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Cool Schools: Student Teams' Social Media Site Picked Up By Microsoft | News

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Cool Schools: Student Teams' Social Media Site Picked Up By Microsoft

(WUSA) -- Teams from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia and at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland are connecting for the next big thing. They working on a project where social media and education collide.

Sean McElrath has found a way to take fear out of raising your hand in class. Ask your question in the "Hallway" instead.

McElrath is the co-creator of Hallway, a social media type site where you load in your class schedule and the site connect you with students in your school...and eventually, around the world.

"The name came from the idea that some really amazing profound learning comes from outside of the classroom, in the metaphorical hallway," explained McElrath.

You can post your question and get a slew of answers from other students who are taking the subject.

McElrath told us, "You can add an event to Thursday, November 8th and say, 'I have a test' and anybody else studying can see that.

McElrath, who is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, created the site with an alum of the school. The project had so much promise that Microsoft got interested and got a team from Springbrook High School in Maryland to develop the mobile app. The student project is really taking off.

"Every student has that kind of fear about asking that one question that seems so straight forward but you don't get it, and you don't want to be that one student that doesn't get it, and having an app like this that abolishes that fear is really welcoming," said Springbrook High School senior Ramsay Khadder.

Investors are really welcoming, too. McElrath is only 17 years old but he's already made sales pitches to venture capitalists and angle investors. How'd it turn out?

McElrath told us, "We walked in wanting 'x' dollars and came out oversubscribed with 10 times the amount we originally asked for so..."

So make sure you keep an eye out for Hallway because it will be available sometime early in the New Year. Microsoft is making a part of the launch with Windows 8.

If you have a cool school send an email my way at mhydeck@wusa9.com.


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