The mission of EduHackathon is to bring Philadelphia’s hackers together with educators and students at nationally-leading School 2.0 Science Leadership Academy to build useful apps and hacks that could be put to real use in the Philadelphia public school next-day.
On the weekend of May 11–13, we’re teaming up with the Science Leadership Academy, a Philadelphia public high school, to hold an on-location hackathon dedicated to education. SLA is an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement. Founded in 2006 through a partnership between the The Franklin Institute and the School District of Philadelphia, SLA has since received an array of recognitions, including a profile and video tour by Apple.
Every student and teacher at SLA receives a MacBook instead of textbooks, projects instead of tests, and an account on Slate (www.slate.is), the open-source platform for School 2.0 built at SLA in collaboration with local development shop Jarv.us Innovations (www.jarv.us). Slate provides both the central internal database for the school and the community's public-facing publishing at www.scienceleadership.org. By synchronizing with and providing single-sign to the free Google Apps for Education service and open-source Moodle LMS (www.moodle.org), Slate aims to provide a seamless and cost-free starting point for any school going 2.0.
At the SLA EduHackathon, developers will have access to an online demo copy of Slate, as well as its documentation and developers, to (optionally) build your apps against its RESTful JSON API. You can also set up your own copy of Slate to hack it directly, or not touch Slate at all—the choice is yours. Staff and students of the school and district will be present to participate with ideas and a passion for improving their school. The best projects will built by teams that best combine development skill with perspective from the classroom. Projects that integrate with Slate or Google Apps could even be put to immediate real-world use at SLA.
If you are an educator or a member of an organization that works closely with our schools - there is a very important role for you too! Your direct insight into the inner workings of the school environment is one of our greatest resources. What systems or applications would be useful to you and your school? Where do the gaps exist in processes that if used at full potential, could better enhance the student and administrator experiences? The goal of the Education Hackathon is deconstruct these questions using open-source solutions and innovation from developers.
Ticket and sponsorship money will go first to providing food, water, and caffeine for attendees all weekend; all remaining funds will be split evenly between cash prizes for the winning team(s) and a donation to our host, the Science Leadership Academy.
Friday May 11th
6:30pm - 8:30pm | Pre-hacking pizza and brainstorming session
Participants will break into small groups to discuss and document ideas for apps and systems that could serve the classroom or school. Project proposals will be written live into a globally-shared Google doc and then groups will have the chance to present their proposals to the crowd for further discussion. Discussions can continue via comment streams within the doc and participants should sign their names under one or more projects they'd like to help build.
8:30pm - 10:00pm | Free time
The space is kept open for anyone wishing to continue discussion or get started hacking/designing.
Saturday May 12th
10:00am - 11:00am | Coffee and breakfast
11:00am - 12:00am | Opening remarks and SLATE tour
Science Leadership Academy founding principal Chris Lehmann welcomes attendees and Brigitte Daniel, VP of Philly’s Wilco Electronic Systems, speaks about bridging the digital divide in Philadelphia. Then SLA sysadmin and SLATE lead-developer Chris Alfano demonstrates how you can spawn your own copy of SLATE and use its API.
12:00pm - 11:30pm | Let the hacking begin!
Developers and designers get to work concepting or building a working prototype of their app, hopefully joined by an educator or student who can guide and validate their designs.
Sunday May 13th
10:00am - 2:00pm | Finish hacking and prepare demos
Teams conclude work on their concept or prototype for the weekend and prepare to present it.
2:00pm - 4:00pm | Demos and closing remarks
Teams present their work, judges deliberate, and prizes/honors are announced for favorite projects under a number of categories.