SAP Young Thinkers Learning Festival at Snap!Con 2020: Highlights and Learnings from an International and Virtual Event
When learners and teachers from all over the world come together to create, collaborate and celebrate learning – regardless of age, experience level or location – moments of inspirations and ‘aha effects’ are born.
We are extremely excited to share our first-hand experience about our latest SAP Young Thinkers Learning Festival – this time in a truly international setup and with great community members. From July 27 to August 1 2020, our virtual learning festival paved the way for the Snap!Con 2020, which was hosted by the University of California, Berkeley. Read this blog post to get to know more about our event highlights and learnings.
During the learning festival, young thinkers had the chance to gain insights into the projects from some of the Snap!Con lecturers in exciting and interactive virtual learning sessions. Over 3 days, a total of 30 learning sessions, touching 11 different topics and offered in two languages (English and German), were presented by learning session leads from different universities, schools and SAP Young Thinkers. Besides the learning sessions, there was an ongoing open self-paced learning space for those who couldn’t get enough. Check out the agenda here.
While some participants developed their first chat bot, others programmed their own game. They could also control BirdBrain Technology robots remotely, meaning students in Germany made robots move in Pittsburgh, US. From analyzing Covid-19 data with NetsBlox to rescuing a virtual ocean with Snap!, many exciting sessions dealing with relevant topics around the Sustainable Development Goals were held. The session leads became creative to overcome the physical distance and pass on their enthusiasm for computer and data science. Julie Maedig and Alexander Reichl from the Technical University of Munich shared their excitement with us “In just 2 hours, our young learners were able to build a first game in Snap!”. Dan Seiler and Jule Zollondz from the SAP Young Thinkers Team were amazed by the ideas the young coders developed to save the virtual ocean “We hope that some of the ideas make it into reality.”
Yet, we also learned that we don´t know the magic recipe for virtual interaction. Many learners were hesitant to show themselves via their camera or unmute themselves and speak up during the learning sessions. The chat and reaction buttons worked much better. Sometimes, it was hard to know if the speed and difficulty of the session was suitable, if learners were busy coding for themselves or left in the dark. For sure, this is a different learning situation we all need to get used to.
The highlight of every Young Thinkers Leaning Festival, the Show & Tell session, showed that our learners became active and coded a lot of cool own projects. You can find a collection of the Snap! projects here. A few of them were shared on the virtual stage of this keynote session of the academic Snap! Conference 2020. The audience of professors and teachers enjoyed a very interactive session in which not only the chat boomed, but also learners spoke up, enabled their camera and shared some very inspiring projects they worked on.
We keep on adopting our Young Thinkers Learning Festival thinking about which ingredients we should add or change to enable more interaction throughout the event. Different session formats, peer learning sessions, more ice breakers? We would love to hear from you and your ideas in the comments!
The international reach of our learning festival was amazing. More than 100 international learners registered from more than 10 nations and 4 continents! An American and Canadian learner joined in the morning, while European and African learners just had dinner and our Indian students coded in the middle of the night. This virtual format surely offers new opportunities to learn cross nations and time zones which is a door opener for a new dimension of collaboration.
We want to say a big thank you to all Young Thinkers community members who contributed with amazing sessions to this experimental learning experience. A very special thank you goes to the team at UC Berkeley who did a great job supporting us with ZOOM rooms, granted a smooth technical run and some brilliant learning sessions. To all contributors – You are awesome! We enjoyed working with you and already are looking forward to more common action!
So everyone – watch out for the next SAP Young Thinkers Learning Festival which will take place in Q4/2020.
If you want to organize an event for young thinkers at the school of your child or at other places and occasions, feel free to reuse our learning modules. If you are interested to be part of our Young Thinkers community or simply would like to exchange, comment below or send an email to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!