20.08.2018 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Youths and Teachers Learn Coding through Games

©UNESCO Jakarta

“Very interesting and fun to follow” was what Agung Kurniawan, a 14-year old middle-schooler from nearby National 1 Minggir Middle School said of the coding and programming workshop “Inclusive Digital Literacy” which took place in Sleman, Yogyakarta from 13 to 16 August.

Despite having never done coding and programming before, Kurniawan and his team created a game that received the “favourite game” prize for their creative use of famous landmarks from Yogyakarta. Their game, cheekily titled “Kurang Makan” (which literally translates to “Not Enough to Eat”), has a protagonist that must eat enough of a local fruit called “salak” in order to advance to the next level.

The use of a game to introduce complex ideas of Media and Information Literacy was a deliberate choice. Games help to reduce the apprehension among the students concerning coding and programming. It was also an engaging medium which kept the youths of between 13 to 16 years old engaged throughout the four-day workshop supported by UNESCO.

 “Digital literacy is part and parcel of Media and Information Literacy (MIL). More and more we see that MIL is becoming a necessary life skill. Through this these trainings, we hope that Indonesian youth will have the necessary competencies to successfully navigate through the digital economy” said Dr. Ming-Kuok LIM, the Advisor for Communications and Information of UNESCO Office in Jakarta.

“We were very pleased with the training and we hope that such training can be further replicated to more schools and to involve more students” said Mrs. Sutrisniati, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teacher at the local National 5 Sleman Middle School.

30 students from ten middle schools in the district of Sleman in Yogyakarta were selected to participate in this workshop. Most of the students came with little to no experience in programming or coding. Using the freely available online platform called MIT-Scratch, the students and teachers were exposed to basic programming principles through creation of simple games. Concepts from the MIL framework were introduced at the beginning of the workshop. On the last day, the participants read out the UNESCO’s MIL CLICKS R.E.V.I.E.W Pact.

This workshop complements the national programme of 100 Smart Cities led by the Presidential Staff Office and Ministry of Communications and Informatics which also supported this workshop. The Code4Nation, a community of IT enthusiasts which initiated the Inclusive Digital Literacy also provided the training in the workshop. Each of the participating school has also agreed to hold additional workshops in their respective schools. The Inclusive Digital Literacy workshop will be replicated in other Smart Cities in the near future.

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