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  1. Imisi 3D Holds Successful Virtual Reality Hackathon in Nigeria – A first for Nigeria.


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    L-R Bunmi Otegbade, MD Generation Enterprise, Judith Okonkwo, Imisi 3D Founder, Chidiebere Nnadi, Technical Guide for the Hackathon, Ayodele Falowo, Imisi 3D Lab Manager

    On Saturday, November 19th, with relatively little fanfare history was made, 5 teams of young Nigerian VR enthusiasts – developers, 3D animators, graphic designers, students and entrepreneurs – came together to participate in Nigeria’s, and quite possibly Africa’s, first Virtual Reality Hackathon. The event was organised by Imisi 3D, the leading Virtual Reality creation lab in the country, with contestants asked to tackle solutions creation in 3 verticals – education, healthcare and tourism for the Samsung Gear VR.

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    Team 3D6 explain their app to Hackathon judge Rasheed Olaoluwa, Founder/President of Niche Capital

    Judith Okonkwo, Imisi 3D’s founder, explained the atypical process adopted for the Hackathon “we wanted to give the teams the best chance of success, particularly as we were all so new to VR content creation, so we formed teams 2 months before the hackathon. The thinking was that the teams could get together and start to work on their VR development skills with the lab’s support”. The Imisi 3D lab utilised several VR ready computers, Gear VRs and mobile devices, 360° Cameras and Leap Motions provided in conjunction with event partners Facebook, Samsung and the Virtual World Society.

    The 5 participating teams and their projects were:

    Team LeVRn – an app that teaches you how to code.
    Team GoThere – an app that allows you to experience locations in Nigeria before visiting.
    Team Life Race – a gamified learning experience that explains human conception.
    Team Farm VR – an application that teaches extension workers how to deal with farm pests in local
    languages.
    Team 3D6 – a retail VR app for virtual shopping.

     

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    Hackathon judge, CcHUB CEO Bosun Tijani, tries out Team LeVRn’s app

    The judges for the event were CcHUB CEO – Bosun Tijani, Former Bank of Industry (BOI) CEO/MD Rasheed Olaoluwa, and Ericsson Innovation Lead – Bankole Alao; with Bunmi Otegbade, CEO of Generation Enterprise, serving as the MC on the day. They all commended the teams for the work done; with ‘Bosun Tijani reminding participants that the renaissance in the Nigerian tech sector was driven by the first hackathon in 2010, and this may well prove to be the case for the virtual reality industry.

    Team LeVRn emerged victorious with their learning experience app, combining the Gear VR with the Leap Motion to create motion aided learning in the virtual environment. They won the Co-Creation Hub sponsored Competition Prize of $1,000 along, with $5,000 seed investment for the development of their product, and the Institute of the Future sponsored $1,000 Future prize.

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    Seye Soyede-Johnson does the demo presentation for Team FarmVR

    The teams are now expected to further refine their products, with ongoing support from the lab, with fully developed VR experiences deployed to the Oculus store by the end of the year. Judith Okonkwo explained “the goal of the hackathon was always twofold, an event to inspire innovative creation for virtual reality and a first step to making Nigerian VR experiences available to the world.

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    Hackathon winners, Team LeVRn. L-R Olumide Olajide, Abdulmalik Abdulwahab, Tade Ajiboye, Osarumen Osamuyi and Timi Ajiboye

    The Oculus store and Samsung Gear VR provide this opportunity in a way very few HMDs can match, with over 2 million Gear VRs in use globally this is a direct window to the world”. This event was made possible through the generosity of our partners and sponsors CcHUB, Facebook, the Virtual World Society, the Institute for the Future, Samsung HQ and Asktoks.com.

    Videos

    The results https://www.facebook.com/Imisi3D/videos/1179398695483700/
    The demos https://www.facebook.com/Imisi3D/videos/1179333875490182/
    Checking in at the hackathon https://www.facebook.com/Imisi3D/videos/1179168748840028/

    Photos

    Unless otherwise stated all photos credited to Mohini Ufeli

  2. Case study: the6thfloor Challenge Membership


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    6th-floor-banners-infographic (1)

    On the 13th of June, 2016, we created a new membership model for the 6th floor that could allow for inspiration and support experimentation. We wanted a simple platform that could possibly inspire participation in social innovation and entrepreneurship in the young, naïve and purposeful spirit of the community.

    We named the new membership model: ‘Challenge Membership’; and made access free for those who were looking to join the CcHUB community.

    The Process

    Application for challenge membership was done via the6thfloor’s website; approval of submitted approach and subsequent invitation to meet with challenge owner was based on feasibility of the approach, concise summary of approach, and, in a few cases, experience on similar ‘projects’.

    Each challenge allowed for a specific bounty access points which translated into the duration an approved member could have access to the floor.

    CcHUB, re:learn, and, 6 startups in the CcHUB Incubation portfolio (Mamalette, LifeBank, Truppr, Genii Games, GoMyWay, Vacantboards) have so far contributed to the challenge portfolio.

    Social Media and articles on tech blogs were used to increase awareness of challenges available and the hashtag #the6thfloor was used on social media to promote the available challenges.

    The Outcome

    A total of 176 challenge applications were received within 5 months; 32 challenges were submitted by challenge owners (startups); 22 challenges got published on the challenge portal, of which 16 were completed within this period. Also, 25 ‘challenge members’ completed the challenges; 5 of whom were shortlisted for other challenges they subsequently applied for.

    Highest skill applied included research, communication, project management and design; least skill applied involved coding.

    Upon completion of the challenge (usually after two weeks of resumption), the challenge owner reviews the challenge outcome submitted approves; and signs off on approach.

