Posted my photo on FOSSASIA GCI Page!

Thanks to FOSSASIA and GCI, they have given me this chance to be involved in their community and join their GCI student page as shown below!

Untitled.png

Image showing the pull request to merge changes to the repository!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!

Advertisements

Interviewing a teacher -Ms Law

For this interview, I have interviewed Ms Law, a teacher at my school, Dunman High School and have asked her some questions about GCI as well as other matters! I would like to thank Ms Law for taking time off to accept this interview.

1. Where are you from?

I am from Singapore!

2. Which school did you teach at?

I went to different schools to teach, before this I was a lecturer at Raffles Institution as a senior teacher. Now I am a senior teacher at Dunman High teaching Geography at upper secondary levels.

3. What do you think about the GCI contest?

fossasia-square-300dpi.png

Although I may not as tech-savy as other teachers, I find that this contest can be an eye-opener for many students for our school. It helps students to learn more about technology other than the computing lessons the students have in lower secondary. I would also be interested to participate in GCI if I were a student! GCI helps students develop communication skills which is essential in this 21st century.  Now that it is the winter break, students can take this chance to improve their programming skills while enjoying their holidays, definitely having a fruitful break by taking part in GCI!

4. What part of Geography interests you the most?

I find the physical part of Geography to be very fun because I am a factual person, thus I love the physical nature of Geography and I find volcanoes, rocks, rivers etc very interesting as I also get the opportunity to travel overseas and explore them myself!

5. What other hobbies do you have?

I personally love reading storybooks especially non-fiction ones and like to go to band concerts, appreciate the beautiful melody of the notes and the whole orchestra!

6. If you are not teaching Geography, what subject would you teach?

If I do not have a choice, I guess I would teach Literature. But there will be nothing to replace my love for Geography of course! 🙂

In conclusion, what are you waiting for? Go and start GCI with FOSSASIA this break and learn something useful for the future!

Interviewing a student-Koh Pi Rong

For this interview, I have gotten Koh Pi Rong to share his experience with FOSSASIA in this GCI contest.  He has taken part in this competition for 2 years and is currently working with FOSSASIA, being active in the open source community and one of the current leaders in FOSSASIA for GCI as of when this blog is being posted. I am honoured to have him answer a few questions despite his busy schedule.

  1. Where are you from?

I am from Singapore.

  1. Which school do you attend?

Dunman High School.

  1. Why are you participating in the contest?

I am participating in GCI because I am interested in contributing to the open source community.

  1. What have you learned so far?

I have learned about the presence of open source organisations such as FOSSASIA and projects they work on such as Open Event.

  1. Why did you choose to work with FOSSASIA?

I am interested in the projects the organisation is working on such as loklak, susi AI and Open Event.

  1. Which open source projects from FOSSASIA are you most interested in and why?

I am interested in Open Event because I find it relevant and easy to implement.

ss.png

  1. Any suggestion to improve the GCI experience with FOSSASIA

No, as I feel that the GCI experience has been fruitful for me so far and FOSSASIA is an organisation which makes me feel comfortable working with them.

In a nutshell, if you aspire to be an active open source contributor like Pi Rong and have little idea on how to start, join FOSSASIA and take part in the GCI contest as FOSSASIA helps everyone regardless of their coding abilities to join in the open source community! Start contributing today!

pirong.png

Introducing Myself – FOSSASIA

I am Samuel Chua, a 15 year old student from Singapore. I am currently studying at Dunman High School. This is my 3rd time participating in Google Code In and I am extremely delighted to have the honour to work with different organisations with platforms such as Google Code In. FOSSASIA actually caught my attention when I was viewing the mentoring organisations. They develop software applications for social change using a wide-range of technologies, which I find that I can get more involved in sharing and developing open-source software. Without further ado, I shall state what I hope to learn from Google Code In and how FOSSASIA can help me.

Why GCI?

I have been introduced to GCI by my teacher Mr Gi in school, who is also currently a mentor for FOSSASIA GCI 2016. At first, I was clueless as to how GCI works and how mentors can help us in GCI. But after taking part in the competition for 2 years now, I have realized that I can learn much more outside the classroom. Through GCI, I am able to expose myself to different tasks such as coding, documentation, outreach etc. With a wide variety of bite-sized tasks, it’s easy for beginners to jump in and get started no matter what skills they have and that’s what I like about GCI, it caters to everyone as long as they have the passion to learn and understand the open source community better. Mentors from the participating organizations lend a helping hand as student learn what it’s like to work on an open source project. The feedback they give is also constructive and aims to improve our work as well. Also by participating in GCI, it helps my communication skills as interacting with people of the open source community is essential to get people to understand your needs and help one another!

What I hope to learn

I hope to learn more skill sets other than coding. While I am interested in coding, I would also like to help other people and FOSSASIA is the perfect organisation to do so. As they create software for social causes, I can help by contributing to the open source community and through GCI. Through the tasks provided by FOSSASIA, I can do my little part in participating in the sharing society, expanding knowledge, tools and opportunities provided to me by FOSSASIA. I also hope to improve my communication skills. As FOSSASIA depends heavily on interaction with other developers through platforms such as slack, Gitter and etc, I would like to interact with other people in the community to have a better understanding of the projects FOSSASIA have and allow me to blend in as well.

