1 Comment

To Infinity & Beyond!

“You’re being fired upon while trying to hold your ship steady as you make your way through infinity and beyond!” Sounds like a pretty decent pitch for a game, right?

DSC_1692g.JPG

Well this is exactly what our young geniuses at Maghazar have produced after a hard couple of months, where they’ve learnt new skills, experimented with different techniques and finally completed a simple, but nonetheless impressive video game.

While this was something to be super excited about, the students didn’t let this excitement take over and instead continued their lessons as planned, which meant that over the past few weeks they’ve learnt concepts as complicated as conditional statements, loops and some functions amongst some more developing tools.

DSC_1719g.JPG

The students were visited yet again by their friends from LGSi who have now developed quite a bond with them. The students seemed more comfortable this time around and engaged in activities that included writing stories, drawing and a few games here and there to keep both sides engaged.

DSC_1752g.JPG

All in all, its been an extremely productive week since not only have the students developed their first ever game and hence completed an integral part of their training, they have also developed a close relationship with students from LGSi which only makes us excited for the programs that are to follow!

 

1 Comment

Comment

We’ve Got Developers Here!! – Khud + LGSi + MWS

So, back to life at Marghzar Welfare Society where we had one of our very first collaborative sessions which saw students from LGSi coming together to teach students at Marghzar.

DSC_1693g.JPG

With the intention being to bridge the gap between these students from vastly different backgrounds, students were divided into 4 groups and had already planned interactive activities such as storytelling, drawing, and even educational activities such as math worksheets. This particular session provided the students from MWS with learning that was different from their usual day-to-day program, and at the same time was a whole new learning experience for students from LGSi, a few of whom claimed that this was actually their first time working with kids outside their school.

DSC_1722g.JPG

Overall, I’d say we accomplished our mission of bringing together these two groups of kids!

However, our students at MWS take no breaks and are currently full steam on their games, and in order to execute them, they’re being taught python and its more complicated concepts. Initially things were a bit shaky, but the students have been able to work slowly but steadily and have successfully developed basic functioning of their space ships, and border checking (let’s just say its complicated enough to escape our understanding!). Their main aim? To make a really cool game that revolves around the idea of ‘blowing stuff up in space’, I think we’d like a game like that!

DSC_1787g.JPG

Since we wanted our sessions to be more than just about coding, we’ve tried to insert lessons related to the importance of developing problem solving skills, and that has required us to reflect on real life scenarios that the kids might have found themselves in or situations that we find ourselves in daily. The idea here is to not only help them understand the importance of such skills in the programming world, but also provide them with an idea of how important it is to have a positive outlook in our everyday lives as well.

DSC_1699g.JPG

So, the students are picking up on the lessons pretty quickly and by the look of things, they should have their game’s ready by next week! I for one, cannot wait to try out their game!

DSC_1877g.JPG

Let’s wish them best of luck for the pivotal week that is about to follow!

Comment

Comment

We’re back! Pakistan's Fashion News Aggregator

These words correctly describe the sentiments of Hassan Aftab, a member of Khud and the project head of ‘Aletere’, a one-of-its-kind fashion aggregation project. A news aggregator is quite simply a software or application which brings together a variety of other sites together under one web for easy viewing. So, our mission is to create a software which does exactly that and helps create a portal of sorts where you can find anything and everything related to fashion!

The project was initially born in a local school, but administrative difficulties caused us to shift our operations to a separate facility, which of course meant a lot of logistical work for the team but all of that hard work seems to be paying off since the facility is meant to be operational from next week!

The facility houses a team of local girls who were trained specifically for this particular project and are the brains behind this idea. Not only are they motivated and eager to embark on this exciting journey, their parents actually echo the same sentiments and have been nothing but supportive throughout this process, which is a huge motivation for not only them but us as well!

                                                                            An inside look at our new facility

                                                                            An inside look at our new facility

This facility, which will be known as the ‘Digital Training Center’ from now on, will not only be used as our base for developing this software, but will also serve as a classroom for girls currently residing in nearby localities. These girls will have the opportunity to register themselves for computing courses that will be taught by our brilliant team of young girls at Aletere! So not only are these talented girls budding developers but also future teachers, and we could not be any prouder of them!

The road ahead looks a bit tough since we are still in the final stages of preparing our training center and are also in the search of other opportunities that can help us establish multiple revenue streams for both Khud and the Aletere team in specific.

With all of that being said, after 3 months of being MIA, Team Aletere is officially back!

