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self-learning

SOS-Khud Self-Learning Initiative, Phase 1: Language and Communication Skills

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SOS-Khud Self-Learning Initiative, Phase 1: Language and Communication Skills

Khud is proud to announce its partnership with globally renowned non-governmental international development organization SOS Children’s Village.  This week, in their Lahore Village, we have launched SOS-Khud Self-Learning Initiative, Phase I: Language and Communication Skills for fifteen brilliant students of age ranging between 15 and 20.

Utilizing our ed-tech platform and enabled by our facilitators, young students will be inculcated in fluency of spoken English and presentation skills. After this, they will graduate to Phase II, which is scheduled to begin in early April.

In the Phase II this youth will be empowered with marketable digital skills like web designing, maintenance and development. The second phase is being designed by our education specialists with the aim that these graduates would have sufficient knowledge to gain instant employability.

We are thankful to Ms. Zerka Tahir of Akhuwat Foundation for connecting us with the supporting and dedicated staff of SOS Children’s Village - Ms. Almas Butt and Ms. Maimoona Saeed.

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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's Foray into Technology: Android Game Development

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Khud's Foray into Technology: Android Game Development

Khud's EdTech platform opened up another front with a project focused on Technology. The purpose of this project was to give students a chance to enhance their self-learning skills and develop a unique gaming application. Khud shortlisted five talented students from the 1st year and 2nd year majoring in computer sciences from National College of Business Administration and Economics (NCBA&E), Lahore. 

The shortlisted students were excited to self-learn and develop a professional gaming application utilizing limited resources at their disposal. The team composed of: Muhammad Ahmad Afzal (Game developing Specialist) Soban Muhammad (Graphic Designer and Marketing Specialist) Bilal Ahmad (Coder), Sheikh Hamza (SEO) & Uzair Ldhi (User interface & JavaScript specialist).

Often times, students from less reputed institutes fail to secure good internships and jobs. Khud doesn’t just want to create practical skills in the job market, far more than that, we aim to create entrepreneurs that can lead the next technological revolution in Pakistan.

The application development team started their journey in November 2015. After exploring different platforms, the team decided to develop an android based endless runner game. Their inspiration was the renowned android game ‘Subway Surfers.’ To polish their skills the team attended a seminar in Arfa Technology Park Lahore about game development using Unity 3D game engine.  The team was fascinated by the features and the interface Unity 3D game engine offered and decided to choose it as a tool to develop the application.

Utilizing Google Sheets, they made schedules and roadmap of how they were going to reach their end product. In addition to this, frequent group meetings and online sessions were held to discuss new ideas and designs. The team highlighted that this entire exercise was not just work, work and work, but they also had good time together. Initially, it was challenging for them to manage both their studies and this application development. But the team efficiently divided tasks amongst themselves. Ahmad and Sobhan led the group and assigned the works categorically. Ahmad and Bilal were assigned to make the back end (coding), Uzair was in charge of creating user interface, Soban graphics and Hamza was our prime choice for SEO and marketing of the application.

The team nicked themselves ‘5xRivals,’ made a Facebook closed group where they discussed various issues. Initially, it was very challenging for them to manage the entire project, apart from limited resources and time management, the team faced social pressures. Frequently, their peers discouraged them by saying that their skills were too rudimentary for such an undertaking. After much consideration, the team chose to shun the negative criticism and prove them wrong by their hard work. A month later, after spending number of sleepless nights in front of laptops the team created a prototype of the game, in which there was a cube instead of character moving along a straight path. It wasn’t enough but it was relevant enough to let the team know that they were on a right path. Then they started to design an environment and selected a soldier as their character. Next, they made a desired model of a soldier and then made other essentials (obstacles, bonuses, power ups, visual effects, menus and others). They named the game Captain Warner 3D.

 

IMG-20160327-WA0002 (1).jpg

The team tried their level best to create original content, at times authorized free content was used and strict care was taken to ensure that there was no plagiarism. They very humbly acknowledge that this is the very best that they could produce with the limited resources at their disposal. The team behind the game was kind enough to share some comments regarding their self-learning journey.

Muhammad Ahmad Afzal:  

“We believed in ourselves and developed our self-learning skills; now we can confidently say that we are at intermediate level with respect to game development, and now we will celebrate our success by arranging a trekking trip to the Northern Pakistan with our reward money!”

Hafiz Bilal Ahmad Khan:

“Such an opportunity by Khud, I hope they will carry on their good work to help, inspire and motivate students like us!”

Sheikh Hamza:

“Bill Gates said: you never learn in school, I think it is a correct statement, we cannot learn anything unless we try to learn it ourselves instead of counting on our education system to feed us skills.”

Uzair Lodhi:

"This was the first step towards a great future."

Soban Muhammad:

"Day by day we learned many new things, it was great experience of my life, for first time we produce something new. It was a good practice for our practical skills required in the job market. This is all because of Khud, they gave us an amazing opportunity. I hope that Khud and the game users appreciate our efforts."

The Team Behind Captain Warner 3D

The Team Behind Captain Warner 3D

The team behind the application was kind enough to give Khud some feedback. They have suggested that Khud should develop better infrastructure for the purpose of monitoring & evaluation. We are thankful for the efforts of these boys and wish them all the best for their future endeavors. Currently, the game has been downloaded in more than 8 countries and has an overall rating of 4.8/5.0 at Google Play store.

Name of the Game: Captain Warner 3D

Android users can download it by simply searching the name of app.

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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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Students Become Teachers!

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Students Become Teachers!

Renowned sufi and mystic Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi once wrote that: 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

This quote highlights that learning never ends, rather, it is a continuous process, for both students and teachers alike. Eight months ago Khud started to train its first cohort of ten Grade 5 students at Zahoor School.

These students were equipped with internet and laptops and their path to self-learning was illuminated by their talented guide Bilal Tareen. We are proud to share that all of the ten students have performed far better than our expectations.

Now, these students have begun teaching Grade 4 computers and the art of 'self-learning.' Ladies and gentlemen, today the young students have taken the mantle of their teachers; the journey of 'self-learning' continues.

 

The students of Grade 5 are teaching super-excited students of Grade 4 how to click and move their fingers on mouse pad. To practice this, the children are using Windows Paint to make colored shapes on window's paint.

The students of Grade 5 are teaching super-excited students of Grade 4 how to click and move their fingers on mouse pad. To practice this, the children are using Windows Paint to make colored shapes on window's paint.

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