalize materials for specific buyers and interactions, and uncovers data-backed insights into how that content is consumed.

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Best Identity & Access Management (IAM) Solution

Recognizes the best solution that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times and for the right reasons. Includes Identity Governance, Single Sign-On, Authentication & Authorization Management, and Directory solutions.

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Best Network Security Solution

Recognizes the best solution for preventing and monitoring unauthorized access, misuse, modification, or denial of a computer network and network-accessible resources. Includes firewall, intrusion prevention and detection, unified threat management, VPN, etc.

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Best Compliance Solution

Recognizes the best compliance solution to address the regulatory rules. The solution providing audit, risk and compliance solutions and/or expert insights that enable businesses to connect regulatory developments with internal policy systems, organizational risks and controls, and regulatory training.

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Best Event Technology Solution

Recognizes the best solution for managing the production and execution for events. Includes registration and ticketing, payment processing, sponsor and attendee management, event marketing, reporting, event program, budgeting, etc.

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Best Financial & Market Data Solution

Recognizes the Best Financial & Market Data Solution designed for professionals in the financial and capital markets industries. Nominees may submit solutions that provide financial, market data and related information for market practitioners. Includes real-time data services, reference data solutions, or historical data, financial news services, market analysis & research, credit services, capital markets, commodities & energy, foreign exchange, fixed income and/or merger and acquisition information.

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Best FinTech Solution

Recognizes the best solution to make financial services more efficient by demonstrating an incremental or radical/disruptive innovation development of applications, processes, products or business models in the financial services industry, expanding business and consumer options for investing, saving, and conducting transactions, competing with banks selling financial service solutions for money transfer, lending, investments, and payments. This can include but is not limited to financing, insurance, investments, payments, advisory, security, etc. May include blockchain.

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Best Healthcare Technology Solution

Recognizes the best solution for improving care quality, patient safety, efficiency, medical information and/or data exchange to healthcare professionals or consumers. Population health or fee-for-value solutions include the development of new payment and care models, care coordination, readmission management, med adherence, health optimization/wellness, telemedicine, and innovations in disease management. May include Revenue Cycle Management Software.

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Best Human Capital or Talent Management Solution

Recognizes the best solution that automates any aspect of human resources management and talent acquisition, including HRIS, benefits administration, recruiting, payroll, and performance appraisal.

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Best Legal Solution

Recognizes the best information-based solution designed for the legal professional. Nominees may submit solutions that provide access to legal research information, business & practice performance / productivity / development tools, as well as litigation support, workflow, and e-discovery solutions.

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Education Technology Categories

Best Administrative Solution

Recognizes the best non-instructional business management application or service that supports education enterprises. Includes privacy tools, class/lecture capture solutions, network services, human resources/talent management, digital communication/security solutions, scheduling and registration services or student information systems.

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Best Emerging Education Technology Solution for Administrators

Recognizes a new and innovative technology solution that is designed to solve an administrative problem or improve operational efficiency and processes for schools or campuses. This new tool could support administrators in their education management or communication functions. All nominated products in this category must be less than three years old.

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Best Game-Based Curriculum Solution

Recognizes the best curriculum solution that uses gaming elements as an integral component of a curriculum or assessment product. Designed for PK-12 or higher education students to enable them to learn or apply concepts by using a compelling game environment that is academically and pedagogically sound and rigorous, both in content and methodology.

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Best Solution for Exceptional Students

Recognizes the best application specifically designed to benefit students with unique educational needs, including those with physical or learning disabilities, those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or those who are gifted and talented in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes solutions that are 508 compliant and provide instructional materials that are accessible, with accommodations enabled, or developed under the principals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

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Best Virtual Learning Solution

Recognizes the educational solution that best delivers course support, full courses or degree programs online, in either subscription-based or massive, open environments. Includes tutoring, self-paced digital instruction, home-schooling, advanced placement course work, credit recovery, instructional support, personalized learning environments or college credit and targets the PK-12 or higher education market.

