The TeachAthon conference was a 24 hour fully online conference for educators and stakeholders in education that held from September 14 to September 15, 2020 with speakers and presenters from around the world across various time-zones.
I presented two sessions at TeachAthon. The abstracts and recordings from both sessions are below.
Session 1: Learning by Doing: Fostering Creative Learning and Creative Thinking Through Coding and Robotics
Our education needs to prepare our children and youth to tackle the challenges we will see in the future creatively. In education, coding and robotics can introduce and support computational thinking as a pathway to creative learning. As the world adjusts to constraints brought on by COVID-19 and as much instruction moves online, coding platforms and robotics kits offer students the potential to learn by doing, ensuring that the creative experience continues to thrive.
This presentation discusses coding and robotics in the context of learning by doing, why they remain relevant in our education despite current constraints, some of the popular options available, potentials within the space and emphasizes why we should see coding and robotics in education as tools in the service of creative thinking and creative learning not just ends in themselves.
This presentation ends with a call to action for educators and all stakeholders in child and youth education.
Session 2: The Scratch Nigeria Translation Project
Online coding platforms show the potential for successfully executing online learning. Learning to code is one of the critical drivers of learning online. We have a lot to learn from the practices that have been established by online coding platforms such as Scratch. The Scratch community has developed into an ecosystem fostering entry into the programming development for young people across the globe. Such development is of itself highly germane for learning, especially in STEM courses and an essential clue of how to induct and integrate on subjects into the online space for school-age learners entering online or blended learning. Notable examples include gamification of learning, code editors for instant practice, community engagement, options for online/desktop(local) access, learning by doing.
We present the Scratch Nigeria Translation Project, an initiative to translate the Scratch platform into Nigerian languages starting with Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and Pidgin. The project is the first such project for Nigerian languages. We expect that having Scratch in our local languages will encourage adoption widely beyond the present status. Making Scratch available in these languages offers a myriad of possibilities to be imagined by children and young people. They are afforded the choice to learn computational thinking and learn creatively using their local languages and create in these languages. We expect that the project will allow the known benefits of learning to code and, in these times, online learning to be appropriated by a more significant percentage of people, including communities that may not use English as much.