Vodafone Turkey Foundation Will Give Artificial Intelligence Training to Teenagers

Operating with the aim of pioneering social change and development, Vodafone Turkey Foundation continues to raise generations ready for the digital future within the scope of the Coding Tomorrow project, which has been implemented in cooperation with the Habitat Association. In the project, where children aged between 7 and 14 are given coding training all around Turkey, an important step was taken to both expand the age groups addressed and enrich the educational content. Collaborating with The Clubhouse Network, one of the major educational platforms of the world, Vodafone Turkey Foundation and Habitat Association aim to give Artificial Intelligence training to a thousand teenagers in total aged between 14-16 in Istanbul, Ankara, and Trabzon until the end of August. For the project, 45 voluntary trainers will help teenagers develop projects by working with them 2 days a week for minimum 3 weeks and maximum 3 months. Each teenager will receive training for minimum 24 hours and maximum 180 hours in total.

Istanbul Provincial Director of National Education Levent Yazıcı, İTÜ Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Lütfihak Alpkan, Vodafone Turkey Foundation President Hasan Süel and Habitat Association Vice-Chairman Civan Sözkesen attended to the ceremony held at Information Technologies Building in İTÜ Ayazağa Campus for the opening of the first The Clubhouse Network classroom in Turkey.

Giving a speech at the ceremony, Istanbul Provincial Direct of National Education Levent Yazıcı stated:

“We are on the eve of an admirable collaboration with both Vodafone Turkey Foundation and Habitat Association. Our shareholders have worked and laboured at a fast pace. They have enhanced the coding endeavors that they had implemented in the previous term as coding and artificial intelligence this year. We wholeheartedly support such collaborations. Our Ministry of Education directly implement these endeavors in the curriculum as well as supporting them with extracurricular activities by developing multifaceted strategies. Such an effort of our Ministry of Education also contributes to our country being among the first few countries in the world that produce artificial intelligence strategies. In addition, we are making an effort to maintain the projection of the practices of our ministry in the field altogether in Istanbul. We wholeheartedly support our teachers to receive trainings and projecting the experiences that they have acquired from trainings into the educational implementations in the classrooms. The transition from mechanics to digital, the integration of what is physical and biological with digital, is a major subject that is emphasized today. In this context, the fact that the work product here is felt by our children, and that our teachers and children are made felt this motivation, will improve the work done multi-directionally. We will do our share at the highest level for our children living in our city, which takes place in the pilot scheme, to take advantage of this opportunity. Physical environments have a major impact on children’s learning. Our Ministry of Education also makes a multi-directional contribution to this growth with design and robotics coding as well. Our developments in this field are continuing rapidly nationwide. I hope the endeavor that is carried out will contribute to this in itself and become a model to other institutions. The children who gain experience here will be our country, our future.”

İTÜ Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Lütfihak Alpkan, stated:

“We need digital transformation technologies in order to ensure added-value, employment, and exportation. Another point is that professions are losing their importance as well. Now, cancer diagnosis is given by artificial intelligence. All kinds of expert opinion from attorneyship to educational counseling are given by artificial intelligence. Therefore, educational institutions should make significant changes in the curriculum made by the first and second industrial revolutions and proceed to the third and fourth industrial revolutions. The vision of Vodafone, Habitat, and İTÜ, which leads to graduates to these professions at a high rate, is to seek whether we can make a new employment spurt within the international competition, whether we can produce more added-value and how we can solve the problem of youth employment. Now, the talents have a future. Which professions will come into prominence for the future? There is no answer to this. And the problem of universities is to decide which professions should be thought. In this course, we seek what we should protect and what we should change. We are open to all collaborations and efforts both in terms of location and mentality. We are glad of this collaboration to improve our vision partnership and raise new generations that produce added-value, and we are thankful that it continues. We hope that the new artificial intelligence program will be beneficial and produce high added-value.”

Vodafone Turkey Foundation President Hasan Süel remarked:

“As Vodafone, we believe that each work we do should serve and touch a purpose. The “Coding Tomorrow” project, which we have implemented with Habitat Association under the roof of the Vodafone Turkey Foundation, is an important project supporting our purpose-oriented vision. With this project that we continue with the aim of “a generation that produces technology, not consuming it”, we give coding training to children aged between 7-14 all around our country. This year, we enrich our educational content by adding depth to our project in certain cities. We are adding new educational modules to our project in collaboration with The Clubhouse Network, one of the major educational platforms in the world. Within this scope, we will give Artificial Intelligence training to teenagers aged between 14-17. These trainings will enhance the competencies of our teenagers that will come from disadvantageous regions in robotics, software, design, and craft, and help them make their dreams come true. Within the frame of the project-oriented learning model, teenagers will be able to develop projects without putting themselves in a box. They will be able to share their projects with the students of The Clubhouse Networks in different countries. Today, we are opening our The Clubhouse Network classroom in Istanbul. Then, our classrooms will be opened in Ankara and Trabzon as well. Until the end of August, we aim to reach a thousand students with 45 voluntary trainers in 3 cities. We will continue to prepare our children and teenagers to the digital future with our Coding Tomorrow project.”

