The weekend event brought together technologists, teachers and educators to define problems and challenges facing those on the front lines in Baltimore’s schools.
The event highlighted issues that can be addressed through the creative use of technology, and was the catalyst for the formation of teams to build technology-based solutions.
Turnout at the event was fantastic, with more than 60 educators and hackers attending on Saturday to define problems and begin working on solutions. The turnout on the second day of the event, to see the product demos and to watch as winners were selected, was even heavier.
The event had tremendous support from the local technology community. A local company that has generated lots of attention recently – Battlefield Telecommunications Systems (BTS) – provided WiMAX for the event. The local education community also provided strong support, most notably the staff at Digital Harbor High itself who kindly provided space for the entire weekend.
There was an all star panel of judges on hand to select a winner which included a teacher, a school principle and members of the local VC community.
First prize went to an iPad application called (fittingly, given the venue) “Harbor” that helps teachers direct students to specific web resources.
One of the top selections was a Tropo-powered application called ParentConnect that helps teachers schedule conferences with parents using the telephone – this app was a big hit with the teachers in attendance at the event.
Expect to see more of this project – and all of the other great apps built at this event – in the future.