Devoxx4Kids Thuringia Homeschooling

Devoxx4Kids goes remote - supported by REWE digital.

from  Christina Hartmann

As the German saying goes: Special times require special measures. This also applies to our Devoxx4Kids Thuringia event format. After the already planned event on April, 25th 2020 at our REWE digital location in Ilmenau had to be cancelled due to the corona pandemic, we decided together with other mentors to offer a Devoxx4Kids Thuringia homeschooling event.

To conduct the event we used the online platform hopin.to. Here we had the opportunity to meet with the children and mentors on the stage, which you can actually imagine as a stage. But here it was only possible for the children to listen and not to get in contact with the mentors. This happened afterwards in the different session rooms. For each mentor, a session in Hopin was made available for the children to dial into. This dial-in was confirmed by the respective mentor and then the homeschooling could start.

On May 3rd, 2020 the time had come for the children and mentors to meet on time at 9:45 am on the stage for the Welcome. Here the offered courses were briefly introduced and the children were explained how to register for one of the following sessions. Afterwards, the mentors went to their courses and were able to enter children. Until 10 am all children were divided and after some starting difficulties, such as wrong browsers, the first testing of the screen-sharing could start.

In seven parallel sessions of two hours each, the mentors then showed the children how and what can be programmed on the computer.

In CodeCombat, you must use the programming languages Python or Javascript to guide a hero through different worlds. The hero has to fulfill different tasks, like collecting gems or avoiding traps. Of course there are also bonus points, e.g. if you write particularly short programs. The first levels of CodeCombat are free and you can play anonymously. If you have caught fire, you have to register and unlock a huge programming world.

Open Roberta
In the Open Roberta Sessions, three trained Open Roberta Teachers introduced children to their own world. Here you can choose between different systems, e.g. Calliope, Lego EV3 Mindstorms and many more, and write programs for these systems in a blockly programming interface. These can then either be downloaded to the respective computers or, as in our case, tried and tested in a simulation directly on the site.

Story telling or game building, you can do all that with Scratch. In Scratch the children dived into the land of fantasy in two sessions. From stories about Europe, where they met Zeus in animal form, to space catching games, where astronauts had to be rescued from their spaceships, everything was possible.

After two hours all children and mentors returned to the stage for a short farewell. Here the mentors presented some of the results of the sessions again and the children were then released into the remaining Sunday. 

All children and mentors had a lot of fun at this event, which was certainly not the last of its kind. A special thanks goes to Andreas Grohmann for the idea to organize the Devoxx4Kids Homeschooling and for providing Hopin, to Carsten Zeitz for getting the mentors together and the communication with the parents and of course a big thank you goes to all mentors who supported so energetically on this day and made sure that this event was a great success again.

Next Story from  Christina Hartmann

Devoxx4Kids Thuringia Homeschooling

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