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Lahore

Seeds of Success with Khud’s EdTech Mission

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Seeds of Success with Khud’s EdTech Mission

Can you imagine the feelings of the children from a small school in a small village in Lahore when their school opens a computer lab for them? Ecstatic is a small word. Now that they had a whole new avenue of learning open to them, they were excited at the things they could learn. What’s more; these students had the privilege that theirs is the only school in the village with a computer lab.

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Yes, we are talking about Zahoor School, the first school that Khud collaborated with, in their mission to teach digital skills of today to underprivileged children of Pakistan. This was where it all started. Khud team faced many challenges in the beginning in setting up and carrying out courses in another place but it was all worth it now that there are multiple collaborations under the organization’s belt and the progress of each is a testament in itself.

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The computer lab at Zahoor School today is a state-of-the-art facility where so many children learned the use of computers as a pre-requisite to taking more advanced digital courses. At present, the students there are being taught three professional digital courses: video editing, programming and web development. Video editing is being taught using Premiere Pro, programming using Python and web development through CSS/HTML. Premiere Pro, which is a professional video editing program by Adobe, is a superb tool which can be used in graphic designing, computer animation, film making, photography and any field related to visual creativity hence, can open so many avenues of opportunities for these students.

The reason for selecting these programs is that they are the most suited to have the students get prepared for professional experiences and find earning opportunities on the basis of these skills. These are also the skills which are going to define the future of technology and anyone adept in these skills is guaranteed to thrive in a technologically advanced world.

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Many students out of these courses have enough practice that they have started working on some commercial projects and are already on the way to start earning money on the basis of their newly-acquired skills. We have high hopes from these students to go out in the professional world and make a mark for themselves.

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All You Need to Know about Bitcoins

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All You Need to Know about Bitcoins

Millenniums ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trade through barter system. As they settled and established numerous civilizations, precious metals, coins and stones were used to trade different commodities. Next came the notion of paper currency from China. Steadily, its nature too has changed overtime, but generally the nation-state backed banks have held control over the individual currencies. In an attempt to break the dominance of centralized state-managed currencies, an unidentified programmer codenamed “Satoshi Nakamoto,” introduced a ground breaking digital currency, ‘Bitcoins’.

Powerpoint Presentation about Bitcoin (click to see more)

Inspired by the success of digital currency and anticipating the bright future of bitcoins, a group of students at Khud’s partner school – Bostan Public School - was given this topic to create a presentation about. These young learners struggled in the beginning as it was a new concept for them.

Wondering what have they learned? Want to know about Bitcoins? Interested in making profits through digital currency?

Yes?

Then, watch these kids in the video explaining ‘bitcoin’ in simple language.

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Breaking Barriers and Giving Back

The adage "chance favors the bold" should be updated to reflect the times - "changes favors the bold with opportunities." Opportunities are aplenty for the privileged. Can we break the barriers in our class-divided society to make it more egalitarian and give opportunities to children who are not as fortunate?

This is at the heart of what we are doing at Khud. At Demo Day we had children from our program give insightful presentation on a range of topics - from Artificial Intelligence to Climate Change. In the audience, Zain Bokhari, an astute young observer, noticed the life-changing power of giving such opportunities.

He created this deeply-touching video: 

This is what he had to say:

Each one of us, plays a part in society. Putting oneself in the shoes of a person who is less fortunate makes one realize how we take things for granted. It is time we stepped back to reflect. Success is a measure of aspirations and how hard one works while at the same time educating oneself (“Khud”) and how we can contribute to the welfare of others. It is time we raise awareness to “Giving Back” to the society.

In bridging the gap, we not only give opportunity but we get the opportunity to learn by broadening our (class constrained) horizons. This gives me hope. 

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Khud EdTech - Demo Day

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Khud EdTech - Demo Day

We are hosting a Demo Day. Friends and family from NY to Dubai to Lahore will get the opportunity to see the life-altering work we are doing. Within months underprivileged children who had not seen a computer are now designing presentations, editing videos and learning basic programming. We are employing innovative techniques and have truly transformed these kids (with limited teacher intervention). 

We have an exciting agenda planned, starting at 9 am:

  • Children will share their work on artificial intelligence, climate change, stock market and much more
  • True "farm to table" food
  • 4x4 ATV Track where kids (and adults!) can get some thrills!

It will take about an hour to get to the Zahoor School (Khud's first partner school). Below is a map of the location.

 

 
 

 

Some pictures of the gaon:

 

Video of ATVing:

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Self-Learning Technology in the Age of the Brain (vs. Brawn)

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Self-Learning Technology in the Age of the Brain (vs. Brawn)

Reliance on the human brawn over the last few decades has diminished. In the age of the brain, it is clear that technology plays a significant role in successful we can be. Instilling technology related skills is at the heart of the EdTech platform we are building at Khud. The platform will utilize self-learning techniques and presents opportunities to children to pick up 21st century skills of programming, user design and data analytics.

In our 2nd school, we are working with a group of young women (just post high school) to build an iPhone App around Pakistan Fashion News Aggregator. Divided into 3 streams of work:

  1. App Development
  2. Data 
  3. Marketing

This group is based in Mughalpura and serves a marginalized community. 

