Disney teaches computer programming to school kids in India

The entertainment firm is teaching coding to school children in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra through its free online tutorial to help the kids imbibe technological skills at an early age.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:December 18, 2016 5:47 pm
This image released by Disney shows Moana, voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, in a scene from the animated film, "Moana." (Disney via AP) Created in close collaboration with Code.org this year, ‘Moana: Wayfinding with Code’ tutorial will be available in more than 180 countries and 23 languages, giving children all over the world the opportunity to learn the basics of coding. (Disney via AP)

Disney has launched ‘Hour of Code’ campaign in India for teaching computer programming to school children through online tutorial featuring characters from Disney movie ‘Moana’. The entertainment firm is teaching coding to school children in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra through its free online tutorial to help the kids imbibe technological skills at an early age.

In its third edition globally, Disney has brought its programme to India this year to teach students aged 8 years and above the basics of coding. In partnership with Next Education, the programme is being taken to over 700 private and public schools across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra as it aims to reach out to a million students in India.

“Storytelling combined with technology is one of the most powerful tools that a child can access and our objective of introducing Hour of Code to students of India, is to imbibe technological skills at an early age that they will need to bring their stories to life,” Disney India VP – Consumer Products and Interactive Media Abhishek Maheshwari told reporters.

The beauty of the programme is its simplicity and Disney hopes to will inspire kids to try coding for themselves, he added. The Hour of Code campaign was started by Code.org in 2013 and has over millions of students participating globally now. Its partners include some of the biggest names from the technology industry including Microsoft and Google.

Over the past two years, Disney has hosted two Hour of Code tutorials, featuring characters from movies like ‘Frozen” and ‘Star Wars’.

In total, almost 40 million students have participated in these tutorials to learn the basics of coding.

Created in close collaboration with Code.org this year, ‘Moana: Wayfinding with Code’ tutorial will be available in more than 180 countries and 23 languages, giving children all over the world the opportunity to learn the basics of coding.

The free online tutorial offers an introduction to the basics of computer science and basics of coding, featuring characters from the Disney animated film, Moana.

“The tutorial centres around Moana and Maui (characters from the movie) as they sail through unknown territory across the ocean. As students follow Moana and Maui’s travels, they learn basic coding commands that help steer the boat,” Maheshwari said.

Along the way, students are introduced to conditionals, sequences and loops while they master the art of navigation, he added.

When Moana and Maui are suddenly attacked by the Kakamora – coconut-clad warriors, they must use their coding skills to dodge their pirate projectiles and penetrate their defences. The tutorial uses a visual programming language with ‘blocks’ that kids simply drag and drop to write code.

“This visual programming language is a fun and easily understandable way to teach basic coding skills. This type of visual programming lays the foundation for text-based programming,” he said.

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