Tag Archives: India

Introducing a computing curriculum in Odisha

Post Syndicated from Author original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/introducing-a-computing-curriculum-in-odisha/

We are working with two partner organisations in Odisha, India, to develop and roll out the IT & Coding Curriculum (Kaushali), a computing curriculum for government high schools. Last year we launched the first part of the curriculum and rolled out teacher training. Read on to find out what we have learned from this work.

A group of teachers is standing outside a school building.

Supporting government schools in Odisha to teach computing

Previously we shared an insight into how we established Code Clubs in Odisha to bring computing education to young people. Now we are partnering with two Indian civil society organisations to develop high school curriculum resources for computing and support teachers to deliver this content.

With our two partners, we trained 311 master teachers during July and August 2023. The master teachers, most often mathematics or science teachers, were in turn tasked with training teachers from around 8000 government schools. The aim of the training was to enable the 8000 teachers to deliver the curriculum to grades 9 and 10 in the June 2023 – April 2024 academic year.

A master teacher is delivering a training session to a group of teachers.

At the Foundation, we have been responsible for providing ongoing support to 1898 teachers from 10 districts throughout the academic year, including through webinars and other online and in-person support.

To evaluate the impact our work in Odisha is having, we gathered data using a mixed-methods approach that included gathering feedback from teachers via surveys and interviews, visiting schools, capturing reflections from our trainers, and reviewing a sample of students’ projects.

Positive impact on teachers and students

In our teacher survey, respondents were generally positive about the curriculum resources:

  • 87% of the 385 respondents agreed that the curriculum resources were both high quality and useful for their teaching
  • 91% agreed that they felt more confident to teach students IT & Coding as a result of the curriculum resources

Teachers also tended to agree that the initial training had helped improve their understanding and confidence, and they appreciated our ongoing support webinars.

“The curriculum resources are very useful for students.” – Teacher in Odisha

“The webinar is very useful to acquire practical knowledge regarding the specific topics.”  – Teacher in Odisha

Teachers who responded to our survey observed a positive impact on students:

  • 93% agreed their students’ digital literacy skills had improved
  • 90% agreed that their students’ coding knowledge had improved

Students’ skills were also demonstrated by the Scratch projects we reviewed. And students from Odisha shared 314 projects in Coolest Projects — our online technology showcase for young people — including the project ‘We’ll build a new Odisha’ and an apple catching game.

A master teacher is delivering a training session to a group of teachers.

Feedback and observations about teacher training

On school visits, our team observed that the teachers adopted and implemented the practical elements of the initial training quite well. However, survey responses and interviews showed that often teachers were not yet using all the elements of the curriculum as intended.

In their feedback, many teachers expressed a need for further regular training and support, and some reported additional challenges, such as other demands on their time and access to equipment.

A master teacher is delivering a training session to a group of teachers.

When we observed training sessions master teachers delivered to teachers, we saw that, in some cases, information was lost within the training cascade (from our trainers, to master teachers, to teachers), including details about the intended pedagogical approach. It can be difficult to introduce experienced teachers to new pedagogical methods within a short training session, and teachers’ lack of computing knowledge also presents a challenge.

We will use all this data to shape how we support teachers going forward. Some teachers didn’t share feedback, and so in our further evaluation work, we will focus on making sure we hear a broad and representative range of teachers’ views and experiences.

What’s new this year?

In the current academic year, we are rolling out more advanced curriculum content for grade 10 students, including AI literacy resources developed at the Foundation. We’re currently training master teachers on this content, and they will pass on their knowledge to other teachers in the coming months. Based on teachers’ feedback, the grade 10 curriculum and the training also include a recap of some key points from the grade 9 curriculum.

Two master teachers are delivering a presentation to teachers.

A State Resource Group (SRG) has also been set up, consisting of 30 teachers who will support us with planning and providing ongoing support to master teachers and other teachers in Odisha. We have already trained the SRG members on the new curriculum content to enable them to best support teachers across the state. In addition to this, our local team in Odisha plans to conduct more visits and reach out directly to teachers more often. 

Our plans for the future

The long-term vision for our work in India is to enable any school in India to teach students about computing and creating with digital technologies. A critical part of achieving this vision is the development of a comprehensive computing curriculum for grade 6 to 12, specifically tailored for government schools in India. Thanks to our work in Odisha, we are in a better position to understand the unique challenges and limitations of government schools. We’re designing our curriculum to address these challenges and ensure that every Indian student has the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century. If you would like to know more about our work and impact in India, please reach out to us via [email protected].

