New Delhi, December 8, 2016: Advancing its commitment to increase access to computer science education to all youth, Microsoft and Code.org are co-organizing Hour of Code, an annual global campaign in 15 states across the country during the Computer Science Education Week from December 5 to 11. As part of this year’s Hour of Code initiatives, Microsoft and Tamana jointly hosted students with developmental disabilities and autism, educators and experts to introduce coding and computational thinking to promote inclusive IT-based opportunities. Tamana also launched the HOPE Application – a Kinect based therapeutic-educational application to enhance cognition, fine motor & joint attention in children with autism and special needs. This has been developed to create an ecosystem of sensor-based applications which can assist parents and professionals working with children with special needs.
This session will be followed by the development and launch of a substantive program by Microsoft to promote coding and computational thinking for young children with development disabilities, autism and special needs.
The day-long workshop at Tamana promoted opportunities in IT-based employability for youth with special abilities and endeavored to drive awareness around building inclusive ecosystems for communities with special needs. The workshop focused on demystifying computer coding by introducing basic computer coding concepts through Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a coding tutorial for students and educators specially created for Hour of Code. The new web-based tutorial enables and empower anyone to begin learning the problem-solving and critical thinking skills required in today’s tech-fueled world. Students used Minecraft tools to build coding programs and experience computing as well as improve their understanding fundamentals of computer science.
Dr Shayama Chona, Padma Bhushan & Padmashree awardee, Founder & President, Tamana, said, “Microsoft has been a critical partner for Tamana in improving education, therapeutic interventions and opportunities in IT for individuals with autism & special needs. In a developing nation like India, it is crucial to work on the existing technologies to find innovative solutions for the underdeveloped sectors which makes Microsoft and its wide range of products, a natural partner for Tamana.”
Speaking about this initiative, Manju Dhasmana, Lead – Philanthropies and CSR, Microsoft India, said, “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. We are committed to helping the young generation to realize their full potential, by equipping them with future-ready skills. In today’s technology-driven world, coding along with computer science education at an early stage is crucial to develop computational, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, among today’s youth. These are essential for the future workforce, and today’s event offers a unique opportunity to learn these in an easy and interactive way, opening new stream of opportunities.”
Hour of Code sessions across India
Additionally, as part of Computer Science Education Week, Microsoft is hosting Hour of Code sessions for students in its Gurgaon office and partnering with six non-profit partners, namely, Udayan Care, Aide-et-action, Smile Foundation, QUEST alliance, NASSCOM foundation and Dream a Dream, to host events for students in the age group of 12-18 years across 15 states in the country. Microsoft is also partnering with Aide-et-action to host sessions and pass a virtual baton over Skype in classroom sessions for students.
In India, Microsoft has been running several initiatives to empower young people to succeed in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Through an investment of over INR 670 crore from Microsoft, the company’s skill development, entrepreneurship and digital literacy programs have touched over 5 crore people in the last 10 years.
About Hour of Code
Microsoft is a leading supporter of Computer Science Education Week and Code.org’s “Hour of Code” Campaign—a global movement to inspire millions of young people to try an Hour of Code and to learn basic computer science skills. Microsoft and Code.org are working globally with schools, educators and governments to deliver the benefits of computer science education in schools, after school and at home to give all youth the opportunity to learn the skills they need to achieve more.
About Microsoft India
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 6,500 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research and development and customer services and support, across nine Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft is committed to touching and transforming lives and businesses in India through technology.
Tamana is a non-profit voluntary organization registered in March 1984, created solely with the purpose of helping the cause of developmentally disabled and autistic. Tamana is also recognized by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India, Department of Social Welfare; Govt. of NCT Delhi and is registered with the National trust. The organization offers an Individualized Education Program for every student, aimed at social and economic independence, which incorporates special education, regular academic program through the NIOS, therapeutic interventions and vocational training. More at http://tamana.org/