How FOSSASIA can help me

FOSSASIA can help me by maybe setting more tasks on GCI so I have a wider option to choose from and have more tasks that will also interest me such as design and other types as well. Hence, I can play my role in contributing to the open-source community! With that, I look forward to collaborating with FOSSASIA and helping out, hoping for yet another enjoyable GCI experience. 🙂 If you are interested in joining the FOSSASIA community, do find out more from their website at http://fossasia.org!

IMG_6934[1].JPG

 

Reviewing an activity from Sugar Labs – Story Activity

Sugar has a wide variety of activities that suit children, and these activities can be published by anyone in the community. Today, I am going to review one of Sugar’s activities – Story Activity. Before I start with my review, I would like to explain how Story works.

About Story

Story Activity uses images to prompt the young learner to tell a story. Here’s a screenshot to make it clearer:

story.png

As you can see, there are 9 images loaded. The young learner has to invent a story based on these images; he or she has to try to tell a story that ties the images together into a comprehensive narrative. For example, I may begin the story like this: A lock is needed to open a tent. There is a strong wind blowing currently, and the palm tree outside the tent is almost uprooted.

Stories could start like that, but more details could be included in the story and the story could make more sense.

Using Story

story_toolbar-1.png

The toolbar in Story

The first icon, the one in blue and has a question mark opens the standard Sugar activity toolbar.

The second icon, which reminds you of a refresh button in a browser, loads nine new images.

The third icon, with an eye on it, saves an image to the Journal.

The fourth icon, which looks like a disc, records what you are saying for your story.

The fifth icon, which is similar to a “play” button, plays your audio recording.

The last button, which looks like an ancient coin, is used to exit Story.

Now I will review Story.

What I like about Story

  • I like that Story appeals to young children and even people of older ages. After I downloaded Story, I tried to piece a story with the nine images and it was quite interesting as it helped to fuel my imagination. Even though I got bored after forming several stories, I still think that this activity would definitely appeal to me when I was young. Even adults can try out Story, they might not get bored too!
  • I like that Story has a simple yet interesting concept. Newcomers who have never interacted with Story before would be able to understand its concept. Those who did not read the first section above would still be unable to grasp the concept and tell a story of their own.
  • Story helps to fuel our imagination. With Story, your imagination can become even more fertile when you tell a story which is based on nine images.
  • The recording and playback features. In many similar activities like Story, you only narrate a story and that’s it. But Story allows one to record his/her story and play it back. Not only will you feel a sense of satisfaction when hearing your story, you may even find ways to improve upon your story and you can record again!
  • No rules in Story. Many children nowadays will feel pressurized when they participate in activities such as Story. They may have to start with the first image, then proceed to the second image horizontally in a sequential way. But with Story, it is definitely not the case. For a challenge, you can start your story in any manner, vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or even backwards!
  • Story can be extended. Just when you think that you have narrated plenty of stories and feel bored, you realize that Story can be extended, like a post game. Children can participate in Story with their friends or create a written story! First, the children have to transcribe and refine their stories using the Sugar Write activity. They can save to the Journal the images used to prompt their story and then embed this image into their Write document. Thereafter, Story can be shared, so the narration can be created amongst multiple students. They can chain together a story by taking turns; each turn involving generating narration for one image. Now your children can learn from their peers and vice-versa.

450px-story-in-write.png

 

A written version of your child’s story

  • Story is free and does not cost anything. You can download Story for free and need not pay a cent. Other similar games require you to buy them with cash while the same is definitely not true for Story.

What I dislike about Story

  • I could not understand some of the icons on the toolbar at first as their icons may not represent what they are for.
  • The images are inanimate. If images are given short animations, the young learner may be able to narrate a more comprehensive and detailed story. For example, the image of a still aeroplane can be replaced with a short animation of an aeroplane flying. This will also enhance the imagination of the young learner. However, not all images should be given animations, just some. This will make Story even more interesting since young learners have to narrate a story with some animated images and the rest of the images are inanimate.

Projects I can complete with Story

Honestly speaking, there are not much projects I can complete with Story given my age (15 years old). Only two ideas come to my mind. The first one is that I can narrate a story and share it with my friends, and my friends will have to continue the story (say like a sequel) with their given set of images. Then they share it with their other friends and so on. One person can only narrate one story.

The second idea is that I could inform young children in my neighborhood about Story and encourage them to download it. These young children are Story’s main target audience, and I think they will enjoy Story a lot as they can share their own narrated stories with their friends.

Bugs in Story

After navigating through Story for a while, I found out that I could not spot any bugs nor lags.

Final Verdict

Excellent. I strongly recommend anyone, regardless of their age, to give Story a try. Story boasts many features and the minor problems I pointed out can definitely be fixed. Moreover, since Christmas is round the corner, perhaps you could ask your entire family to download Story and the adults can help their children become better story tellers. In the 21st century of today, public speaking skills are a must and perhaps you can hone these skills by practicing with Story. You can also make your imagination more fertile with Story. Go download Story now at http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/ !