Let’s shape the future together

COVID-19 is accelerating the adoption of immersive technologies, from creating remote yet engaging collaboration to the development of new avenues for education, and more. Immers-Ed Global Hackahon is a catalyst at the convergence of these two realities. This hackathon will bring together Oxford’s community and foster global collaborators to create solutions for challenges brought on by the global pandemic.

The hackathon is supported by IT Services, University of Oxford.

Challenge: Cultural Heritage

How can technology facilitate inclusivity and access in the cultural heritage sector?

According to the International Council of Museums, 90% of museums closed their doors during the global health crisis. Of these, 10% may never open again. Many museums and heritage sites struggle with limited capacities and digital infrastructures to be able to adapt to these challenges and ensure long-term survival. This challenge explores how immersive technologies can enable institutions to connect with and engage audiences, expand inclusivity and access and, in the process, increase the resilience of the cultural heritage sector. Supported by the University of Oxford’s Heritage Network and TORCH (en)coding Heritage Network.

Challenge: Medical

How can we redesign medical training, foster global collaboration, and improve patient care to save lives?

The global pandemic placed immense pressure on health care systems. At dire times, this revealed deficiencies in infrastructure, supply chains, and equitable health care which resulted in the loss of lives. As we emerge from COVID-19, how can we learn from this experience to improve healthcare and build more resilient healthcare systems? Supported by Reuben College, Oxford & The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine

Challenge: Education

How can we create more engaging learning experiences and foster academic success especially in distance-learning environments?

COVID-19 has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries, according to the United Nations. Underprivileged students are disproportionately affected when studies are interrupted and the quality of education decreases. Furthermore, virtual school performance lags behind that conducted in-person. Immersive technologies can help develop students’ sense of curiosity and potentially create richer learning experiences in the classroom and in distance learning environments. This challenge explores potential schemes and designs leveraging immersive technologies to create engaging learning experiences and foster academic success for primary and secondary school students. Supported by the University of Oxford Department of Education.

Challenge: Environmental Sustainability

How can we emerge out of the pandemic and create more sustainable environmental practices?

Global support for sustainability and conservation is increasing, especially as industry explores its profitability. At the 2019 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, world leaders warned we had less than 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Since that time, we have seen an increase in global initiatives and call to actions in this area. In March 2021, Oxford University’s Council voted in favour of adopting an Environmental Sustainability Strategy to move the University to net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain by 2035. This challenge explores how immersive technologies can assist in the shift towards more environmentally sustainable working practices.


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