Comment

Comment

Our Little Legends

Today we shall take you to a little town Mughalpura, located some 20 odd km from the Pakistan-India border. The town gets its name from the Great Mughal Empire, and its residents are nothing short of legendary as well (get the joke?). We travelled to Haji Bostan School, where our graphic designing program is currently underway.

IMG_4646.JPG

We’re currently in the third week of the program and the progress has been exemplary, because not only have the students grasped basic knowledge about graphic designing and its core concepts, they have also perfected certain tricks and trades.

One aspect of graphic designing that we’ve emphasized upon is the cropping tool since not only does it have a lot of minor details associated with it, but it is a tricky skill to learn and usually takes a long time to learn. But, as I pointed out above that the residents here are ‘legendary’, and these kids have been able to not just learn, but become pretty efficient at learning these tools and have already begun implementing them in their work.

IMG_3961.JPG

The next week is when things start to get a bit tricky for the students but then again, these are legendary kids who I am sure will surprise us yet again with their super quick learning abilities. Haji Bostan School has truly been an exciting and rewarding experience and the next few weeks shall be nothing less as well.

Written by: Hasan Saeed

Comment

Comment

It’s not all that easy

Last time we met, our sessions at Marghzar had just started to gain momentum and the students were progressing quicker than expected.

However, one thing that all of us need to understand is that no matter how perfect things might seem, no matter how well-thought out your plans are, there still are set-backs. Instances where you begin to question your strategies and whether you really were doing things right or if you needed to change your approach. These aren’t failures so to say, but moments of reflection, since they provide us with a clear image of how the journey has been uptil now, and what can be done to improve the road that we are yet to embark upon.

Here at Marghzar, we too did face some difficulties but for us these are instances to learn, to grow and to become better at what we do.

mws.jpg

The biggest challenge has been the amount of practice that the students have been able to involve themselves in outside the classroom. These students come from relatively underprivileged areas, and therefore do not have access to computers at homes and therefore cannot work on their projects from the comforts of home.

This concern was amplified by the fact that the parents of these students are mostly uneducated, which means that the students fail to find a certain level of reinforcement from them. They can not look to them for help regarding their courses, or ask them to work with them.

But then we asked ourselves, is any challenge really big enough for someone whose passionate about the work that they do?

Our students answered this question by showing up regularly to classes, by participating eagerly in the discussions and using their limited access to the best of their abilities in hopes of learning as much as they possibly can. And have they exceeded our expectations!!

Our journey with Marghzar has only just begun, and we are certainly excited for the road that is to follow, because things can only get bigger and better from here on!

Comment

Comment

Students' Final Digital Projects Underway

This penultimate week has had more than its fair share of ups and downs. The final projects are coming together but the building has had internet connection problems leading our mentors to be more creative with assignments. But, we are not giving up. We face challenges and come up with innovative solutions (just like our students do) to deal with them, said an intern at Haji Bostan School.

This week the 8th, 7th and 6th grade students are busy building their storyboards. They have been discussing different storylines and then sharing them with Danish. The students are watching other works from leading studios to help them come up with the framing and the script. “The students have a confidence problem since they have never done something like this before.” Says Danish and then adds, “this is good for them”.

                               The class watches SING while the internet is out with the lights off

The class of graphic design took advantage of internet troubles to watch the Disney movie sing and then moved to studying logos. “We’re going to trace a few and then move on to redesigning them” tells me Annie. Their final project for the month is to make a logo of their own. “This is a good way to introduce them to good design practices and learn the software"

                     Zoha's Class makes presentations about what they've learnt in the 2 month course

The class on intro to the internet and content authority has their own assignment coming up. They have to make a presentation on each of the two major topics. This way they review what they have learned and learn how to use PowerPoint, another skill in their toolbox.

Pictures and content: Abdul Moeed Asad. 

Comment

Comment

Progress in Month 2: Twice as Fun, Twice as Challenging

Class sizes in Khud's partner schools have once again stabilized after the student’s week long holiday. After reviewing what they taught before Eid, the mentors are now advancing the class into more esoteric waters as the class moves into its second month.

Danish’s class has started working with Videos after discovering the software with slideshows. “We’re learning how to add subtitles now”, tells me Danish. Subtitles are especially helpful for these kids because it leads to greater exposure on the internet since English is the most ubiquitous language on the internet. The next project for the students is an assignment where they will shoot their own videos and edit them on their own. For this project they will work in groups where they take turns, making scripts, managing the cameras and editing the story.

