Nine South Australian schools came together with the support of Flinders University and Cisco to find and tackle solutions to the escalating challenges of rapid digital transformation in education.
The inaugural ‘Education Hack 4.0’ took place over over 27 to 28 June 2019, hosted at Tonsley by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) and Cisco.
Student and teacher teams were tasked with choosing a priority challenge, then progressing through the two-day workshop to come up with a product and pitch.
The ultimate aim was to win the event – and an NVI Innovation in Schools package to upskill students in innovation and design thinking.
The Australian Science and Mathematics School (ASMS) and Glenunga International High School emerged victorious, with the ASMS team devising an online platform to help students connect to work placements relevant to their aspirations, and Glenunga designing a new curriculum assessment that redefines ‘failure’, incorporates a better feedback cycle, and includes tasks with real world connection.
Combining the expertise and knowledge of students and teachers, the format was a powerful way to define priorities and focus on practical solutions.
Education Hack 4.0 was delivered as a component of the Digital School’s Network (DSN), which is an element of the industry and education sector partnership between Flinders University and Cisco.
The DSN focuses on how technology helps teachers to become better educators, and helps students learn about emergent technologies. The event was a practical and experiential demonstration of the DSN’s applications, designed to teach participating schools the hackathon format for ongoing use.
“We are on the brink of an explosion in digital technologies and their use and adaptation for education practices globally,” says Professor Lindsey Conner, Dean of People and Resources in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University.
A broad mix of schools participated in the hackathon, including Scotch College, Seaton High, Pembroke School, St Pauls College, Banksia Park International High School, The Australian Science and Mathematics School, Westminster School, Glenunga International High School and Naracoorte High School.
The hackathon was facilitated by NVI’s Bert Verhoeven, Robert Chalmers and Dr. Marisa Maio Mckay, who are all part of Flinders University’s Innovation and Enterprise teaching team.
The judging panel included Professor Lindsay Connor and Matt Salier from Flinders University, Hassan Mekawy from the SACE Board, and Mike Duhne, South Australian manager of Cisco Australia.