Hackathon 2021 is over for this year - stay tuned for EdTech Hackathon 2022

Winning teams:
1st Prize : Team Sahayak (Idea brief: Facilitating hands-free learning experience with gaze detection for people with Parkinson's disease)

2nd Prize: Team RemoteBox (Idea brief: Remotely conducting lab experiments/collaborative activities/exams with the help of multiple low-cost robotic arms that are controlled by VR headset or mobile phones.)

3rd Prize: Team AsyncAwait (Idea brief: 'NoBook.learn' - make learning more interactive by continuously iterating through simplified versions of the same literature and evaluating along the way through interactive questions.)

These teams will be encouraged to take their ideas forward and refine them further with the help of various post-hackathon resources that will be shared with them.

For more details, refer to our brief report.
You can also access related talks by Educational Technology researchers and experts here.

India’s educational needs are undergoing massive shifts right now with a huge demand for high-quality educational technology (EdTech). Teaching and learning are not confined to classrooms anymore. The need of the hour is to think deeply about learning and how we can leverage emerging technology to support learning effectively. We need to consider what education researchers know about how people learn (Evoke), how we can design effective technology-enhanced solutions for our learners (Engineer), how do learners and EdTech solutions transform each other (Evolve), and how can we design solutions for everyone (Empower). Come and be part of a community of hackers who design innovative solutions to tackle the emerging needs of teachers, parents, and learners.

IIT Bombay's EdTech Hackathon is a 3-day online event. Participants from various disciplinary and vocational backgrounds are invited to form multi-disciplinary teams to design innovative technology-enhanced solutions that address the diverse educational challenges of our society.

Broad EdTech challenges

Participating teams will have to work on arriving at innovative way of using one or more state of the art technologies for addressing the educational challenges tied to the following themes:

Teams choosing to work on this theme will have to identify novel opportunities for supporting significant learning either at home or public settings or spaces such as museums, apartment complexes, public libraries, parks, gyms, bus or railway stations, shopping malls, hospitals, administrative buildings, etc. Once such opportunities are identified teams will have to conceptualize, design and demonstrate solution prototypes aimed at facilitating particular learning in their chosen contexts.

Teams choosing this theme will work towards identifying specific neglected or disadvantaged communities such as people with disabilities or learning difficulties, orphans, victims of human trafficking, transgenders, refugees, migrants, tribes, people of particular race, religion, caste, people in prison, people with terminal illness, people living in areas prone to natural disasters or labor in unorganized sectors and then to arrive at the solution prototypes aimed at addressing their unique learning needs.

Challenges under this theme will be on identifying significant ideological, linguistic, physical, biological, material or geographical barriers or obstacles to learning and then arriving at the solutions to narrow or weaken such barriers through novel approaches or designs.

  • Some examples of ideological barriers are:
    • Overcoming well established disciplinary boundaries to solve unique problems such as those lying at the interface of law and engineering or law and management, science, politics and engineering, politics and mathematics etc
    • Overcoming cultural or political barriers to diverse learning motivation such as person of male gender wanting to learning about child care or household management; a female person wanting to learning a skill or profession which is predominantly practiced by people of male gender; learning to play cricket or football in mixed gender teams; negotiating caste/religious or any other political groups/associations restricting its members to narrow learning opportunities; or addressing negative attitudes towards learning certain skills or knowledge.

  • Addressing linguistic barriers to learning between diverse communities or solutions tied to multilingual classrooms.

  • Some examples for geographical or physical barriers are:
    • Addressing the urban/rural gap in learning through learner centric MOOCs or any other productive online or offline education interventions or alternative school concepts or educational spaces.
    • Bringing lab to classroom or vice versa, bridging separation of workplace from training place like in vocational education.
    • Physical barriers to interdepartmental collaboration in universities, college clusters or any other large public or private organizations.

  • Under material barriers you may consider challenges such as remote access to specific lab equipment.

  • Addressing biological barriers such as age or illness to learning specific skills. For example how do you create opportunities for young children to learn hairdressing, cooking, clothing design or something like specialized knitting tools for one’s suffering from parkinson’s disease.