Habitat Association Vice-Chairman Civan Sözkesen stated:

“As Habitat Association, we are conducting studies on the fields of social transformation and information-oriented development for 25 years. With ‘Coding Tomorrow, we want to carry out our digital transformation through children. With our coding training, we support skills such as design-oriented thinking, creativity, collective work, which are named as 21st-century skills. Through updating our educational content we relay to children every year, we develop the content they need the most based on the era they are in. In the 4th period of our project, we aim to give training on artificial intelligence and applications becoming dominant in the digital world. We will continue to relay our training to our children from every region, every culture, and every language with our volunteer instructors in 81 provinces.”

An enriched program

Adopting the non-formal learning model, The Clubhouse Network brings together adults mentors and teenagers coming from disadvantageous regions in a safe environment encouraging creativity. Here, teenagers acquire new skills with the support of the mentors, develop their own projects, strengthen the use of technology and improve their self-confidence. With the new collaboration implemented within the scope of the “Coding Tomorrow” project, teenagers in Turkey will also have the chance to access the special trainings within The Clubhouse Network. Teenagers will be taught Artificial Intelligence, one of the important fields of the digital world. Subjects such as Artificial Intelligence Concept; Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0, Society 5.0; Artificial Intelligence: Its History, Ethics, Contemporary Usage Types, R Language and Programming Concepts; Algorithms That Can Be Used For Artificial Intelligence; Python Language Training and Artificial Intelligence Applications will be covered in the trainings. The trainings will be organized by the Habitat Association accredited to The Clubhouse Network.

Classroom of 20 students

The first The Clubhouse Network classroom is opened at the Information Technologies Building in İTÜ Ayazağa Campus by the collaboration of Vodafone Turkey Foundation, Habitat Association, and İTÜ. There are 20 computers in the 60 square-meters classroom, which was prepared according to The Clubhouse Network standards. In addition to robotic materials such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Microbit, students can also use computers and other instruments that they can make design and music with and tools such as wood carving kit, a sewing machine that they can improve their own crafts with.

The most important feature of the classroom is that it is a place where capacity-increasing trainings will be blended with the nature of free project development. The students in this classroom will learn everything that a person who wants to develop a project about Artificial Intelligence has to know fundamentally. For example, they will be able to write Artificial Intelligence projects to choose the most suitable house location by calculating the points where sun warms the most and wind blows the least with the data they receive from the nature and people and comparing these with the locations where people would like to live in order to build smart cities maximizing energy savings.

It reaches 25 thousand teenagers in 19 countries

Founded in 1993 in collaboration with MIT Media Lab and the Boston Museum of Science, The Clubhouse Network aims to develop the ideas and skills of disadvantageous teenagers between 14-17 years old around the world through technology. The platform is working on providing an ecosystem where teenagers can feel safe, learn by developing their own projects, increase their self-confidence and develop their 21st-century skills. Today, more than 100 Clubhouses in more than 19 countries reach 25,000 teenagers each year.

Students who are studying at The Clubhouse Network develop their own mobile applications and create their own software, movies and video games. They guide and inspire other teenagers with the experiences that they gain in the classroom. Based on the results of the survey made with the teenagers who attended The Clubhouse Network, 92% of teenagers are more optimistic about their future and 89% think that they will have the necessary technological skills to make them successful in the future thanks to The Clubhouse Network.

Coding training for 100.000 children in 81 cities

In the “Coding Tomorrow” project, implemented in collaboration of the Vodafone Turkey Foundation and Habitat Association in August 2016, children aged 7-14 all around Turkey are given coding training. In these trainings, children can have an idea about programming, do activities that can uncover their creativity, create their own dream world and produce their own games. With the project, which has reached more than 43 thousand children in 60 cities so far, it is aimed to give coding training to more than 100 thousand children in 81 cities in the next year.

Training for the teachers of the Ministry of National Education as well

Within the scope of the project, coding training has started to be given to the teachers of the Ministry of National Education since last year as well. 38 teachers who have completed their education within this scope will contribute to spread the project by giving coding training to a total of 4 thousand students in the schools they are working in. With the project, 40 teachers will be given Scratch programming training as well to train other teachers in their cities.

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