During the last week of July Microsoft employees around the world participated in our //oneweek Hackathon, where teams create projects with technology to solve small and big problems. Some of the ideas are just fun things that go nowhere, and others end up being built into products that you then end up using. It’s volunteering at its best because people get to forget their day job for a week, and do something they are truly passionate about. And many of the teams go all out – working for weeks in advance of the Hackathon, and then virtually living with their Hackathon team for the week whilst they code, test, sleep and eat pizza. Some teams, like the OneNote for Learning team, actually got started weeks before the Hackathon, but worked in different countries. For the //OneWeek Hackathon, the OneNote for Learning team all then came together in Seattle.
From 3,300 projects, built by 13,000 hackers, one team gets crowned champions of Microsoft Hackathon 2015.
This year’s winners were a project team that created OneNote for Learning, an extension to OneNote to help students succeed in reading and writing, and to support every student, including those with learning disabilities like dyslexia, or language barriers. What they produced – with the help of coders, education researchers and designers – will very quickly be turned into a complete product and be rolled out to pilot schools this year.
You can read the story about OneNote for Learning here – and if you want to keep up to date with their progress, and how you can get your hands on it (or lobby to pilot it too!) then maybe connect with Mike Tholfsen on Twitter – he’s the guy in the purple OneNote t-shirt in the middle of the photo.