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StartupWeekend:Education San Francisco

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a StartupWeekend event in San Francisco focused on education. This was an exciting proposition for me personally, as I'm a strong believer in the need for change in the education system. Quick Left also views education as a vital aspect of our company culture as we currently have 3 apprentices and are big proponents of being on point with our education procedures internally.

The Pitch

On Friday, as the pitches were happening, one in particular by Aman Ahuja caught my eye – a server back-end that runs an arbitrary number of game servers that can be used for teaching algorithm development. Students write player implementations in any language and then connect to the game servers to play each other. Statistics are collected from the gameplay that can be used to "grade" or otherwise rate the effectiveness of students' player adaptations.

The Idea

For the weekend, Aman and I decided to focus on creating the beginnings of a collaborative and competitive platform around the different bots, or player implementations, that students would have created to play games. By fostering students to compete in games and compare their code, we believe they would improve in a number of ways…

  • Better prepared for a collaborative work environment
  • Be familiar with giving and receiving feedback on their code
  • Well learned in logical and analytical problem solving methods
  • Become more familiar with the different languages that they implement their players in

That's A Wrap

Overall, the weekend was excellent and I got to work on an awesome and relevant project. The judges voted us in a tie for second place out of the participating groups ( see the press link below ) – not too shabby! We're really excited to continue working on the branding and pushing out the features developed over the weekend, and we hope that it turns in to a useful educational tool over time.

Check out some of our press!
http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/06/you-have-54-hours-quick-build-an-ed-tech-startup/

If you have any interest, get in touch! ryan at quickleft.com