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SAP CodeFest for Teachers: Redefining Coding Education In India

Modern technologies are always reshaping our world, so it’s vital to educate our young generation digitally and give them exposure to science at a young age. To teach 21st century skills, the government of India has recently recommended coding as a subject for students in class 6 onwards.

However, reports indicate that the coding ecosystem of India is experiencing a severe shortage of skilled teachers. There is a wide gap between the supply and demand for educators to be able to teach coding to many young people. Therefore, it is imperative to equip teachers with the skills to deliver coding classes and fill in this gap.

Keeping this in view, SAP CSR in collaboration with Pratham Infotech Foundation, organized a programme, CodeFest, for teachers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This programme trained a group of teachers in SNAP, a block-based programming language, and enabled them to create and submit their own SNAP projects.

SNAP was developed by Jens Moenig at SAP to make coding easier for children. The language is simple and effective enough to be used in the school curriculum for a variety of subjects.

Firstly, at least 50 volunteers selected from SAP attended the ‘Train the Trainer SNAP’ workshop to prepare themselves to teach ‘Computational Thinking and Coding with SNAP’.

The volunteers then trained the teachers in their local languages, which was crucial for making the training learner-friendly for the teachers. The teachers were also educated on the significance and scope of coding in today’s world, as well as the various skills that coding can teach everyone.

The training content was specifically designed with the audience in mind and emphasized computational thinking. This training taught the teachers how to solve problems logically in the same way a computer would replicate it using the concepts of Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm Design. The concepts were taught through a fun group activity called, ‘Drawing Monsters’.

The live and interactive learning sessions were conducted bilingually in English-Kannada and English-Telugu languages (3 sessions each). A total of 75 teachers participated in the sessions. There were at least 15 participants and four volunteering trainers in every session to aid smooth learning.

The participating teachers were provided with learning material, including textbooks, meeting recording and access to free online ‘SNAP OpenSAP’ courses.

The participants created and submitted SNAP projects within the stipulated two weeks period, as part of the CodeFest challenge. The challenge aimed at boosting their confidence and putting their learning into practice.

Volunteers from SAP judged at least 72 projects submitted by the teachers, based on functionality, learning, innovation, creativity, uniqueness, clarity, and aesthetics as the criteria. The top three winners of the challenge were awarded participation certificates and digital tablets. Also, their projects were exhibited during the closing ceremony of the CodeFest held on November 23, 2021.

The workshop not only benefited the teachers with enhanced learning levels, but also sowed seeds of knowledge that will help them teach coding to the young children and make them future ready.

SAP, through its various CSR activities, is committed to taking such initiatives pan-India in the future as well.