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DigiEduHack 2021

Published on November 10, 2021
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On the 9-10 November 2021, The Digital Education Hackathon (DigiEduHack) gives the opportunity for citizens and netizens to change the future of digital education, and co-create a more sustainable world.

Free, open to all and inclusive, DigiEduHack is a series of hackathons on digital education taking place simultaneously in Europe and beyond. Kicking off today for its third edition, DigiEduHack gathers this year 2058 registered participants who will contribute to solving 51 very diverse challenges, such as “creating new tools to improve the digital learning experience”, “how can digital education accelerate the circular economy?”, “making digital education accessible to all in Pakistan” or “how to make digital education fair and sustainable?”.  

The originality of DigiEduHack resides in two very unique features:
In DigiEduHack, each proposed challenge is crafted and owned by a local host: this allows community-level issues to gain global visibility while creating an opportunity for teams from Europe and beyond to solve very local challenges.
There is no prerequisite to taking part in DigiEduHack. Anyone can join, from anywhere in the world: DigiEduHack is open to coders and non-coders, to experienced participants and beginners. For the 2021 edition, the youngest DigiEduHackers are 5 years old, from a nursery class of the European Schools in Brussels. Their challenge? “How to reduce the use of paper in nursery classes all around Europe?”.

“Over its three years of existence, DigiEduHack has proved itself as a symbol of cross-sectorial cooperation and innovation in digital education, attracting hosts and participants from Europe and beyond. The movement gathers a community of innovators and inventors, dreamers and doers, changers and enablers, all united to create a tangible impact with digital education solutions for a more sustainable world. DigiEduHack brings the voice of the community, supporting us in achieving the vision of the Digital Education Action Plan: high-quality, inclusive and innovative digital education”, explains Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. “I am very proud of the openness and inclusivity of DigiEduHack. Year after year, we have seen more and more women, girls and members of underrepresented communities taking part both as hosts and as participants. This means a lot for the future of education in Europe”, she adds.  

Will the 2021 edition of DigiEduHack hold on to its promises? Ida Andersson, the DigiEduHack project manager from Aalto University has no doubts. “This edition will be fantastic : our hosts are super motivated, we have incredible challenges, and participants are eager to join!”, she assesses.

For the hosts, taking part in DigiEduHack is a way to contribute to solving collective challenges, and change the world. “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”, muses Vanessa Dubois, the nursery class teacher whose very young students are joining a hackathon for the first time. “We are ready, and we know the stakes. Through DigiEduHack, my 5 years old feel empowered: their solution can contribute to making the world a better place”, she adds.  

Once their challenge is done, each local host chooses a winning solution using a standardised evaluation canvas. All local wining solutions are then submitted to the DigiEduHack steering group, which chooses 10-12 finalists which are in turn uploaded to the United Nation’s “Unite Ideas” platform for public voting. The three solutions with the most votes are declared DigiEduHack Global Award winners. The teams are awarded 5000€ each and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel nominates their members “DigiEduHack Global Ambassadors” during a high-level ceremony in 2022.

The Main Stage event is crowning this series of hackathons: it takes place as an opening and a closing ceremony for all the DigiEduHack events worldwide, as well as a high-level event on digital education featuring inspirational speakers, experts and key policymakers. This year the main stage event pays special focus to sustainability in digital education and artificial intelligence. DigiEduHack is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University, Finland. This year the main stage event hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in cooperation with the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO.

The list of published challenges can be found here https://digieduhack.com/en/digieduhack-events-challenges-2021

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