Sponsored by: Comparative Media Studies/Writing

While mobile technologies have permeated many parts of society around the world, and even become the primary mode of Internet access in many communities and countries, the mindset for much of education remains attached to the desktop. Can you design quality mobile-first educational experiences for underserved or unserved audiences domestically and abroad? Can you imagine new ways to integrate the affordances of mobile technologies — from Augmented Reality to voice — to make learning via these devices an asset rather than a compromise? If yes, you will be among the new generation of edtech winners.

The MIT IAP Mobile Edtech Hackathon will foray into these questions. But the foray will not be theoretical. Edtech Hackathon student-innovators will design and develop working prototypes of an edtech mobile app. Student innovators will test their prototypes and receive feedback through industry connections and with active learners in existing programs. If this gives participants escape velocity to become an edtech entrepreneur, everyone wins.

Students may choose to use any mobile development environment that they think is appropriate. For those that don’t have the requisite programming background for other platforms, there will be a one-day workshop in MIT App Inventor (although developers need not use App Inventor for their work).

The prize for the winner of the hackathon will be a scholarship to the MIT Innovation & Technology Bootcamp in Tokyo that will be held on March 23-28, 2019. Other opportunities will be a part of the class as well.

Expect to dedicate 80 hours during the IAP. The hackathon will begin with two 8-hour days, followed by 12-15 hours per week of independent work. Each of the two middle weeks will include team meetings with mentors, and one whole-class meeting.  The hackathon will complete with an 8-hour demo day and review of the prototypes.


  • Dates / Times:
    • January 7–8, 9 am–4 pm
    • January 14–22, 1–3 pm
    • January 31, 1–4 pm
    • Plus weekly mentor time
  • Room: 4-231
  • Enrollment limit: 35 students
  • Attendance: Mandatory unless previously arranged with instructors
  • Prerequisites: Solid development skills or educational design skills
  • Level: U 6 units [Graded P/D/F]
  • Instructors: Eric Klopfer, Hal Abelson, Erdin Beshimov

Questions? Contact

Register at Websis and enter your information here (you must register at both sites).