The first hackathon to focus on health education technologies, INNOVATE2EDUCATE, gets underway in Beersheva today. The two-day event will see top companies (WIX, EMC, WeWork, among others), health funds, IDF medical corps soldiers, university faculty and students working together for 29 hours to find solutions for improving teaching methods for the 21st Century.

The event is taking place at JVP’s CyberLabs in the Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park.

“Events of these types, which connect people from different worlds, enables the formation of diverse groups which together could come up with an innovative initiative that could change educational processes,” said Prof. Dafna Schwartz, director of the Bengis Center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The event is an initiative of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, Tech 7 and the Excellence Branch of the Pedagogy Administration at the Ministry of Education.

The idea for this event arose at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, where the faculty was looking for a way to improve teaching methods. The hackathon’s goal is to shift from teacher-based teaching to student self-learning, which has been shown to be more effective. The students participating will offer a bottom-up view of where improvement is needed.

“Teaching and training methods in the field of health sciences must be updated to correspond to today’s reality. After many years of conservative teaching using existing methods we are committed to moving away from frontal teaching, which is based on old methods of knowledge transfer, to teaching that challenges the students to learn, think for themselves, be creative and promotes understanding, synthesis of data, finding solutions to problems and implementing them,” said Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Prof. Amos Katz.