A secure learning platform that guides young students through scientific-based studying habits in facilitating collaboration


As we entered freshman year of college, we were quick to find many effective studying habits that were heavily encouraged. These included Pset (HW) buddies, Office Hours, video learning sequences before class, and interactive labs. We found these methods to be extremely helpful in making our academic lives more productive. From our experience with our school’s online learning platform, however, we thought there could be an easier and more accessible way to make learning outside of the classroom possible, especially as remote instruction has grown.

What it does

HackEDU is an online learning platform for educators and learners. Educators are able to create classes in which learners can join. Educators are given access to Assignment Studio. Assignment Studio is an interface that allows educators to create digital lessons with widgets. Widgets include text, videos, embedded Desmos graphs, discussion boards, gradable questions, and digital whiteboards.

Collaboration tools include video chat and digital work spaces. The video chat feature is to serve as a place for instruction and learner-learner collaboration. Digital workspaces allow users to create text, images, and graphics for the purpose of studying concepts, exploring ideas, and having fun.

Most importantly, the platform is safe by use of Sonr. By using a decentralized, secure peer to peer network, Sonr ensures that student data is kept safe and private. Our main concern is personal identifiable information that may be sent across the network such as student names, schools, class schedule, and images/videos of the student. Ideally, The concept of ‘verifiable documents’ linked to someone’s identity ensures that malicious individuals can not infiltrate learning spaces.

How we built it

The proof of concept was created in AdobeXD . The early development trial was created in Flutter using Sonr.

Challenges we ran into

Our original plan was to use Xcode to develop our application and Firebase for authentication and data handling. Xcode, however, resulted in accessibility issues. Created for Apple systems, we were unable to make the platform accessible for users outside of the Apple ecosystem. In order to make the platform more accessible, we chose to use Flutter for development. Considering user data concerns, especially among younger students we wanted to decentralize the network that students would be working off of while maintaining strong connectivity, so we chose to utilize Sonr. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a working demo to function. We were, however, able to produce a mock up of what this functionality would look like in Adobe XD.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are extremely proud of conceptualizing a safe and effective learning platform. The accessible layout paired with the depth of potential for learning is something we're extremely happy to have done.

What we learned

Learned how to use Sonr. learned about decentralized networks. App development. User interface, Student behavior.

What's next for HackEDU

Develop a functional web app. Introduce elements of the Metaverse. We want this to be a platform of learning, connectivity, and safety.