We take evaluation of our work seriously and are always looking to understand how we can improve and increase the impact we have on the lives of young people. To find out more about our approach to impact, you can read about our recently updated theory of change, which supports how we evaluate what we do.

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AI and the Indian Election

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2024/06/ai-and-the-indian-election.html

As India concluded the world’s largest election on June 5, 2024, with over 640 million votes counted, observers could assess how the various parties and factions used artificial intelligence technologies—and what lessons that holds for the rest of the world.

The campaigns made extensive use of AI, including deepfake impersonations of candidates, celebrities and dead politicians. By some estimates, millions of Indian voters viewed deepfakes.

But, despite fears of widespread disinformation, for the most part the campaigns, candidates and activists used AI constructively in the election. They used AI for typical political activities, including mudslinging, but primarily to better connect with voters.

Deepfakes without the deception

Political parties in India spent an estimated US$50 million on authorized AI-generated content for targeted communication with their constituencies this election cycle. And it was largely successful.

Indian political strategists have long recognized the influence of personality and emotion on their constituents, and they started using AI to bolster their messaging. Young and upcoming AI companies like The Indian Deepfaker, which started out serving the entertainment industry, quickly responded to this growing demand for AI-generated campaign material.

In January, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, former chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu for two decades, appeared via video at his party’s youth wing conference. He wore his signature yellow scarf, white shirt, dark glasses and had his familiar stance—head slightly bent sideways. But Karunanidhi died in 2018. His party authorized the deepfake.

In February, the All-India Anna Dravidian Progressive Federation party’s official X account posted an audio clip of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the iconic superstar of Tamil politics colloquially called “Amma” or “Mother.” Jayalalithaa died in 2016.

Meanwhile, voters received calls from their local representatives to discuss local issues—except the leader on the other end of the phone was an AI impersonation. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) workers like Shakti Singh Rathore have been frequenting AI startups to send personalized videos to specific voters about the government benefits they received and asking for their vote over WhatsApp.

Multilingual boost

Deepfakes were not the only manifestation of AI in the Indian elections. Long before the election began, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a tightly packed crowd celebrating links between the state of Tamil Nadu in the south of India and the city of Varanasi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Instructing his audience to put on earphones, Modi proudly announced the launch of his “new AI technology” as his Hindi speech was translated to Tamil in real time.

In a country with 22 official languages and almost 780 unofficial recorded languages, the BJP adopted AI tools to make Modi’s personality accessible to voters in regions where Hindi is not easily understood. Since 2022, Modi and his BJP have been using the AI-powered tool Bhashini, embedded in the NaMo mobile app, to translate Modi’s speeches with voiceovers in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Bengali, Marathi and Punjabi.

As part of their demos, some AI companies circulated their own viral versions of Modi’s famous monthly radio show “Mann Ki Baat,” which loosely translates to “From the Heart,” which they voice cloned to regional languages.

Adversarial uses

Indian political parties doubled down on online trolling, using AI to augment their ongoing meme wars. Early in the election season, the Indian National Congress released a short clip to its 6 million followers on Instagram, taking the title track from a new Hindi music album named “Chor” (thief). The video grafted Modi’s digital likeness onto the lead singer and cloned his voice with reworked lyrics critiquing his close ties to Indian business tycoons.

The BJP retaliated with its own video, on its 7-million-follower Instagram account, featuring a supercut of Modi campaigning on the streets, mixed with clips of his supporters but set to unique music. It was an old patriotic Hindi song sung by famous singer Mahendra Kapoor, who passed away in 2008 but was resurrected with AI voice cloning.

Modi himself quote-tweeted an AI-created video of him dancing—a common meme that alters footage of rapper Lil Yachty on stage—commenting “such creativity in peak poll season is truly a delight.”

In some cases, the violent rhetoric in Modi’s campaign that put Muslims at risk and incited violence was conveyed using generative AI tools, but the harm can be traced back to the hateful rhetoric itself and not necessarily the AI tools used to spread it.

The Indian experience

India is an early adopter, and the country’s experiments with AI serve as an illustration of what the rest of the world can expect in future elections. The technology’s ability to produce nonconsensual deepfakes of anyone can make it harder to tell truth from fiction, but its consensual uses are likely to make democracy more accessible.

The Indian election’s embrace of AI that began with entertainment, political meme wars, emotional appeals to people, resurrected politicians and persuasion through personalized phone calls to voters has opened a pathway for the role of AI in participatory democracy.

