HACKtivate ED Aims to Connect Educators and Techies

HACKtivate THIS! Silicon Valley is thick with hackathons. Each has its own flavor, though. Some try to focus developers' attentions on problems; others, such as Startup Weekends, give participants a taste of the startup life. On June 14 through 16, the San Francisco area will host HACKtivate ED, an event designed from the start at pulling educators and schools into the design-development process.

For starters, the event has been organized by four Fellows from Education Pioneers, an Oakland-based leadership program for education leaders, managers and analysts. The hackers will get to work with an education partner: Activate ED, Aspire Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District, and San Francisco Unified School District, which have designated "office hours" during the development process. (Notice those "partners" include districts, too--probably one of the most challenging partners a startup can hope to have.)

Says HACKtivate ED organizer, Chian Gong: "Through HACKtivate ED, developers, designers, and data analysts will be exposed to real, immediate challenges in education and have access to some of the leaders at each of our education partners to help them vet their ideas and better understand their end users. For our education partners, the event will yield lots of great ideas and spark new ways in which technology can be leveraged by our education partners."

Relationships. New tools. Experts--both in technology and education. What more could you ask?

"While we don’t expect the perfect product to be developed in this short time span, we do believe that HACKtivate ED will provide a new perspective on the problem and build awareness of what technology can really do for education," says Gong. The other coordinators include: Han Hong, Roxanne Phen and Thu Cung.

And yep, expect a happy hour. Details are here. If you want to skip straight to registration, head here. Don't panic if the event looks like it's "Sold out!" The organizers tell us that they truly do have at least 40 spots available. Just tell them why you should come here.

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