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Developers gathered at hack/reduce for the kickoff event of the Mass EduData Challenge.

Developers gathered at hack/reduce for the kickoff event of the Mass EduData Challenge.

The Mass EduData Challenge, an education-centered civic data challenge, just completed its third week.

Since the May 28th launch at Cambridge hacker space, hack/reduce the challenge has seen a steady increase in participants. The goal of the challenge participants is to enhance educational tools and outcomes by leveraging public data sets from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). To get involved, visit the official event site.

The Mass EduData Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to create valuable resources which enhance education in the Commonwealth and be recognized for their contributions. Enrollment in the competition is open, allowing new participants to join an existing team, start their own team, or participate individually.

If you are looking to get involved, there’s plenty of time to check-out the details and start exploring the data – see below for a description and links to start your own project or connect with a team!

 

Submission Deadline and Awards Date Extended

We want to be considerate of your July 4th holiday, so we’re shifting out the final dates for the deadline for submissions and the final awards ceremony by a week:

Original dates: Submission deadline – June 30th, Awards Ceremony – July 8th
New dates:  Submission deadline – July 8th, Awards Ceremony – July 15th      

 

Enhanced Version of the Mass EduData Now Available

Two of our challenge participants, Chris Buck and David Lago, have made a great play for the “Collaborative Data Award”- they’ve aggregated the DESE data under a common data structure (JSON), hosted in a MongoDB database, and made the their work available for use by everyone involved with the challenge! Check out their work on github and test drive their API at MassEduInfo. Once finished, the site will allow individuals to search for information on schools in Massachusetts, compare two schools, and visualize data about the institutions. The target audience for this application is parents of school-age children who are relocating or seeking information about their child’s school.

 

Companion Hackpad Launched

Some of you were looking for a better way to connect, share ideas, and collaborate – we’ve responded with the Mass EduData Challenge Hackpad. Feel free to connect, post thoughts, questions, requests, or review the companion project hackpads that others have created.

 

Call to All Participants – Please Register Your PROJECT at the HackerLeague Site

If you’ve been working since the launch or even if you are starting your “data spelunking” now, please make sure that both you and your project are registered at our official hackerleague site. Registering your project will provide you better access to help and additional ideas from the community, and improve our understanding of the projects in development. Stand up and be counted as working to improve understanding of Massachusetts education data!

Developers in the Mass EduData Challenge have worked on their projects in various tech venues such as hack/reduce, Greentown Labs, and Workbar; and have collaborated with civic-focused organizations, such as Code for Boston. Participants in the Mass EduData Challenge have found an innovative balance between competition and collaboration. Teams have provided the data sets they’ve compiled for their own projects to be used by other teams. This approach has increased the quality of projects by sharing valuable time-saving resources among each other.

Over the remainder of the Mass EduData challenge, participants will continue to develop, refine and ultimately launch their projects. Projects will be submitted on July 8th for official judging preceding an award ceremony on July 15th, at which winners will be announced. Winners will receive titles based on Best Use of Data, Most Visually Compelling, Crowd Favorite, and Collaborative Data Contribution. Developers are competing for cash prizes, Google Nexus Tablets, and the opportunity to discuss startup strategy and capital with HubSpot, Learn Launch and angel investors.

For additional updates and information on the Mass EduData challenge, visit the official event page. Join in the conversation on twitter using the #MassEduData tag, and follow @MassInnov8 for news on the challenge.

Massachusetts’ Government Innovation Officer (GIO), Antonio (“Tony”) Parham delivering opening remarks at hack/reduce during the kickoff event of the Mass EduData Challenge.

Massachusetts’ Government Innovation Officer (GIO), Antonio (“Tony”) Parham delivering opening remarks at hack/reduce during the kickoff event of the Mass EduData Challenge.

Written By:


Digital Communications Intern
Megan Schatzman manages digital communications for the Office of the Government Innovation Officer (OGIO). She is also a dual degree candidate for both Marketing and Information Systems at Suffolk University. Megan is passionate about innovation and the effective utilization of multiple digital media channels. She has 5 years of experience in strategic social media usage and is a recipient of the Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology.


Christopher Scranton is the Senior Manager for Big Data & Technology Initiatives at MassTech’s Innovation Institute and the project manager for the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative. Since 2006, he has supported and led technology-based, cluster-focused economic development initiatives in support of high-tech, emerging, and innovation-rich industries including big data, advanced manufacturing, nanotech, digital games, and clean energy.

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