On October 19-21, Garage48 and foundation Innove held an international hackathon named Edutech. The objective was to develop new educational technology solutions.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela once. Our hackathon was kicked-off on Friday evening with this quote presented by our co-hosts Kai Isand and Joao Rei, underlining the importance of every single idea to create an impact on our biggest and longest journey in life: education!
Let’s start from the beginning and explain how come education became a key topic for a hackathon. Think of a car from 150 years ago – or should we say a horse carriage? How about the phones back in 19th century? Think of the fancy smartphone you are holding right now and imagine those museum-like phones from old times. The modern transformation in education, however, hasn’t been that impressive. Many kids today are certainly more exposed to digital engagement in learning processes, but we are still lacking personalised and engaging approaches in many disciplines of education.
Our participants came up with many disruptive ideas and their suggested solutions were truly remarkable. So many innovative and practical solutions were discussed to be applied to the field of education in the most effective ways by our multinational and inter-disciplined attendees. We had more than 100 participants from 14 different nationalities, including Latvia, Belarus, Turkey, Estonia, Moldova, Morocco, Ukraine, India and South Africa. 31 ideas were pitched and 17 of these found teams. 10 ideas were pitched by students aged 12-18! This was the first time in the history of Garage48 that next to professionals also mid- and high school students were involved in a hackathon. They didn’t only pitch brilliant ideas but also took part as participants to provide real-life insights, beside competing with their various skills.
“We initiated this hackathon to trigger and observe the real impact by bringing people from different ages and backgrounds together. The aim is to enable education to become something more personal – customised, so to say – through both psychological and technological mediums,“ stated Birgit Lao, CEO of Innove. “We heard 31 ideas with a potential of tremendous change and are very proud to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves.”
“It was truly amazing to witness so many young students coming all the way to Estonia from different countries just to make their voices heard and make a real difference in the system – meaning in their actual lives and futures,” added our co-host Joao Rei passionately.
While some participants came prepared with detailed market research and/or certain materials to support their ideas (e.g. a bag full of Legos), some came with ready solutions (e.g. ready VR tools, an interactive button, etc.) looking for problems for an ideal match. Eventually a great balance was set among different age groups and diverse skill-sets in order to provide the best results within 48 hours.
After seeing 17 teams presenting their brilliant prototypes at the final event, the jury had to make a decision and choose the winners. As our host Joao Rei stated, everyone involved were real winners as they came together and dedicated their weekends on something very important for all people. Yet, the strongest teams had to be recognized. The overall winner was Feed Bee – a tool that helps students rate how well they understood their lessons and provide the reasons, as the essential part of education is direct feedback and collaboration.
“It was very humbling to work and brainstorm with different age groups as equals – and the best part was that these 2 young minds were the ones who found the best ideas and we just implemented them!” said team leader Indrek Stern. “All the hardwork was worth it,” added young participants Marta (12yo) and Vera (11yo) with tears of happiness in their eyes.
See all the ideas presented at our hackathon HERE!