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Sisters of Code Organized a Scratch Workshop for Teachers

Sisters of Code, thanks to the support from Scratch Foundation and in cooperation with Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS), organized a Scratch Workshop for Teachers on September 11, 2023, at IT Academy STEP Cambodia. The total number of participants is 13 who are teachers from different locations in Cambodia, such as Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham, and Kompong Chhnang province as well as the Information Technology Department team from MoEYS.The primary objective of the workshop is to provide teachers with an introduction to and help them create their first game using Scratch. By doing so, we aimed to equip these educators with the knowledge and tools not only to effectively teach Scratch to their students but also to craft engaging learning materials.

The day started with warm introductions and a hearty welcome to our passionate group of teachers. We shared the workshop's objective and walked the participants through the day's agenda. Every participant was given the lesson plan and coding cards which are materials useful for them to learn how to code with Scratch. Then we introduce teachers to Scratch's philosophy and approach, giving them a deeper understanding of how Scratch works and what makes it such a powerful tool for teaching and learning.

We then embarked on the exciting journey of "Getting Started with Scratch." Since it was the first time for most of participants to use Scratch, Sisters of Code team taught them how to create their own accounts and guided to the different features of Scratch, helping to become familiar with this platform. Then they also had an opportunity to explore Scratch games and animations created by other users in the Scratch community to understand how Scratch works. The last interactive activity in this part was our participants got to play our unique Apsara Hand Gestures game, blending Cambodian culture with coding and gaming.

Following the introductory session, we delved into the thrilling hands-on activities that allowed our participants to dive into creating their very own Apsara Hand Gestures game. We began by offering a step-by-step tutorial, ensuring that everyone, regardless of prior coding experience, could follow along seamlessly. We first guided them through the process of uploading sprites, costumes, and backgrounds, providing the building blocks for their unique creations. Then came the exciting part: coding on each sprite to bring their Apsara Hand Gestures game to life. Remarkably, even those who had never dabbled in Scratch before found the experience enjoyable and enlightening. With guidance, they successfully crafted their personalized Apsara hand gesture games. A significant part of the day was dedicated to presenting their Scratch projects and engaging in a reflective discussion, sharing their challenges, interests, and questions.

As the workshop drew to a close, we summarized the key takeaways and expressed our gratitude to the participants, encouraging them to apply their newfound knowledge in future projects. We also sought valuable feedback from the attendees throug a survey, aiming to gauge their thoughts on our Scratch Workshop for Teachers and identify areas for improvement. Here are the survey results:

The survey showed that the workshop was a big success. When asked to rate their overall workshop experience on a scale of 1 to 5, a majority of the respondents gave it a 4 out of 5, with some even rating it a perfect 5. This indicates a strong satisfaction level among participants. Furthermore, when evaluating the skills and knowledge gained about Scratch during the workshop, the majority rated themselves a solid 4 out of 5, with a significant number giving themselves a perfect score of 5. This clearly showcases the effectiveness of the workshop in imparting valuable Scratch skills.

What's particularly heartening is the feedback about what participants liked the most during the workshop. A significant majority appreciated the collaborative aspect, enjoying the experience of working in teams. Additionally, an overwhelming majority found value in understanding the Scratch interface, a testament to the importance of user-friendly interfaces in technology education. And, of course, many participants expressed their enthusiasm for creating their own projects and sharing with the students in their communities.

Due to our effort in transferring a fun and engaging coding experience to them, 100% of our survey respondents would recommend our workshop to others, and the high percentage of participants planning to incorporate Scratch into their teaching work. The feedback from participants further emphasizes the workshop's effectiveness, with comments like "very good for our teacher to use Scratch to make the game learning," "clear and detailed teaching," and expressions of gratitude for the knowledge shared. These responses reflect the positive impact of the workshop and its potential to empower educators with new tools and skills for their classrooms.

Coding isn't just a tool for tech-savvy individuals; it's a powerful educational asset for teachers of all backgrounds. As we've witnessed, it fosters collaboration, enhances problem-solving skills, and ignites creativity. By integrating coding into teaching materials, educators can offer students a unique and engaging learning experience, preparing them for the digital age and opening doors to exciting career opportunities. We believe that every teacher can be a coding advocate, and our workshop has paved the way for this transformative journey. Sisters of Code is committed to providing more opportunities like this in the future. We are dedicated to empowering educators and students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the digital world.

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