• Udisha Shrivastav

NEXT Eduthon: A Hackathon for Reimagining Education and Redesigning Teaching-Learning Process


In the time when the health crisis has surfaced all over the world and are hounding all of us individually, the education sector is also battling unforeseen circumstances. To keep the exchange of knowledge running, online education has burgeoned as a new and reliable alternative.



Setting the NEXT Eduthon program in motion


Taking note of the possible fate of education, in the early months of 2020, MakeShift kicked off its series of Education Dialogues. The idea of this series is to delve into a holistic discussion about the education system and its changing patterns. Here on, after a successful response on its first series, the MakeShift team visioned the idea of NEXT Eduthon, a program that can be conveniently referred to as a product of Education Dialogues.


The agenda of the program was to help participants strongly magnetize and strengthen their interests towards education and innovation by providing them the expedient mentor assistance and a trust-worthy platform.



Mentors, Speakers, and Partner Organizations


The program witnessed a diversity of speakers and mentors from varying backgrounds. This heterogeneity helped to guide the sessions with different perspectives, experiences, angles, and opinions. In short, the mentoring team consisted of human rights lawyers, Ph.D. scholars, entrepreneurs, industrial designers, teachers, research consultants, curriculum designers, community experts, policy experts, founders and chairpersons, and other education enthusiasts. Vivek Bagh, Former President, IAPT Regional Council, Ritumbra Manuvie, Lecturer, University of Groningen, Pranay Wankhede, CEO, The Stage to name a few.


Besides, the range and variety of partner organizations such as

ThinkSharp Foundation, Eklavya, EdM8ker, TISS E-Cell, Aarohi Life Education, etc. also emitted versatility. These organizations were associated as NGO partners, community partners, knowledge partners, incubation partners, and implementation partners.



Themes of NEXT Eduthon


During the program, participants were required to submit their problem-solving ideas based on the following themes:


  • Technology for Making Education Accessible:


This theme gave a dais to the ideas that aimed to reach remote, rural, and urban low-income group areas to provide platforms, tools, or broadcasting technologies for Remote Teaching, Learning, and Assessments.


  • Reimagining Curriculum & Pedagogy:


This theme talked about how one can redesign the Curriculum and Pedagogy for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Self-learning, Skill-baseNEXT Eduthon: A Hackathon for Reimagining Education and Redesigning Teaching-Learning Processd education, Life-skills, Value education, Practical education, and Real-world Problem Solving.


  • Education for Development:


Education is the key to the development of the nation, individual, and socio-economic development. Thus, this theme focuses on skills, training, infrastructure, facilities required for socio-economic and national development.


  • Education for Democratic Citizenship:


This theme focuses on knowledge, skills, molding behaviors, attitudes of individuals to empower them to exercise democratic rights and responsibilities. The objective is to educate people on civic, political, socio-economic, cultural, and legal fronts.


  • Reviving Teacher Education:


This theme focuses on all aspects of teacher education such as teacher as a facilitator, continuous professional development of teachers, the curriculum for teacher education, and the nature of the teacher education ecosystem in India.


  • Open:


This theme covers all pointers which are not covered in the previous themes such as administration, school management, infrastructure, or any other aspect like allied benefits of schooling like mid-day meal program or fulfilling basic needs of children.



Phases of NEXT Eduthon


In effect, the NEXT Eduthon program was organized through four phases. These phases were: Learning, Ideation, Hackathon, and Implementation respectively. The different levels of submissions that were concept note, problem statement, idea, and presentation and pitch, precisely fell at these phases of the program.



  • Learning Phase:


The objective of the learning phase was to give participants an overview of themes, the context of problems, potential solutions, and ways to approach problems. This phase was implemented before and during the registration process i.e. 18th June 2020 to 23rd June 2020. Overall, the organization was able to garner a total of around 200 registrations across the globe.


During learning sessions, themes, and topics such as curriculum and pedagogy, teacher education, educational technology, education for development, and education for democratic citizenship were dealt in great detail. Tune in to the NEXT Eduthon’s learning session playlist HERE.


  • Ideation Phase


During the Ideation phase, participants worked collaboratively on different themes for problem scoping and ideation for narrowing down problems that they aimed to solve and came up with solutions. At the end of this phase, participants submitted their problem-solving ideas and reflected on their feasibility, usability, and affordability. It was conducted between 24th June 2020 to 28th June 2020.


Interested candidates were required to submit a brief in the form of a concept note. Backed with research and history, individual concept notes were required to state an overarching problem statement and the candidates' solution to the problem.


  • Hackathon Phase


During this phase, participants who submitted their ideas were mentored by experts from different domains. They created prototypes in a 48-hour sprint over a weekend and submitted videos and presentations of their prototypes at the end of 48-hours. This phase was conducted on 4th July 2020 to 5th July 2020.


This was the last submission step. It required a video of a 2-minute elevator pitch and a word document or a PowerPoint presentation detailing the description of participants' prototypes. Later, the participants were assisted with discussions and feedback. The evaluation of prototypes was done by renowned experts.


  • Implementation Phase


This was the last phase of the NEXT Eduthon during which a category-wise list of winners was announced and digital certificates were awarded to all the winners and participants. They presented their prototypes in front of guests from industry, start-ups, incubation centers, media, civil society, policymakers, etc. A networking session followed thereafter to create possibilities for collaboration. The implementation phase commenced on 10th July 2020 onwards.



Conclusion


As the program came to a successful end, many participants were successfully able to reap the benefits of the program. A participant named Shreya Bhargava has been selected at our Incubation & Implementation Partner incubator - Riidl. Appreciably, Shreya Bhargava was the first Ambassadors of Hope at the NEXT Education program. She is a Master’s student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and is currently working towards achieving quality education at Anganwadis. The idea behind the Ambassadors of Hope concept is to let the participants realize their potential and assign moral responsibility for the future to them by boosting their confidence.


Besides, currently, 15 pilots are going on and 10 people are signing up to become changemakers at MakeShift (with 3 months agreement).

Interestingly, 5 projects are up and doing and they are in the process of launching their education start-ups.



Events in the making


As part of our new event, MakeShift has launched a Video Series named “Decoding NEP”. The series would consist of 20 short videos and would delve into great detail about the policy and its implementation aspects. A few initial videos have already been released.


Tune in with Sharwari Kulkarni, Co-Founder at MakeShift for more details HERE.

Check the few released videos and upcoming videos by following us on Facebook HERE.



Udisha Srivastav is currently working as a Content Manager with MakeShift.


© Embracing Change Innovations LLP

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