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Best Content Authoring Development or Curation Solution

Recognizes the best software solution designed for users to be able to create, modify, design, alter, combine, customize, curate multiple content sources and formats, and share digital content for effective and engaged learning in the PreK-20 learning areas.

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Best Library Reference or Educational Database

Recognizes the service that best packages reference, original source materials, library or research information or disaggregated media assets for educational purposes in the PK-12 or higher education markets. This service can include content such as encyclopedias, maps, and primary source material.

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Best Coding & Computational Thinking Solution

Recognizes the best educational solution or platform that teaches students coding and computational skills, logic, problem solving, computer science, and algorithmic thinking. Solutions may include programing language platforms, robotics and coding courses, not excluding hardware options or a blend of hardware and software. Solutions should allow students to think creatively, reason systematically, work collaboratively and share their creations with others.

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Best ESL, ELL or World Language Acquisition Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Learners (ELL), and World Languages for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes course-based language learning curricula and content or online supplemental instruction.

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Best Mathematics Instructional Solution for Grades 9-12 & Higher Education

Recognizes the best instructional product that offers mathematics curriculum and content for students in the 9-12 or higher education market. It includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for all student learners so they can learn and apply mathematics concepts and methods. The solution provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best Mathematics Instructional Solution for Grades PreK-8

Recognizes the best instructional product that offers mathematics curriculum and content for students in the PK-8 market. It includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for all student learners so they can learn and apply mathematics concepts and methods. The solution provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best PreK / Early Childhood Learning Solution

Recognizes the best digital product providing or supporting learning for children ages 3-5. Includes applications designed for tablets and/or desktop computers, in areas such as pre-literacy and numeracy content, assessment and reporting, for use at home or in early childhood development settings.

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Best Reading/Writing/Literature Instructional Solution for Grades 9-12 & Higher Education

Recognizes the best instructional solution for reading, writing or literature curricula and content for students in the 9-12 or higher education market. Includes solutions for learners at all levels, through managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best Reading/Writing/Literature Instructional Solution for Grades PreK-8

Recognizes the best instructional solution for reading, writing or literature curricula and content for students in the PK-8 market. Includes solutions for learners at all levels, through managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best Science Instructional Solution for Grades 9-12 and Higher Education

Recognizes the best instructional product that offers science curriculum and content for students in grades 9-12 or higher education market. It includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for all student learners so they can learn and apply science concepts and methods. The solution provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice. This category includes all science content areas including but not limited to biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc.

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Best Science Instructional Solution for Grades PreK-8

Recognizes the best instructional product that offers science curriculum and content for students in grades PreK-8. It includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for all student learners so they can learn and apply science concepts and methods. The solution provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice. This category includes all science content areas and interdisciplinary science courses.

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Best Social Sciences or Social Studies Instructional Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for social sciences / social studies curricula and content for students in the PK- 12 or higher education markets. Includes history, geography, government/political science, economics, etc. via managed classroom/course-based instruction, online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment, and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best STEM Instructional Solution for Grades 9-12 and Higher Education

Recognizes the best instructional solution for science, technology, engineering and math curricula and content for students in the 9-12 or higher education market. Includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best STEM Instructional Solution for Grades PK-8

Recognizes the best instructional solution for science, technology, engineering and math curricula and content for students in the PK-8 or higher education market. Includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

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Best Tool for Student Creation or Expression

Recognizes the service or platform with which students create their own animations, videos, interactive stories, art, and/or games. The best tool allows students to demonstrate understanding and critical and imaginative thinking and can be shared easily with audiences (teacher, class, beyond as appropriate). The process of creating will help the student process and apply their own knowledge through original works.

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Best Data Solution

Recognizes the best software or digital service that’s primary purpose is the application of data analytics to improve PK-12 or higher education teaching, learning, retention, and/ or growth strategies, and decision-making within an educational or training environment.

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Best Formative Student Assessment Solution

Recognizes the best formative student assessment solution that identifies a student’s learning gaps and learning standard they have not yet achieved throughout a class or course, and assesses how to close those gaps to improve student achievement. This category is available for PK-12 or higher education solutions.