 
Lahore Mughalpura Map Self Learning EdTech Khud Pakistan
 

This project is designed around self-learning and using teaching tools that are publicly available. Team 2 is using Khan Academy's Hour of Code course around databases and SQL: 

Here is some sample SQL code:

 
Khud EdTech Lahore Hour of Code SQL Table Creation Mughalpura School Pakistan Fashion Aggregation
 

End Result:

 
Khud EdTech Lahore Hour of Code SQL Boutique Table Mughalpura School Pakistan Fashion Aggregation
 

The progress they have made is tremendous given that they only started working with computers 2 months ago. We are crazy excited to see what they will do once they get their hands on an Apple Macbook and iPod Touch. 

 

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Khud Expands

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Khud Expands

After a successful pilot of our ‘Khud’ self-learning through technology at Zahoor Public School, we are expanding our edtech's program reach.

In February, we started to roll out our program at Mughalpura School. The school is located in a marginalized area of Lahore. Though most of the students come from impoverished backgrounds, their spirits are effervescing with a quest for learning. Large majority of the student body in the school has never used a computer in their life, let alone had access to internet. Even with the little exposure of technology that we have given them, we can see that they are passionate to enhance their knowledge and become 21st century learners.

In addition the school has a vocational program for women within the vicinity. Here, women are taught embroidery, designing and given practical skill-set to become self-employed. A dedicated computer lab has been set up within the school that will provide the students opportunity to augment their aesthetics and become better fashion designers. Khud hopes that in coming months, these women will set up their own fashion website and blogs.

We extend special thanks to Khawaja Naseem and Ghulam Rasool for their contributions and support for our cause. 

(In the image above: Students of Grade 4 'Mughalpura School' make their email accounts.) 

 

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Delivering Impact - 30 Day Plan

30 Day Plan Doodle Handwritten

We are back, post Ramadan. Here is our plan for the next 30 days. Drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you. 

Focused on these areas:

1. projects
2. guest speakers
3. movie night
4. grade 4 plan
5. blog posts 
6. website v2
7. miscellaneous  

Interested in the details? Read on below.

We will also be introducing the team behind this. One post at a time!

Look forward to sharing more details with you all.

 

 

30 DAY PLAN

 

This is what we will try to do.  We have to get this right. If we do, we will have a running start in making a dramatic impact on the life of these kids and set them up for something great.

 

 

1. Project

DAY 1 

show  a simple video around "what is the internet?"

then show a simple video around "what is a presentation"

also, show some great sample presentations

then split in 4 groups (if they aren't in them already)

assign each one a topic - this is what TED Prize winner Sugata calls "big questions"

we are going to take it to the next level

and give them 30 days to work on a presentation

here are the 4 questions
1) what is success? 
2) what is wordpress?
3) how does google work?
4) what makes art great? 

 

DAY 2+

free to do what they want

use notebooks as a "whiteboard" for ideas

presentations will be made with Haiku Decks

 

 

DAY 30

after 30 days see how far they have gotten

maybe new topics

maybe move hands on - coding? 

aggressive goals 

 

 

2. Guest Speakers

bring 1 spekar in per month

talk on any topic

no limitations

we will blog about it too!

anyone visiting Lahore and wants to speak?

 

 

3. Movie Night

animation

e.g. inside/out is supposed to be deep - how human emotions work

also, documentaries 

 

 

4. Grade 4

in addition to grade 5, start expanding to grade 4

we have built a tech lab, let others use it too

 

 

 

5. Blog Posts 

 

keep connected with you all

write 1 post a week

share progress, get your thoughts

 

 

 

6. Website 

updating the website 

focus on:
empowering kids w/ 21 century skills - problem solving, team work
data driven
approach agility

 

 

7. Miscellaneous

collaboration with our friends at Ted and School in the Cloud

register 501c3

 

Your thoughts and feedback are welcome.

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Empowering Students Through Self Learning

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Empowering Students Through Self Learning

Simply put - the education system in Pakistan has failed in producing young adults with skills that are needed in the 21st century: creativity, teamwork and problem solving. We at Khud are going to rectify that. By providing an environment to children where we harness the innate and powerful ability of “self-learning.”

Prescription is out. Freedom to roam is in. Why? As Elon Musk put’s it:

"If you want to teach children how engines work, you wouldn’t want to first teach them all about wrenches and screwdrivers. Rather you would show them the engine, and ask how they would take it apart. Then a very important thing happens, which is that the relevance of the tools becomes apparent.”

The world is changing way too fast. We should be looking to empower children so they can solve their own problems. Otherwise they will never be able to keep up. The adage of “teaching someone to fish” could not be truer for our times.

How are we going to go about it at Khud? We are going to be agile - experiment, fail/learn and adapt.

Our starting point – in our first school we provided students with laptops connected to internet and gave them a space to see what they would do. Their response? We need to learn how to type and type fast. They googled around and found a way to test their typing speed. Off to the races!

children typing data driven education sole self learning

In addition to our principle of being agile, we want Khud to be data driven. That way we can be objective around determining what works and what does not. We hit gold with “Typing speed” – great data point to track progress. Speed increased 400% in a matter of days:

Typing Speed Progress Learning SOLE Lahore

Shared this data with Dr James Stanfield (who is working with Sugata Mirta around the School in the Cloud  initiative) and Sarah Schoengold (who is the TED Prize Project Coordinator) and they too thought it was a great way to measure progress. With all the various efforts related self-organized learning that they know of, they had not seen anyone measuring this. So great news – we are blazing a trail.

We are not going to stop here. Our goal is to find more data points to measure progress and literacy. As easy as this may sound, it is going to be an uphill climb. We are not going to shy away. So stay tuned for more around this.

[Image Credit: Sukhdev Sing]

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