Hackathons – A Student’s Perspective

 

I’ve been part of Sky School for over two years now, and during this time I’ve had the opportunity to take part in two Hackathons. Even now, it’s still crazy to think that I’ve played a role in creating curricula for refugee learners. Much of the work that I’ve done with the student group has been very behind the scenes, so the Hackathons are a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and really get in on the action with Sky School. Ever since I joined Sky School, I’ve been incredibly passionate about increasing access to education for refugees, and the Hackathons are an avenue for me to feel like I truly am making a difference. In regards to meeting new people, both Hackathons have seen me work with people with incredibly different backgrounds; from teachers at various international schools to refugee learners, and people teaching refugees. This incredible array of perspectives and experience helps to shape a unique course, and a productive and encouraging environment to work in. 

When designing a curriculum for a unit that has been given a title (the two I’ve worked on are “Identity and Culture” and “People and Societies: Making Positive Change in Communities “) and some possible concepts that might be related, but structure and material is left for the Hackathon participants to decide, it can be daunting to discuss what the final product will look like when everyone envisions something different. However, this opens up incredible discussions and ensures that whatever is created in the end is the best possible course. 

In both Hackathons, I was the youngest person in the room – in the Hackathon I participated in January, I was the only student in a room with 13 adults, so there were moments where I was daunted by this age difference. However, for anyone who is considering joining a Hackathon and is daunted by the potential age gap, please don’t let it hold you back! I’ve learnt so much from my participation in Hackathons and the adults in the room have always been careful to treat me as an adult. Not only is it refreshing to be treated like this, but it also allows for better learning and team relations in the room. 

1 Comment

  1. anc says: Reply

    This collaboration with teachers and students to create a curriculum for refugee learns is fantastic. I wonder what other opportunities we can give students and teachers to collaborate like this in authentic ways. Does anyone have other examples or ideas?

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