Summer Workshop Session at Rajmala School
Workshops conducted by: Kunal Jain & Jatinder Marwaha
Date: 11th May, 2016
The May workshop held at the Rajmala school was designed as a continuation of the three day workshop held in January 2016. The same teams (with a few additions) were present and were given this opportunity to complete their projects that they started in January and make a presentation to their teams, along with a few of the school’s staff members, including the Principal.
The teams were also presented with the code combinator platform and gradually introduced to the experience of working with online persona and content sharing.
As before, the session started a few simple participatory exercises, designed to loosen the students (and teachers) and prepare them for instruction. Students were also given a quick recap on the pi, sonic-pi, and basic instruction sets along with the goal of that day’s session: the completion of their project and presenting their work.
Being the 3rd session for most of the students, they were by now quite comfortable with the sonic-pi coding environment and were able to resume work on their projects with ease. The teachers present were also more comfortable providing support to the teams with their projects.
The teams were given about 90 minutes to complete their projects. At the end of this period, a representative from each team presented their work to the class. The teams were asked to structure their presentation to include the following:
- an introduction to the concept.
- explanation of the samples selected and how they were used.
- the coding methods used.
- paths for further development.
- feedback from the other teams were welcomed and the teachers and the coordinators also provided some critical feedback and areas to improve upon.
After a short working session for any final tuning of their projects, the school staff and the principal, Mr. Gaur, were invited to join the workshop at this point. The teams made their presentations again. Mr. Gaur was also asked to provide some remarks about his thoughts on the sessions held so far.
THE CODE-COMBINATOR PLATFORM
One of the primary aims of these workshops has been to introduce the students to creating their online persona and interacting with other such persona. The Code Combinator Platform has been built for students to be able to create their profile and upload and share their projects with other students across the globe, following a specific set of rules to help question the process of sharing and trust.
Due to network accessibility, the platform could not be introduced during the workshop until the students were relatively comfortable in the sonic-pi coding environment. Once their projects were presented, the teams was asked to visit the application website and create a profile for their team. Once they created their online profile, they uploaded their final project code to the platform.
This workshop was built as a continuation of the intensive three day workshop held a few months ago, and the students came in quite enthusiastic about continuing their work on their projects and were able get into the coding exercise with relative ease.
The teachers were also well conversant with the coding environment and were able to participate more actively in supporting the teams.
The teams were introduced to the technology platform to be used for holding and sharing each team’s content and demonstrated considerable interest and enthusiasm for learning and interacting further within this environment.
The School Principal was highly impressed with the work presented by the teams and their understanding of basic coding syntax. He expressed a strong desire and commitment to furthering this learning process by incorporating such exercises into the school’s mainstream curriculum.
Further discussion with the school founders also reflected this level of enthusiasm and expressed desire and support for building the workshop format into a mainstream teaching format. For sustaining such a development, the following were suggested:
- Teaching training: two more workshops are to be held during this year to train the school teachers so they can run these workshops/classes without the TripleC supervision. Without this critical step, this exercise will remain short lived. A workshop is planned for late November which is intended to be run completely by the teachers, with the coordinators providing background support.
- Organizing the curriculum: the administrative staff and the founders committed to modifying their computer lab classes to include time for these sessions. A detailed lesson plan for running such a curriculum has been shared with the staff.
- Equipment resources: though the cost outlay for the equipment is quite low and the basic workshop equipment has already been provided to the school, the annual budget would require an inclusion or maintenance of these items, along with provision of basic internet access.