CIT Connect Partners with Virginia Department of Education on Apps4VA Competition

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Apps4VA challenges the public to develop applications using public data to improve education.

CIT

Center for Innovative Technology

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) jointly announced a software application development program known as “Apps4VA.” The program stems from a federal grant to create a Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) to provide educators and policymakers aggregate data on Virginia public school students’ progress toward college and career readiness. The Apps4VA program will encourage the development of new and innovative applications (apps) to improve education using VLDS data.

In recent years, the availability of vast information technology resources and the proliferation of social media outlets have produced a culture of mass collaboration, resulting in the availability of novel technologies. Many organizations, both in the public and private sectors, have turned to the public for ideas on how their data might be used and for the development of new applications to analyze them. One vehicle being used to accomplish these goals is a competition that encourages the design of apps that converts data into useful formats.

CIT President and CEO Pete Jobse said, “Apps4VA is an innovative way to engage the citizens of the Commonwealth and beyond, using publicly available datasets to create revolutionary software that will provide a unique social value proposition for Virginia. CIT supports this initiative and is eager to join with members of the community to nurture the growth of such valuable technology.”

The Apps4VA mission includes encouraging the design of applications that will convert the educational data into meaningful or useful formats and a unique program to provide high school students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning to a real-world solution.

Apps4VA will sponsor two competitions and an applications development event. In partnership with Startup Weekend, Apps4VA will sponsor a 54-hour long event in June 2012 where teachers, developers, designers and others will come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. The focus of this weekend event will be to generate applications and ideas related to K-12 education data.

Beginning in late summer 2012, Apps4VA will conduct two open competitions – one for the general public and one for Virginia public high school students. The Apps4VA Open Competition will ask participants to build a software application using the VLDS data. The Apps4VA High School Competition will ask high school students to outline an application that would use VLDS data in a presentation. All competitors may apply other publicly available data sets to create their apps. Stakeholders will gain numerous benefits through the creativity and ingenuity of the community; while participants will have an opportunity to capitalize on the success of the apps they have developed with cash prizes, public recognition and exposure to the venture capital community.

“The Virginia Longitudinal Data System provides educators and policy makers with information that is critical to the development of sound policies and effective instruction,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “I am excited about the potential of the Apps4VA program to broaden access to data in the system through the development of applications that meet the needs of the entire spectrum of data users, including educators, parents and researchers.”

To learn more about the Apps4VA program, please visit http://www.apps4va.org.

About the Center for Innovative Technology, http://www.cit.org
CIT is a nonprofit corporation that accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies. CIT creates new technology companies through capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT is now listed on the GSA MOBIS Schedule, Special Item Numbers (SINs) SIN 874-1 for Consulting Services and SIN 894-2 for Facilitation Services. Its CAGE Code is 1UP71.

About CIT Connect, http://www.cit.org/programs/cit-connect
Recognizing a need in the marketplace, CIT Connect was established to help federal, state, and corporate consumers of technology identify and assimilate innovation. The CIT Connect service line delivers unique and innovative value-add solutions enabling technology consumption, adoption, and integration into organizations. CIT Connect’s experts work with organizations to assess the spectrum of inputs into the development and implementation process, including stakeholders, corporate culture and policies, technology, and market environment.

About the Virginia Department of Education, http://www.doe.virginia.gov
The Virginia Department of Education provides support and guidance to the commonwealth’s 132 public school divisions which, combined, educate approximately 1.2 million PK-12 students. The department administers regulations promulgated by the state Board of Education and supports the board in carrying out its responsibilities under state and federal education law.

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