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Best Higher Education Learning Management Solution (LMS)

Recognizes the best digital learning platform designed for students in college (graduate and undergraduate) and trade/professional school learning environments. These online learning platforms allow educators and administrators to develop, design, and manage course content, allow students to access and interact with content and provide data management and reporting tools. Platforms should support a wide range of pedagogical applications, including blended learning, fully online learning, and flipped classrooms.

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Best K-12 Learning Management Solution (LMS)

Recognizes the best digital learning platform designed for the K-12 market. These online learning platforms allow educators and administrators to develop, design, and manage course content, allow students to access and interact with content and provide data management and reporting tools. Platforms should support a wide range of pedagogical applications, including blended learning, fully online learning, personalized learning, and flipped classrooms.

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Best Summative Student Assessment Solution

Recognizes the best summative student assessment solution that evaluates student learning, knowledge, proficiency, or success at the conclusion of an instructional period to measure student and instructional success. This category is available for PK-12 or higher education solutions.

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Best College & Career Readiness Solution

Recognizes the best digital product or service that develops 21st Century workforce skills and knowledge for students. Includes applications that help close the gap between a learner's current interest and skills and the needs and expectations in the workplace.

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Best Cross-Curricular Solution

Recognizes the best software tool for students, educators or administrators that can be used in multiple curriculum areas in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes productivity and creativity solutions that support learning across different courses or subject areas, such as document creation, graphic design, problem solving or web development.

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Best Emerging Instructional Technology Solution

Recognizes a new and innovative preK-20 technology solution that is used to solve an instructional problem. It can change how students learn, increase their interest in learning or could open new delivery channels for instruction. All nominated products in this category must be less than three years old.

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Best Instructional Solution in Non-Core Areas

Recognizes the best application focusing on non-core curriculum areas for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. These areas include art, music, health, technology, engineering, vocational/career planning, or multidisciplinary topics. Instructional solutions for computer science should nominate in the Best Coding & Computational Thinking Solution category.

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Best Learning Capacity-Building Solution

Recognizes the best tool for learners in PK-12 or higher education markets that can be used to increase attention, responsibility, independence and engagement in their learning tasks. Includes Social emotional learning, digital tools that use up-to-date research in learning sciences to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the learner’s skills, interest and time on task by optimizing engagement and supporting personalized instruction.

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Best Education Cloud-Based Solution

Recognizes the best cloud-based solution that is available 24/7 to educational users regardless of location, is multi- platform and provides ubiquitous access to faculty, administration and students. Provides all applications and files for anywhere, anytime availability with an Internet connection, using devices at home or at school, from desktops to laptops to tablet or smartphones.

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Best Educational App

Recognizes the best curriculum or administrative native app, designed for the preK-20 market, that is delivered via smartphones or tablets.

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Best Social Learning Platform for Students

Recognizes platforms that enable learning in a social setting – learning with and from others. The students are driving the learning experience in an informal way, within a formal structure of learning or in a grass-roots way. In a secure and trusted network, these platforms allow students to collaborate, informally and formally, in a synchronous or asynchronous fashion. These platforms allow students to live chat, possess a social stream, create groups and teams, provide an expert area, enable a social Q&A, and allow for surveys.

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Best Use of Emerging Technology for Learning in Education

These solutions offer promising technologies within education for use in learning and instruction. These can include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), or augmented reality (AR), amongst others. These technologies are not-yet fully understood or researched and have promising potential for the classroom. These products are grounded in the latest learning sciences, solving learning challenges utilizing emerging technology.

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Best Collaborative Community Solution for Educators

Recognizes the online solution designed to provide social learning, collaborative and community support for PK-12 or higher education faculty and administration. Includes tools for communication, professional learning experiences, resource centers, collaboration and planning tools and other interactive, social media solutions between and among faculty, staff, administration, and community.

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Best Professional Learning Solution for Faculty & Administrative Staff

Recognizes the best educational application or service designed to support PK-12 or higher education institutions and the educational needs/ professional development of faculty and administrative staff. Includes stand-alone or programs packaged with other products and delivered through an online application, streaming video or other means.

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