The surprise outcome of the election, with the BJP’s failure to win its predicted parliamentary majority, and India’s return to a deeply competitive political system especially highlights the possibility for AI to have a positive role in deliberative democracy and representative governance.

Lessons for the world’s democracies

It’s a goal of any political party or candidate in a democracy to have more targeted touch points with their constituents. The Indian elections have shown a unique attempt at using AI for more individualized communication across linguistically and ethnically diverse constituencies, and making their messages more accessible, especially to rural, low-income populations.

AI and the future of participatory democracy could make constituent communication not just personalized but also a dialogue, so voters can share their demands and experiences directly with their representatives—at speed and scale.

India can be an example of taking its recent fluency in AI-assisted party-to-people communications and moving it beyond politics. The government is already using these platforms to provide government services to citizens in their native languages.

If used safely and ethically, this technology could be an opportunity for a new era in representative governance, especially for the needs and experiences of people in rural areas to reach Parliament.

This essay was written with Vandinika Shukla and previously appeared in The Conversation.

Celebrating the community: Sahibjot

Post Syndicated from Sophie Ashford original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-sahibjot/

In our series of community stories, we celebrate some of the wonderful things young people and educators around the world are achieving through the power of technology. 

A young person sits in a classroom.

In our latest story, we’re heading to Vivek High School in Mohali, India, to meet Sahibjot, a 14-year-old coding enthusiast who has taken his hobby to the next level thanks to mentorship, Code Club, and the exciting opportunity to take part in the Coolest Projects 2023 global online showcase.

Introducing Sahibjot

When he was younger, Sahibjot loved playing video games. His interest in gaming led him to discover the world of game development, and he was inspired to find out more and try it out himself. He began to learn to code in his spare time, using tutorials to help him develop his skills.

A young person sits at a table outside and uses a laptop.

Keen to share the joy he had experienced from gaming, Sahibjot set himself the challenge of creating a game for his cousin. This project cemented his enthusiasm for coding and developing games of his own.

“I always felt that I have played so many games in my life, why not make one and others will enjoy the same experience that I had as a child.

For my cousin, I made a personal game for him, and he played it and he liked it very much, so once he played it, I felt that, yes, this is what I want to do with my life.” – Sahibjot

Mentorship and collaboration

While continuing to hone his computing skills at home, Sahibjot heard that his school had started a Code Club. After initially feeling nervous about joining, his enthusiasm was bolstered by the club mentor, Rajan, talking about artificial intelligence and other interesting topics during the session, and he soon settled in. 

A group of students and a teacher at computers in a classroom.

At Code Club, with support and encouragement from Rajan, Sahibjot continued to develop and grow his coding skills. Alongside his technical skills, he also learned about teamwork and working collaboratively. He embraced the opportunity to help his peers, sharing his knowledge with others and becoming a mentor for younger club members. 

Three students chat outside a school building.

“Last year, we joined this coding club together and we became friends. He’s a very friendly person. Whenever we need him, he just quickly helps us. He helps us to troubleshoot, find any bugs, or even fix our codes.” – Akshat, fellow Code Club member

A global opportunity

The next step for Sahibjot came when Rajan introduced him and his fellow Code Club members to Coolest Projects. Coolest Projects is a celebration of young digital creators and the amazing things they make with technology. It offers participants the opportunity to share their tech creations in a global, online showcase, and local in-person events celebrating young creators are also held in several countries.

A group of students in a classroom being guided through their computing projects by a teacher.

Sahibjot was eager to take part and showcase what he had made. He submitted a Python project, a ping-pong game, to the online showcase, and was very excited to then see his creation receive a special shout-out during the Coolest Projects global livestream event. He was delighted to share this achievement with his friends and family, and he felt proud to be representing his school and his country on a global stage.

“I told everyone around me that there was going to be a livestream and I possibly might be featured in that, so that was really exciting. I learned a lot about just not representing my school and myself as an individual, I learned about representing my whole nation.” — Sahibjot

Sahibjot’s passion for computing has helped shape his aspirations and ambitions. Looking to the future, he hopes to use his technology skills to benefit others and make an impact.

“Using code and technology and all of the things like that, I aspire to make effort to do something with the world, like help out people with technology.” — Sahibjot

Inspire young creators like Sahibjot

To find out how you and young creators you know can get involved in Coolest Projects, visit coolestprojects.org. If the young people in your community are just starting out on their computing journey, visit our projects site for free, fun beginner coding projects.

