Saturday, March 16, 2013

Google Hackathon at Kean University 2013

Attended Hackathon, NJ 2013
Attended a Google Hackathon at Kean University with programmers and educators from different areas of the East Coast. The event brought together Google coders and educators work on projects that could educators would like resolved using the Google format. For weeks educators have posted in a Google doc what they would like to have done and then submitted it to the Hackathon organizers. They then went through the proposed projects and would send feedback regarding the different projects and whether it could have been done in the time allotted for the event. Through organizers such as Daniel Scibienski, Lisa Thumann, Dave Zirkle, Diane Potts, and others, the event was done in Kean Hall at Kean University. Several of my Professional Learning Network were present and it was great to see friends participating in the program. Interestingly enough many of the proposed projects were discussed first and then in break out sessions, the programmers began working on the projects. I attended a session with
Andrew Stillman and TeacherCast
Andrew Stillman where he spoke and demonstrated some of the scripting that could be done in Google. He mentioned one of the scripts he developed called Doctorpus. He talked about what the program did and how he was using it in his school in NY. He demonstrated that the use of scripting can customize many of the Google apps and docs that are used by everyday.  One great item was how he was able to insert his rubric within his assignment that he gave to his students. This was an awesome session.

Arun Nagarajan was assisting everyone with their projects and was very helpful in helping me begin to looking at the project that Bill Krakower and I submitted. Our project was to have Google Maps embedded into Google Hangout so that when lessons were done with students, they would know where everyone was located on a map. Arun understood what we were asking and mentioned it would require using a Google Hangout API. After he guided me in the setup, Bill and I were unable to finish but Arun will be assisting us in the future in completing this proposed project.
Andrew Carle

Then after lunch, Andrew Cantrell, had a session on basic scripting using Google Spreadsheet on doing a mail merge for addresses. From one of his own documents, he demonstrated how to do the coding for the project. He explained the different syntax within the script and how the different syntax affects the compiling of the program. Many of the teachers that were present had no programming experience but Andrew's presentation was very through and easy to understand.

At the end, all the projects were presented and winners were announced. The winners were given Google Nexus devices and some won Google Bags. Great time had by all. This was a great way to spend a Saturday learning new things.