ADvTECH and Microsoft partner to launch an edtech hackathon

August 30, 2020

Students from across South Africa, Botswana and Kenya will participate in the world’s first edtech hackathon

ADvTECH and Microsoft partner to launch an edtech hackathon

During the months of September and October, students from across Sub-Saharan Africa will participate in the world’s first edtech hackathon.  The event which is called HACK-IT is a collaboration between ADvTECH and Microsoft and the competition will take place virtually.  Students will have the opportunity to hack Microsoft products such as Teams and OneNote.

“ Students will work in a pre-set Teams and OneNote test environments and are challenged to test, troubleshoot and even break the products in any way they can, looking for behaviour that is either unintended in the software itself or features that can be manipulated for unintended use. This can be driven in any way our education partners see fit, either as a pre-planned objective or as a spontaneous ‘bug hunt…” Quinton Mulder, Academic Development Coordinator at ADvTECH

The activities will be organised into four separate steps:

  1. Hacking: Students will have to explore the software to discover bugs
  2. Assessment: Finding areas for improvement in terms of features
  3. Creation: Students should explore and develop new ideas
  4. Collaboration: This involves students working together

ADvTECH is Africa’s largest provider of private education.  It operates at all levels from nursery to third level education.  Popular brands within the group include Crawford Schools, Pinnacle Colleges and The Independent Institute of Education (IIE).

Through its participation in the project, Microsoft is demonstrating a commitment to helping students develop important skills which can be used in an ethical way.  It also provides a framework for Microsoft to develop its products.

“ The Hack-It programme is designed to help students become creators, not just consumers. By opening up our products to allow students to ethically hack, we are creating an ecosystem within our product portfolio that allows students to spend time exploring, understanding, reverse engineering and rebuilding our products in a way that makes sense to them, ultimately building critical skills for their future while allowing us to develop our products in direct alignment with their findings and ideas…” Stephen Reid, Senior Customer Engagement PM (EMEA), Microsoft

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