The time is not far when only grad students were given the opportunity to explore AI and coding. In 2021, you can see little 8th graders talking about coding platforms and websites. The times have changed in the blink of an eye. And the present makes us opportune enough to make this generation up the pedestal not many were allowed to be on. As we all know, studying AI and coding seemed a far-fetched idea 10-15 years ago.
AI and coding have the potential to do the work any human of any skill cannot do. A person who can work with coding is a lot more valuable than someone who can do only manual tasks. A report by McKinsey Global Institute says AI and coding are potent enough to displace up to around 800 million jobs in the next 10 years.
Coding helps in the development of ideas which therefore boosts analytic thinking and the creativity of an individual. And with creativity, also enhances their imagination which in the end gives birth to new and innovative ideas to help make the world a better place- to redefine the industrial jobs. And while they work on AI, through coding they also develop their logical and analytical thinking.
Let’s just go back a few decades. The industry was not so developed. And people didn’t see AI and coding in India as a means to enhance our living as much as they do now. We lacked resources and more in adapting to change. Moreover, they didn’t see the need to adopt machine learning and AI, especially for the students in their teenage years.
And yet we have evolved. We now realize the need and have already started working on it. There exist multiple platforms available for students to coding, that is easy to understand and to work with. Various STEM education-based companies have come forward to provide resources to children in India so that they can get ready for the advanced world in the most fun way possible. Even a few decades ago there were companies promoting this idea, but there weren’t many people wanting to change for the sake of the advanced future we are gradually becoming a part of. Multiple STEM education solutions like STEMpedia have come forward to encourage children to develop themselves to coding, to provide them the requisite skills to thrive in the future.
To meet the needs of students there have been certain changes in the education policy. They have issued a set of subjects students can opt for under the professional studies section. Artificial Intelligence has been there for quite a while, but as of now, Coding is also one of them. As per the New Education Policy, students in 6th or higher can opt for Artificial Intelligence and Coding.
CBSE has officially held to these changes. It realized the importance first hand and as a result gradually every school is adopting these guidelines. Professionally trained teachers and coaches are being appointed whether it is for proper classes or clubs for Artificial Intelligence or Coding in the schools. And as a result, the number of students participating in various competitions and Olympiads in these two fields has increased greatly.
On the eve of India’s Independence Day, 2020, the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, in conjunction with NASSCOM, announced the ‘ATL AI Step Up Module’ for students, after the successful introduction of a unique program to bring Artificial Intelligence (AI) to schools through ‘ATL AI Modules.’ For individuals who want to broaden their knowledge base, the AI Step-up Module offers a comprehensive set of learn-it-yourself Advanced courses. The module is presented in an appealing graphical format that is easily understood by everyone.
Initiatives encouraging AI and coding
The Indian government has outlaid some initiatives to boost awareness and encourage machine learning in the country. One such initiative is the Responsible AI for Youth. It is a nationwide program aiming at empowering and encouraging the young generation to be ready for the advanced future.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is preparing a proper curriculum framework for the National Education Policy 2020 and will be initiating proper measures for AI and coding at the secondary level.
Goa will be applying this to their schools this 2021 only. Class 6-8 curriculum in Goa will have coding and robotics from 2021, the state government announced. All this comes under CM-CARES, the scheme which has allocated a budget of Rs. 25 Crore for the schools starting in accordance with it.
Atal Innovation Mission is so rife in our country as of now. Around 8,700+ AT labs are opened in the country. This mission is spread across 34 states and UTs spanning over 722 districts. 5000 mentors are engaged in this mission with 70 Lakh+ students engaging in ATLs and have created 1.8 Lakh+ Innovation Projects.
Steps to Implement AI and Code in Schools
IT Infrastructure: As the authorities have realized the need for AI and Coding in the curriculum and the government has approved of it in the first place, they are moving towards working for it. If you want to implement AI and Coding in the curriculum the very first thing you should have is an IT infrastructure. If not, then you can also utilize a computer lab for the same in the school or academy. Next, to start coding, students are going to need a coding platform- something simple and easy to work with for beginners.
Coding Platform: Keeping the need of students new to AI and Coding in mind, the most appropriate platform would be PictoBlox. With its help, students new to this field can learn through a block-based system which was developed especially for students new to coding. And that’s not all. After getting some experience, you can switch to Python which is more widely used than most coding languages. It is accessible from computers as well as your android phones so that kids can learn anything-code, anywhere and anytime.
STEM-Kits: You can also purchase certain kits to provide the students with the most basic thing they can work with and then advance to the much complex stuff. You can start with the Evive, to begin with. With multiple DIY and AI kits, students can resume growing by making different projects enhancing themselves in more ways you can imagine. Another kit that’s specially designed for AI and Robotics projects is Quarky.
Projects and Packages: Now the only thing left is to get a proper curriculum which you get from us. STEMpedia provides premium packages and curriculums as well as free tutorials for students that are in the beginning stage of AI and machine learning. Now as numerous students would start working on their own projects and with the apparatus, they would feel the need to compete with their classmates but with others of their age group too. STEMpedia for this purpose has initiated a competition, Codeavour which is the biggest competition in the world for kids.
Competing: Codeavour has reached and encouraged more than 1 lakh kids, is rife around more than 90 countries. Kids who excel in this competition are also given exciting prizes such as laptops, tablets, certificates, medals, and much more. In this competition, you can participate and compete at the international level. Not only that, you get access to learning resources and premium courses, workshops, and hardware.
Challenges that can get in the way
One of the challenges people often feel while studying AI and coding is the lack of resources. In the past, this was the challenge that led to ignorance of the potential it holds. But, the times have changed for the better. STEMpedia offers Multiple kits, projects, and engaging courses for students so that there is no restraining to learning and growth. There exist many competitions and contests through which students can also win exciting prizes, scholarships, medals, certificates, and more. We also offer a one-step solution to all your problems- setting up the lab with every required detail and material needed. To know more about it you can visit the official STEMpedia website.
Another problem can be the mindset. People often think that something like AI and Coding is reserved for advanced studies and students in the schools could learn nothing from it as it may be beyond their understanding, which is not true. It is a field that requires dedication and curiosity just like any other subject or field of study. And just as language and mathematics, this also helps in the development of a student and is just as important.
In a Nutshell
AI and coding have developed to be a need of students for a decade or so. The world was a different place back then, but now there are more opportunities in these fields than there are in any field of study or job. People have realized this need and so has the government leading to multiple projects and initiatives led by the government as well as by private corporations for the sake of students studying in schools. Working and studying in AI and coding increases one’s creativity and imagination with curiosity and analytic thinking, which comes very handy and in the future will be the necessity to survive in every sector, as our country moves forward with more advanced technology with the students being the catalyst.