For more information to help you set up a Code Club in your school, visit codeclub.org.

Join us in celebrating Sahibjot’s inspiring journey by sharing his story on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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AWS achieves ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certification for AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and (Hyderabad) Regions

Post Syndicated from Airish Mariano original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-achieves-iso-iec-20000-12018-certification-for-aws-asia-pacific-mumbai-and-hyderabad-regions/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is proud to announce the successful completion of the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certification for the AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and (Hyderabad) Regions in India.

The scope of the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certification is limited to the IT Service Management System (ITSMS) of AWS India Data Center (DC) Operations that supports the delivery of Security Operations Center (SOC) and Network Operation Center (NOC) managed services.

ISO/IEC 20000-1 is a service management system (SMS) standard that specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an SMS. An SMS supports the management of the service lifecycle, including the planning, design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services, which meet agreed upon requirements and deliver value for customers, users, and the organization that delivers the services.

The ISO/IEC 20000-1 certification provides an assurance that the AWS Data Center operations in India support the delivery of SOC and NOC managed services, in accordance with the ISO/IEC 20000-1 guidance and in line with the requirements of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), government of India.

An independent third-party auditor assessed AWS. Customers can download the latest ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certificate on AWS Artifact, a self-service portal for on-demand access to AWS compliance reports. Sign in to AWS Artifact in the AWS Management Console, or learn more at Getting Started with AWS Artifact.

AWS is committed to bringing new services into the scope of its compliance programs to help you meet your architectural, business, and regulatory needs. If you have questions about the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 certification, contact your AWS account team.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Want more AWS Security how-to content, news, and feature announcements? Follow us on Twitter.

Airish Mariano

Airish Mariano

Airish is an Audit Specialist at AWS based in Singapore. She leads security audit engagements in the Asia-Pacific region. Airish also drives the execution and delivery of compliance programs that provide security assurance for customers to accelerate their cloud adoption.

Introducing Code Clubs in eastern India: 32,000 more young digital makers

Post Syndicated from Fiona Coventry original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-club-eastern-india-computer-science-education/

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, our mission is to enable young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. One way we achieve this is through supporting a global network of school-based Code Clubs for young people, in partnership with organisations that share our mission.

For the past couple of years we have been working with Mo School Abhiyan, a citizen–government partnership that aims to help people to connect, collaborate, and contribute to revamping the government schools and government-aided schools in the Indian state of Odisha. Together with Mo School Abhiyan we have established many more Code Clubs to increase access to computer science education, which is an important priority in Odisha.

Learners in a computing classroom.

We evaluate all of our projects to understand their impact, and this was no exception. We found that our training improved teachers’ skills, and we learned some valuable lessons — read on to find out more.

Background and aims of the project

After some successful small-scale trials with 5 and then 30 schools, our main project with Mo School Abhiyan began in August 2021. In the first phase, between August 2021 and January 2022, we aimed to train 1000 teachers from 1000 schools.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

For a number of reasons, including coronavirus-related school closures, not all teachers were able to complete their training during this phase. Therefore we revised the programme, splitting the teachers in two groups depending on how far they had progressed with their initial training. We also added more teachers, so our overall aim became to support 1075 teachers to complete their training and start running clubs in 2022.

Our training and ongoing support for the teachers

We trained the teachers using a hybrid approach through online courses and in-person training by our team based in India. As we went along and learned more about what worked for the teachers, we adapted the training. This included making some of the content, such as the Prepare to run a Code Club online course, more suitable for an Indian context.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

As most of the teachers were not computing specialists but more often teachers of other STEM subjects, we decided to focus the training on the basics of using Scratch programming in a Code Club.

We continue to provide support to the teachers now that they’ve completed their training. For instance, each Friday we run ‘Coding pe Charcha’ (translating to ‘Discussion on Coding’) sessions online. In these sessions, teachers come together, get answers to their questions about Scratch, take part in codealongs, and find out on how their students can take part in our global technology showcase Coolest Projects.

Measuring the impact of the training

To understand the impact of our partnership with Mo School Abhiyan and learn lessons we can apply in future work, we evaluated the impact of the teacher training using a mixed-methods approach. This included surveys at the start and end of the main training programme, shorter feedback forms after some elements of the training, and follow-up surveys to understand teachers’ progress with establishing clubs. We used Likert-style questions to measure impact quantitatively, and free-text questions for teachers to provide qualitative feedback.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

One key lesson early on was that the teachers were using email infrequently. We adapted by setting up Whatsapp groups to keep in touch with them and send out the evaluation surveys.

