The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

HackforInclusion: An Online Civic Hackathon to Foster Students Protagonism and Improve Media and Information Literacy Competences

Chiara Palazzetti, FORMA.Azione (Italy)

Sylvia Liuti, FORMA.Azione (Italy)

Cinzia Spogli, ITET Aldo Capitini Perugia (Italy)

Rosa Coppola, ITET Aldo Capitini Perugia (Italy)


With the objective of reinforcing media literacy and critical thinking among students, HackforInclusion - the first Italian online Civic Hackathon promoted as part of the IN-EDU project ( - has been an opportunity for 98 students and 27 teachers from 4 Italian regions to explore 4 topics of Media and Information Literacy (MIL). Teams have competed at the design and development of awareness-raising and communication campaigns in response to the following challenges: 1) How do we use words online? Being online as capable and creative protagonists to counter hate attacks, 2) Who said that? how to increase awareness of the source of information and recognize fake news & misinformation, 3) What do we say about us online? how to defend our digital identity and the right to privacy, and 4) How do they see us online? How to overturn the use made of bodies and images and stem the offensive and sexist language. The practice – which overall in Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria and Slovenia has involved over 250 students and 70 teachers – has been innovative under many perspectives. First, it called students to be engaged in a different way of online school, on one side using autonomously a variety of digital tools and, on the other, applying a project-based pedagogy. Indeed, they were asked to design a campaign but no limits were set in terms of working methods and tools. Secondly, it engaged students from secondary schools to become aware of their behaviours online and to actively counter fake news, disinformation, hate speech, etc. They also learned how to become responsible citizens at community and societal level, because they are call to implement the winning campaigns as direct coordinators for each students’ teams. Thirdly, the participation to the Hackathon has proven effective to develop and/or strengthen transversal competences such as critical thinking, team work, public speaking, communication skills and time management. Lastly, it has allowed both students and teachers to experience differently their relation, with actual room for mutual and intergenerational learning, especially with regards to digital tools with which teachers perceive to have less familiarity.

Keywords: Hackathon, Media Literacy, Information Literacy, Online education, Civic engagement, Critical thinking.


  • 10 Lesson Plans on MIL available for teachers in English, Italian, Bulgarian, Slovenian and Croatian - 

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