Our future growth relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity…and these in turn rely on the education of our people.

Julia Gillard

Member of Parliament, 1998–2007, Australian Government

Creative and innovative ideas have been the theme of Rukmini Foundation (RF) as we work to continue our various programs in an effective & safe manner through the COVID-19 pandemic. One such innovative program that ten of the Rukmini members participated in was a coding & programming workshop, and it was done without the use of a computer.

We live in the Digital age: an age of mass information exchange, social media and computer technology; and at the base of digital age is coding – the language programming that makes our modern technology forward future possible. The foundations of development like construction, farming, medicine, education and transportation all rely more and more on computer technology. Considering the vast scope and relevance of computer technology in the world, it was an immense opportunity for ten Rukmini members to participate in a Coding workshop organized by Next Skills 360. Facilitated by Soujanya Ji and Rohan Ji, the workshop was done over Google Meet and used the service developed by MIT Media Lab that teaches components of ProGame app to learn coding WITHOUT the use of a computer. 

Image: Courtesy of Next Skills 360

Next Skills 360 is an award winning, innovative Ed-Tech social enterprise that designs innovative solutions to ensure quality and meaningful education for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background or access to resources. 

Over the four days, RF members learned basics of coding and some of their functionality in details, linking of various programming blocks and learned how to make simple programs to understand the ProGame app better.  Upon completion of the training, the participants had an understanding of the concepts of coding and program. They understood various coding terms like backdrop, sprite and the function of programming blocks required to make a program run; and the method of scanning the program from paper to mobile application to run the codes created. 

Image: Courtesy of Next Skills 360

Learning to code not only helps us understand how tech around us work; and it highlights the importance of mathematics and creative problem solving in programming of for desired results. The end objective of this learning workshop is for the participants to teach Rukmini scholars in rural areas about coding/programming skills using the ProGame app without the students needing an access to a computer at school or home. To that end, this learning opportunity for Rukmini mentors will have far reaching impact for the RF scholars who will get to learn coding from their mentors.

As the Rukmini Didis and teachers pass on what they learned in the workshop to Rukmini scholars, it will provide the scholars with additional opportunity for learning and growth as they find their place in this vast and growing world of technology. We hope such workshops and learning opportunities will inspire creativity and innovative ideas among our scholars so that they can move ahead in life and meet the digital age with more understanding and opportunities. We also hope that we will be able to provide the technical equipment, such as computers, needed to do coding with a computer, so that these girls can help program a better future for themselves and our community.

More About Next Skills 360

Next Skills 360 is an Ed-Tech social enterprise founded in 2018. This is the second venture of the Founder & CEO Mr. Suraj V Meiyur, who has 18 plus years’ experience in IT and Education having worked in the US, UK and India with several MNCs . 

Next Skills 360’s the primary objective is to develop innovative, low-cost and easy-to-use learning solutions aimed at imparting Technology Education to students around the world. We aim to bridge the digital divide by imparting quality IT education to students who do not have an access to computers and gadgets. 

Why IT Education for students

Technology is becoming a critical layer of our lives; it is the new language of the new world. In the not-so-distant future, not knowing the language of computers can be very challenging. Unfortunately, the digital divide is so deep and grave that a large percentage of students across the world are deprived of IT education due to lack of access to learning resources. 

Computational and logical thinking are skills that everyone should learn. Even if the end objective is not to become a professional software engineer, the student will benefit from knowing how to think logically and be able to develop excellent problem-solving skills. Currently, to learn to program and develop logic, the basic necessity is a computer, a tablet or a mobile device. Sadly, not every student can afford to purchase a computer. 

ProGame

Given this, Next Skills 360 has designed and developed ProGame, a platform that enables students to learn to program WITHOUT using a computer. Please learn more about us at www.nextskills360.in

ProGame is a multiple-award winning, first-of-its-kind unique kit that allows students to learn to program WITHOUT a Computer. The kit, for which a patent has been filed for, includes printed coding blocks for the students and a ProGame Android App for the trainer/instructor. Currently students across several countries are learning programming skills with ProGame in a fun, easy and engaging manner. 

How ProGame works

The student is taught to program using the ProGame printed coding blocks; the program is then scanned by the trainer/instructor using the ProGame App and the output of the child’s program can be viewed on the mobile phone visually. Dozens of learner videos within the ProGame App makes it a breeze for beginners to start writing their own code.

Please learn more about ProGame here: https://youtu.be/u5INxB8zDm4

Here, the students need not have a mobile phone or a computer at all. The teacher/instructor/trainer in a classroom can download the ProGame App on his /her phone and help the students in their learning process.  

Awards & Recognitions 

  • Next Skills 360 was awarded the Best Indian Social Enterprise by Action for India (AFI)
  • Next Skills 360 was awarded the Best Emerging Startup Award in 2019 by HYSEA
  • Third-best Ed-Tech Company in India by GESA (Global EdTech Startup Awards)
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