Among the winning ideas of the "EdTech Hack 2023" educational hackathon were both collaborative learning and solutions supporting language education

Over the weekend, a total of 35 teams and 200 participants from 45 countries around the world took part in the international education hackathon organized by Tallinn University, EdTech Estonia, and Startup Estonia, both on-site at Tallinn University and online. Nearly half of the teams consisted of members from more than one nationality.

EdTech Hack 2023

According to the event's main organizer, Janika Leoste, Senior Researcher in Educational Robotics at Tallinn University, the hackathon provided an opportunity for innovative and exciting ideas in education. The solutions presented focused mainly on personalized learning and implementing comprehensive educational changes through digital learning.

"For supporting the transition to Estonian-language education, several international students offered ingenious ideas to facilitate rapid integration into society, such as understanding the meaning of the word 'kohuke.' Most teams developed digital solutions addressing educational challenges, with high expectations placed on artificial intelligence," Janika Leoste introduced the hackathon ideas.

Tiia Õun, the Director of the School of Educational Sciences of Tallinn University, emphasized the special value of the hackathon in seeking solutions to real challenges in education, such as ensuring the quality of educational institution management, learner-centered flexible and workplace-based learning opportunities, and visualizing learning.

"Such a collaborative format, where people of different ages and levels of learning and work experience can come together, definitely supports collaborative learning," confirmed Tiia Õun.

A crucial and challenging role in the success of the entire event was played by the support network consisting of volunteer mentors who offered assistance to teams in testing and experimenting with their ideas throughout the weekend. The teams included teachers, university professors, students, parents, education technology startups, and journalists. The youngest presenters in the hackathon elevator pitches were ten years old, while the oldest had surpassed the age of 75.

The solutions judged by the jury to be the winners were those that demonstrated a balance of quality, relevance, originality, applicability, sustainability, and expandability. Additionally, the overall teamwork and how the team progressed with their idea with the support of mentors over three days were also evaluated.

In total, 14 teams were recognized for their monetary and non-monetary ideas: Digiabi, KOIT, Edmap, Estonian Odyssey: Learning through narrative-based game, Transful, Stories about Baltics, Siftlab, Claar Education, Õpivaim, KaiMeRa, AI Tools for Teachers in Estonia, Vestlur, Inu, MyZone.

The goal of the education hackathon was to collaboratively develop and test innovative ideas within 48 hours that improve the accessibility of education or provide solutions to existing problems. Elevator pitches from the hackathon can be viewed on Tallinn University's YouTube channel.

The hackathon was organized by the School of Educational Sciences of Tallinn University in collaboration with EdTech Estonia and Startup Estonia. Awards for the best solutions were provided by Tallinn University, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Ülemiste City, Lae End, Praktikal, Tallinn Education Department, Tallinn International School, TalTech, Telia, Selver, Bonolab, and others.

Photo gallery of the event