CODING IN SOUTH AFRICA POLOKWANA SECONDARY SCHOOL

On Tuesday morning 5 of March I had to be at the mall at 6 o’clock so Phuti Ragophala would pick me up. In her car was also Koketšo Hope Motau a young dj and an inspirational speaker. We had to drive for almost 2 hours and half of the time on a bumpy road. On that road I saw lots of children walking to school in nice school uniforms. When we arrived at the Dithotwaneng school in Mphanama. As secondary school with more than 600 students. They were waiting for us anxiously. We first met the principal and Mokolwane Eric Masweneng. We talked about the plans and they suggested I started off with the teachers. So we went to a class room and they set everything up. The teachers of the school came in and they sat down at the small tables. I gave a presentation about how you can implement Computational Thinking into your lessons. And I gave 10 practical examples. I also had with me the hologram and more nice tools for augmented reality. At the end of the presentation i gave we did the sorting unplugged activity with all the 40 teachers. The first time it took them quit a long time, but the second time, it was much quicker.  Then there was still time for some questions and looking at that strange Virtual T-Shirt what comes to live.

When the session with the teachers was finished they set up the session with the students. I didn’t knew that all the students would be participating in this session. So when I looked outside more than 600 students where there waiting for me, wanted to learn how to code. Because of the special occasion that i was there, they were allowed to take their phone with them and their parents had gave them internet data, for downloading. My mind had to make overtime, how do i do that, with no internet, not a good plan. But the session started off with the dj Hope who gave an inspiration speech about that you can become anything as long as you want to learn. Then it was my turn and I did some unplugged activities including the sorting with 70 students on one line. Then I gave them some tips about apps they could download. They started downloading, and I learned that there where apps, where you can share your apps, so not everybody needed to download it from the internet. Because there was more time, I also showed them an activity on the HourofCode and “we” got the certificate all together. Than it was time for giving presents and taking photographs. The school receives some micro:bits and I had trouble getting in the car, because they all wanted to take selfies with me. I had fun doing that. I felt like an celebrity.

Then Phuti, Hope and me drove back to Polokwana and I had lunch with Phuti. Luckily there was still time to give Phuti some private lessons with the micro:bit so she could spread the knowledge.

After is rollercoaster my friend drove back to Johannesburg. What an adventure and I am sure I want to come back and give more lessons.

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