                                             Danish noticing one of his students finding videos from the internet

                                             Danish noticing one of his students finding videos from the internet

Annie teaches her class how to Graphic Design and they often start the week with animated short films. This week they watched Pixar’s Piper, a 6 minute short film where piper the bird comes to term with her fear of the tide. Annie encouraged the kids to search the web for tools designers could use before introducing them to Adobe illustrator and Photoshop. “The class has a tendency to lose interest when I focuses too much on theory so I’m trying to introduce more and more practical assignments”, describes Annie.

                                                       Students working on their Graphic Design Assignment

                                                       Students working on their Graphic Design Assignment

Zoha’s class has now started their Content Authority tier of the 2 tier two month long class. Using research from leading universities the class is learning to overcome misleading and sometimes wholly false content on the internet. The class is doing ‘homepage analysis’ and ‘picture analysis’ where they go over examples of true and false content on the internet. “They show me what they’ve learned by visualizing it on MS paint. I could make them write it but I feel many students are still uncomfortable with writing and start to unnecessarily fall behind” notes Zoha. 


Pictures and content: Abdul Moeed Asad

Comment

Three Days Into the Internship at Khud - Worth Sharing Experiences

Comment

Three Days Into the Internship at Khud - Worth Sharing Experiences

Four interns, Abdullah, Zoha, Danish and Annie, have been placed in Khud’s partner Haji Boston School for the EdTech program where they facilitate learning on Machine Learning, Internet Basics, Video Editing and Graphic Design respectively.  

Khud Edtech

Three days into the internship the four interns have high aspirations for the class. “These students have a real drive to learn! My students pick up new concepts faster than when I was their age”, Zoha tells me. However, the students at Haji Bostan have their work cut out for them.  “Machine Learning is a tall task when the kids have no prior background knowledge in Maths, Statistics or Probability”, noted Abdullah. However, he added, “If we’re successful we open the world to these kids”. These projects as part of Khud’s philosophy are focused on self-discovery and self-learning.  “We explore concepts and let the kids explore the software we (the class) are working with”, says Danish.

Khud Edtech Pakistan

This class so far seems to be progressing really well. When Amina of grade 8 was asked about artificial intelligence she lit up and started listing the potential of machine learning “if we can feed the computer enough data, we can teach computers most things people are able to do!” nuanced as she was quick to point out the down sides, “It’s going to be a rough transition, people will lose jobs”. Roha is learning how to edit videos and tells me that “a video is just a series of moving pictures that we can manipulate in software”. The profound answers by these 10 – 12 year olds is a good indicator of their motivation.

Khud Edtech

Thanks Moeed for taking the pictures and covering the story. 

Stay tuned for more exciting updates over the summer.
 

Comment

Khud's 2nd Internship Drive

1 Comment

Khud's 2nd Internship Drive

On 26th May Khud held its Second Internship Drive at United Stated Education Foundation Pakistan’s (USEFP) Lahore Office. USEFP was cooperative enough to allow us to conduct our session there.

After careful evaluation, ten talented university students have been selected for Khud’s internship and placement at its partner schools. This year, our interns come from a diverse background, some are university student pursuing major in computer sciences, and others are studying students of arts, social sciences and finances.

Interns discussing the education crisis.

Interns discussing the education crisis.

We were glad to see some returning faces, our interns from the First Internship Drive were there. Hamza who was placed at Zahoor Public School last year narrated how much he enjoyed the teaching experience;

“The internship was very moving for me. Not only did I learn how to teach, but the internship also taught me empathy. Initially, commuting to the remote location where the school is situated was very challenging for me, but then I started to enjoy the rural and rustic atmosphere.  Despite of the fact that the children at my school were disadvantaged socio-economically but I saw in their eyes this zeal to learn. And this in turn fueled my determination. I am here to intern and teach once more …”

Finalizing the plan ...

Finalizing the plan ...

Khud is pleased to announce that our internship program begins from 29th of May. Stay tuned for further updates and news.

Khud's Founder Salahudin Khwaja addressing the interns. 

Khud's Founder Salahudin Khwaja addressing the interns. 

1 Comment

Comment

Calling on all Artists, Coders, Designers and Technophiles

An exciting opportunity to become a part of project to impact the lives of underprivileged in real sense. As we plan to run our summer 2017 program in our partner schools, we are looking for interns with excellent aesthetics, coding, designing and technical skills. The interns will be responsible for developing and implementing the project based curriculum to take the EdTech work of Khud to the next level.  If you are an artist, a designer or a technophile drop us a line with your resume/portfolio. To know about basic requirements and skills have a look at the image below.

Interns Flyer_Khud

Comment