Tags: #MusicHack, #STEMEverywhere, @PhillyJazzApp, civic apps, civic hacker, Civic Tech, hackathon, Innovation, Knight Foundation, Random Hacks of Kindness, Social Media, Technology, voter ID, Voter Participation, voting rights
Tag Archives: Random Hacks of Kindness
What’s Going On is a mobile web app that curates information about after-school and summer programs in Philadelphia.
While there are a number of databases that aggregate information about out-of-school-time programs, the information is not current. Parents and students are frustrated in their efforts to find safe, productive activities. The demand for academic enrichment programs will increase in the wake of the “doomsday” budget approved by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.
In addition to the school budget crisis, Philadelphia’s digital divide is a chasm. Nearly half of Philly households do not have access to the Internet. So, many parents and students will search for safe and productive out-of-school-time activities at the public library or Keyspot public computer center. While Internet access is free, there is a time limit. Philadelphians on the wrong side of the digital divide are not free to sit there as long as it takes to find a program.
What’s Going On is at the intersection of technology, education and civic engagement. Program providers, parents and community members are invited to submit a program. The information is verified before the program is added to Wikidelphia, Philly’s local wiki.
In recognition of our efforts to promote civic engagement, the What’s Going On team has been invited to the White House to participate in the Champions of Change event which will highlight “extraordinary leaders in transformative civic hacking and civic engagement.”
The invitation reads:
On July 23, White House officials will participate in a discussion with these Champions to learn more about extraordinary individuals who are taking innovative approaches to engage citizens and communities in the practice of open government, civic participation, and civic hacking.
As a longtime champion of civic engagement, it’s an honor to be included in the mix.
Last weekend was the National Day of Civic Hacking, a two-day event that brought together technologists and subject matter experts “to create tools that make our city better.” I participated in the hackathon organized by TechnicallyPhilly.com and the City of Philadelphia at Drexel’s ExCITe Center.
I worked on a Code for Philly project with Chris Alfano and Jim Connor. We addressed the problem of the lack of a central source for information about after school and summer programs. There are a number of databases that compile information about out-of-school-time (OST) programs, but the information is not current. The demand for such programs will increase in the wake of the “doomsday” school budget recently approved by the School Reform Commission.
There’s no money and in nearly half of Philly households, no Internet access. So many parents and students will try to find out what’s going on at the library or Keyspot public computer center. While Internet access is free, users are not free to sit there as long as it takes to find a suitable program.
So we built a mobile web app that empowers parents and students to quickly access current information about after school and summer programs.
Users are able to search for programs by grade level, season (summer or year-round) and subject. What’s Going On is at the intersection of technology, education and civic engagement. The public is invited to submit a program. We will verify the information before adding the program to our community wiki, Wikidelphia.
An asset map of OST programs in Philadelphia, What’s Going On won first place. The project can serve as a national model for how developers, advocates, parents and community members can collaborate to expand access to programs that promote year-round learning and engagement.
I’ve now participated in nine hackathons. Random Hacks of Kindness will always be first in my heart. So I had some pep in my step as I walked to Drexel University’s brand new ExCITe Center for #RHoKPhilly.
I didn’t pitch a project.
We addressed the problem of limited access to healthy food, which is a contributing factor to the obesity crisis.
And developed a solution: Philly ForagR, a location-based app that promotes healthy living and well-being.
Users can enter their address to find the location of supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers markets, etc., that sell healthy foods. They will be provided with public transit and walking directions. The walking directions will include the location of historic markers, murals and other points of interest along the way.
With a few clicks, users will have access to healthy recipes that they can whip up with the food they purchased.
Philly ForagR placed third at #RHoKPhilly. The app is live so you can test it for yourself.
For updated information, follow us on Twitter: @PhillyForagr.