Gathering feedback from teachers

Supported by our team in India, teachers progressed well through the training, with nine out of every ten teachers completing each element of the training.

Teachers’ feedback about the training was positive. The teachers who filled in the feedback survey reported increases in knowledge of coding concepts that were statistically significant. Following the training, nine out of every ten teachers agreed that they felt confident to teach children about coding. They appeared to particularly value the in-person training and the approach taken to supporting them: eight out of every ten teachers rated the trainer as “extremely engaging”.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

The teachers’ feedback helped us identify possible future improvements. Some teachers indicated they would have liked more training with opportunities to practise their skills. We also learned how important it is that we tailor Code Club to suit the equipment and internet connectivity available in schools, and that we take into account that Code Clubs need to fit with school timetables and teachers’ other commitments. This feedback will inform our ongoing work.

The project’s impact for young people

In our follow-up surveys, 443 teachers have confirmed they have already started running Code Club sessions, with an estimated reach to at least 32,000 young people. And this reach has the potential to be even greater, as through our partnership with Mo School Abhiyan, teachers have registered more than 950 Code Clubs to date.

An educator helps two young people at a computer.

Supported by the teachers we’ve trained, each of the young people attending these Code Clubs will get the opportunity to learn to code and create with technology through our digital making projects. The projects enable young people to be creative and to share their creations with each other. Our team in India has started visiting Code Clubs to better understand how the clubs are benefiting young people.

What’s next for our work in India

The experience we’ve gained through the partnership with Mo School Abhiyan and the findings from the evaluation are helping to inform our growing work with communities in India and around the world that lack access to computing education. 

In India we will continue to work with state governments and agencies to build on our experience with Mo School Abhiyan. We are also exploring opportunities to develop a computing education curriculum for governments and schools in India to adopt.

If you would like to know more about our work and impact in India, please reach out to us via [email protected].

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The Cloudflare network now spans 275 cities

Post Syndicated from Joanne Liew original https://blog.cloudflare.com/new-cities-april-2022-edition/

The Cloudflare network now spans 275 cities

The Cloudflare network now spans 275 cities

It was just last month that we announced our network had grown to over 270 cities globally. Today, we’re announcing that with recent additions we’ve reached 275 cities. With each new city we add, we help make the Internet faster, more reliable, and more secure. In this post, we’ll talk about the cities we added, the performance increase, and look closely at our network expansion in India.

The Cities

Here are the four new cities we added in the last month: Ahmedabad, India; Chandigarh, India; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

A closer look at India

India is home to one of the largest and most rapidly growing bases of digital consumers. Recognising this, Cloudflare has increased its footprint in India in order to optimize reachability to users within the country.

Cloudflare’s expansion in India is facilitated through interconnections with several of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), mobile network providers and Internet Exchange points (IXPs). At present, we are directly connected to the major networks that account for more than 95% of the country’s broadband subscribers. We are continuously working to not only expand the interconnection capacity and locations with these networks, but also establish new connections to the networks that we have yet to interconnect with.

In 2020, we were served through seven cities in the country. Since then, we have added our network presence in another five cities, totaling to 12 cities in India. In the case of one of our biggest partners, with whom we interconnect in these 12 cities, Cloudflare’s latency performance is better in comparison to other major platforms, as shown in the chart below.

The Cloudflare network now spans 275 cities
Response time (in ms) for the top network in India to Cloudflare and other platforms. Source: Cedexis

Helping make the Internet faster

Every time we add a new location, we help make the Internet a little bit faster. The reason is every new location brings our content and services closer to the person (or machine) that requested them. Instead of driving 25 minutes to the grocery story, it’s like one opened in your neighborhood.

In the case of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we already have six other locations in two different cities in Saudi Arabia. Still, by adding this new location, we were able to improve median performance (TCP RTT latency) by 26% from 81ms to 60ms. 20 milliseconds doesn’t sound like a lot, right? But this location is serving almost 10 million requests per day. That’s approximately 55 hours per day that someone (or something) wasn’t waiting for data.

The Cloudflare network now spans 275 cities

As we continue to put dots on the map, we’ll keep putting updates here on how Internet performance is improving. As we like to say, we’re just getting started.

If you’re an ISP that is interested in hosting a Cloudflare cache to improve performance and reduce backhaul, get in touch on our Edge Partnership Program page. And if you’re a software, data, or network engineer – or just the type of person who is curious and wants to help make the Internet better – consider joining our team.

