On 27 August 2016, the Gyanada Foundation conducted our first ever coding class, Coding with Scratch, in Mumbai, India. This was the first collaboration with Softklas, a team of enthusiastic teachers working to introduce computer programming through Scratch & Python to children.
We chose to start with Scratch, a free visual programming language developed at MIT specially for children between the ages of 8 to 16, because the children we work with had not been exposed to programming before this class commenced. We hoped that just as Scratch opened doors towards computer literacy for millions of children around the world, an introductory class would also do the same for them.
We selected a group of 12 children in Mumbai — not just Gyanada students, but also other children in their community such as their siblings and friends. As we learned from our previous experience introducing hardware and electronics to Gyanada children, we believe it is important to open up access to such programs to their friends and family as well — as best as we can.
Despite having no prior programming experience, the children learned to develop a game in a fun and accessible way, gaining skills in using the Scratch project editor and completing their tasks ahead of time. Their enthusiasm and interest shone through — this was not simply about teaching children to code as a means to and end (i.e. to eventually have a programming career in the future), but about providing them with the first step towards greater digital literacy which is much needed in their future.
We thank Gyanada and Softklas facilitators staff for their efforts in preparing the materials and curriculum, all volunteers for dedicating their time and effort to the education of our children. Special thanks as well to Dr Pratiksha Oswal for so kindly hosting our Scratch class.
Have a look at some of the pictures of the class in our gallery below.