In the beginning of April, we organised a hackathon on the theme of mobile innovation for inclusion of newly arrived. Participants, with backgrounds in programming, interaction design, language technology and communication, gathered together in our premises at the Department of Applied IT and worked hard from Saturday to Sunday. The idea behind the hackathon was to find new ideas and innovative technical solutions that can support language learning and inclusion in the society for newly arrived Arabic speaking people in Sweden.

It was indeed inspiring to follow the ideas emerge from whiteboard drawings into interactive prototypes, and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different solutions. Johan Uddståhl from the digital studio Humblebee opened the hackathon by giving us some great insight into prototype development.

After enjoying tasty Palestinian food from Jenin grill, the hackathon ended on Sunday with presentations. We got to take part of four creative proposals for technical solutions: The app På, which helps newly arrived to find local services, practice Swedish with context specific learning material and meet locals. Laga & Lär, is a recipe-based language learning app, while Make Sweden Home gathers information about the asylum process, work, events, and language learning courses in one place. Finally, the app Pairents connects families with each other based on location and children’s age.

Since all of the ideas were promising, we have invited the teams to present their prototypes and further developments at our upcoming conference on 12 June in Gothenburg. Keynote speaker at the conference will be Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, professor at the The Open University in UK. If you have not signed up already, please send an email to Welcome!