Challenges under this theme will involve identifying various sources of power and their complex interplay in societies. Proposed solutions should be targeted towards arriving at novel approaches to open up the opportunities for re-negotiating those powers. For example:

  • Training a poor individual in skills and tools needed for contesting and winning elections. This could further involve subgoals such as how to effectively plan and implement a political campaign.
  • Platforms that combine learning of financial literacy with peer to peer lending and credit rating using technologies such as blockchain.
  • Arriving at the design of an egalitarian social networking platform specifically to meet diverse learning needs.
  • Open platforms to turn research publication as a mutual learning exercise for peers, opportunities for iterative peer review, revision and updating of same publication to improve rigor, opportunities to review and cite versions of the publication.

Why these challenges?

Nature of edtech challenges identified for hackathon are intended to get us all to rethink our predominant conceptions about where learning should happen or not happen? Who are learners or not learners? Why do people learn or do not learn? What is worth learning or not learning? Or how do people learn or do not learn?. Our efforts in this direction will help achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone.

Who can participate?

  • This event is only for individuals currently residing in India.
  • Anyone passionate about improving the state of education is welcome to participate.
  • Participants can be of any vocational or disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Only teams or groups of individuals can register for the event.
  • Each team may have upto 3 to 4 individuals only. Not more or less.

Exciting prizes

1,00,000/- INR            60,000/- INR            40,000/- INR

Devfolio season partner prizes

Rs 10,000 for the best hack built on Ethereum, or
Rs 15,000 for the best hack built on Ethereum + Matic
Eligibility to apply for internship/full-time roles and seed funding of up to 5,000 USD for winners!

Rs 15,000 for best Dapp built on Portis

Rs 20,000 for best Dapp built on Tezos
Continuity Grant opportunity for exceptional builders

Why participate?

In addition to the exciting prize amounts, participation in the hackathon will be a valuable opportunity to
  • discover and gain confidence about your entrepreneurial potential.
  • attend a startup bootcamp conducted by Desai Sethi School of Entrepreneurship, IIT Bombay to learn about how to build a startup moving from an idea to a company.
  • be mentored by outstanding experts in the fields of education, design, technology and entrepreneurship.
  • expand your horizon by being witness to how different state of the art technologies are being employed to solve important social and educational challenges.
  • learn, unlearn and transform yourself and others by reflecting upon the everyday experiences in our society.

Important dates

Applications open: 1 February 2021
Applications close: 28 February 2021
Selection results: 7 March 2021
RSVP within: 10 March 2021
Hackathon begins: 13 March 2021
Hackathon ends: 15 March 2021

Key deliverables

  • Teams should arrive at an innovative way of using one or more state of the art technologies to address the challenge falling under their chosen theme. However access to these technologies will not be provided by the hackathon organizers. So teams can use free or limited access to these technologies or simulation platforms for showing how their solution might work with specific technology.
  • Teams should submit the document or video communicating the specific challenge being addressed with details such as problem statement, nature of target population or stakeholders, complexity or constraints surrounding the challenge, problems with existing solutions and their proposed solution.
  • Submit solution prototype or proof of concept demonstrating its novelty, capabilities and appropriateness.
  • Presentation summarizing the challenge, solution and the underlying rationale followed by the Q&A with expert judges

What technologies can be used?

Teams can make use of any of the following technologies, to which they have access to: Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Haptics, 3D Printing, Lego Mindstorms, IoT kits, PoV, Body Cameras, Blockchain technology, 360 degree cameras, Kinect, Wearables, GIS, Physiological sensors, Game Engines, Robotics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Interactive table tops etc. However please note that this list of technologies is not exhaustive. So teams are free to choose appropriate technologies that meet their needs.

Suggestions for team formation

Note that the broad EdTech challenges are of interdisciplinary nature and each team’s solution will be judged by an expert group with members of different disciplinary and vocational backgrounds. Hence try choosing your team members with varied expertise.

An ideal team would have one member well versed with certain technology, one member of arts or humanities background, one person with expertise in education and one person from science, engineering or mathematics background.

Each team may have upto 3 to 4 individuals only. Not more or less.

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