Bringing digital skills to disadvantaged children across India

Post Syndicated from Divya Joseph original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/digital-skills-disadvantaged-children-india-digital-divde/

India’s rapidly digitising economy needs people with IT and programming skills, as well as skills such as creativity, unstructured problem solving, teamwork, and communication. Unfortunately, too many children in India currently do not have access to digital technologies, or to opportunities to learn these technical skills.

A girl and boy in India learning at a computer

Roadblocks to accessing digital skills

Before children and young people in India can even get a chance to learn digital skills, many of them have to overcome numerous roadblocks. India’s digital divide is entrenched due to a lack of access to electricity, to the internet, and to digital devices. In 2017–18, only 47% of Indian households received electricity for more than 12 hours a day. Moreover, only 24% of households have internet access, with the figure dropping as low as 15% in rural regions. 

In rural India, a group of children cluster around a computer.

During the coronavirus pandemic, when children in India had to plunge head-first into adapting to restrictions, 29 million students around the country did not have access to a digital device. In addition, only 38% of households in India are digitally literate. At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we define digital literacy as the skills and knowledge required to be an effective, safe, and discerning user of various computer systems. Digital literacy in rural regions stands far lower at 25%.

We partner with organisations in India

We are conscious that we cannot solve these massive access issues. Regardless, we are committed to moving the needle for those young people that need access to digital skills and digital literacy the most.

We partner with organisations around the country that are committed to bringing access to coding and digital skills to the most disadvantaged and digitally excluded young people. Our partnership model includes:

  • Co-designing learning experiences 
  • Providing free, open-source learning resources 
  • Designing bespoke training programmes 
  • Supporting with technology solutions 

The Pratham–Code Club programme for digital skills

Pratham means ‘first’ in Hindi, and rightly so: Pratham Education Foundation, a non-profit established in 1994, has been at the forefront of addressing gaps in the education system in India. In 2018, we joined hands with Pratham Education Foundation to introduce coding to children in hard-to-reach, disadvantaged communities around the country. We co-designed a Pratham–Code Club programme to provide youth in underserved communities with training and access to devices and learning resources. The goal of the training was to build the youth’s programming confidence so that they could go on to teach children in their communities.

Two boys use a PraDigi computer at a desk.

To be effective, it was crucial that the programme be localised. We made adaptations to our learning resources and training content to make them more relevant to the context of the learners, and we worked with volunteer translators to translate the material into Hindi, Kannada, and Marathi.

We also provided the youth with training to use the PraDigi kit — an innovative, lightweight device, developed by Pratham Education Foundation and based on the Raspberry Pi computer — for teaching children to code.

Adapting the programme during the pandemic

In 2020, when we could no longer implement the programme the same way due to the pandemic and the ensuing disruptions, we made several adaptations: 

Firstly, instead of the three-hour in-person training we had previously conducted, we hosted multiple 30-minute online sessions over a week, using cloud-based platforms like Zoom. Secondly, we used familiar apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Workplace to share the training content.

A screenshot from a training webinar about HTML coding.

Finally, since the Pratham staff in the communities could not bring the PraDigi kits to the remote locations during lockdowns, we adapted the training content for smartphones and tablets, using the online Scratch editor and a phone-friendly online code editor called Repl.it. 

Over the course of the pandemic, we trained 300 youth from Pratham’s communities in the basics of programming and digital skills. The impact was:

  • 300 youth trained
  • 432 hours of virtual sessions
  • 350 projects with Scratch and HTML
  • 62% of youth said they were now interested in jobs that included coding skills

We also surveyed the youth for what non-technical skills they had learned during the training:

  • 66% of youth reported that they had improved their problem-solving skills
  • 60% of youth reported that they improved their communication skills

Where we are taking the programme next

Using a train-the-trainer model, we are now scaling our programme with Pratham Education Foundation to train 3000 youth from underserved communities. Once they have completed the training, we will help these 3000 youth pave the way to programming and digital skills for 15,000 young learners around the country.

In rural India, a group of adults and children pose for the photographer.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Pratham Education Foundation to make digital skills and coding education accessible to children all over India.

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Cheating on Tests

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/10/cheating-on-tests.html

Interesting story of test-takers in India using Bluetooth-connected flip-flops to communicate with accomplices while taking a test.

What’s interesting is how this cheating was discovered. It’s not that someone noticed the communication devices. It’s that the proctors noticed that cheating test takers were acting hinky.