    We got feedback from two ‘Challenge Members’, Emmanuel and ‘Tayo, who worked on two different challenges: Mamalette Challenge (Grow Mamalette community) and CcHUB Student Membership challenge:

    Case Study One (1)

    1. Case study: Mamalette Challenge: Grow Mamalette community

    Here’s what Emmanuel had to say:

    Working on the previous Mamalette challenge with my partner on the challenge enabled me to share ideas with other community members. The Mamalette CEO, Mrs Anike Lawal inspired and taught me key things on how startups work.

    This challenge encouraged me to research more and think critically to find solutions to not just what I was working on but other areas she might experience challenges in future.

    This gave me exposure on how startups work, how to scale, deal with challenges that startups face in their early stages and how to work with others in the community.

    Case Study Two (2)

    2) Case Study 2: CcHUB Student Membership challenge

    Here’s what ‘Tayo had to say:

    I can pinpoint two major things I learnt during the last challenge: the ability to synergize different ideas brought to the table and the concept of remodelling an existing idea.

    We scrutinised every idea each of us brought to the table after which we were eventually able to put all ideas together which evolved into a good solution.

    I also learnt the art of remodelling or innovating on an existing idea. We researched and studied existing organisations that were doing what we wanted to design. It made it easier for us to innovate on this and developed our own structure.

    The challenge was a good experience and the brainstorming sessions was an eye opener.

    What the startup founders said

    “CH 17: Strategy for Marketing Animated Series”

    I put up a challenge on strategy for a marketing my animated series and worked with Omozino on the challenge. She provided key marketing strategies for Genii Games series and shared interesting ideas. I can affirm that her work was superb. She also showed enthusiasm about the challenge which featured in our conversations which strengthened our communication flow. Although I am yet to implement the suggestions she shared, once the opportunity comes, I will implement them. – Adebayo Adegbembo, CEO, Genii Games

    “CH 22: Mamalette Live 2016 is almost here, what should the media plan look like?”

    We encountered some difficulty during the planning of Mamalette Live which we put up as a challenge. Adebayo sent in his approach to the challenge and was shortlisted. I found him to be a very creative thinker because he was able to come up with workable ideas within few minutes to solve my challenges. Our communication flow was great despite not being able to meet physically (as he is currently in the US) we were able to communicate via email and Skype. He was always on time and very accommodating.

    Our challenge was to increase the numbers of people registering to attend our event (Mamalette Live). After implementing his ideas, our numbers increased to almost 200 sign ups within a short period which was quite good.

    Adebayo was quite committed to the challenge, even after initially sharing his ideas, he continued to reach out to know updates of the challenge and offered more ways to help. In all, it was a good one. – ‘Kemi Vaughan, Marketing and Events Executive, Mamalette
  3. [Recap] re:learn October Meetup – The Technology Disruption in Education


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    At our October meetup, 25 professionals from various startups, schools, NGOs & foundations supporting education, participated in the re:learn meetup. Our focus for the month was on the ways technology is disrupting education in Africa.

    Here’s a recap for you with major highlights

    What is changing?

    At first, we discussed a few things that technology had affected in the education sphere and some of the discussed items include:

    1. Social consumption – Students and teachers can now turn to technology to make learning processes more social. From reading e-books and blogs to watching videos – a process that is visually stimulating, social and engaging. YouTube, TED-Ed, Khan Academy and even Moodle are examples of tools that are shifting classrooms from teacher-centric to a more project-based setting.
    2. Collaboration – Besides regular teacher-student collaboration, students are collaborating with one another using tools like Google Apps for Education (G Suite) inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are also collaborating with their colleagues to develop differentiated and aligned lesson plans and activities.
    3. Online Learning: Today, with an internet connection, students can learn anything from history to coding lessons online. Some schools have also created Virtual Learning Environments to encourage learning after school hours.
    4. Grading, Assessment & Insights: Assessment, scoring, recording and analysis have become less burdensome. CBTs allow students get their results immediately. Some data-driven tools like BubbleScore even allow teachers give tests via mobile devices, or scan and score tests with a mobile device’s camera.

     



    Tech Trends
    Around the world, these are the latest tech trends in education

    • 3D Printing in schools is revolutionising the art of show-and-tell. From printing machine parts, internal organs, arts and craft, students can really see and believe.
    • Paper texts and workbooks are giving way as students read textbooks and take assessment online (Cloud). These also allow teachers see which resources are most effective and how students are engaging with them.
    • Biometrics are even employed in some schools for student attendance, to borrow books from the library and to detect loss of concentration in online courses using eye tracking technology. That’s goodbye to IDs and library cards
    • Holograms are replacing projectors and provide 3D feel too. Soon, teachers will be able to give lessons in classrooms across the world and students will take tours in 3D models of their favourite buildings.
    • Students are taking notes, trying out online courses and quizzes (see Efiko), carrying out research and sharing pictures and video from their tablets and mobile devices.
    • Solar is the new low-cost power alternative especially for schools in rural areas.
    • Interactive smart boards are providing a visual and engaging experience for students and deepening their understanding and retention of course materials.
    • Trials with Virtual Reality in the classroom have created immersive experiences for the children and a lot more is expected in the future.

    We wrapped up by sharing some suggestions and edTech startups would do well to consider these:

    1. Curriculum: WAEC, Checkpoint or IGCSE, understand the different curriculums offered in schools before proceeding to develop the solution.
    2. Content: should be localised but standards should not be lowered.
    3. Pricing: Whether one-off, premium, subscription-based or installmental payments, school owners love a flexible pricing scheme.
    4. Support: Always have a support plan for your customers with at most 48hrs response time if and when issues arise.

    All in all, research is key. Take time to study the user, get into the classroom and observe teaching practices and learning styles. Ask lots of questions, interviews if need be. Never assume. It is only after you understand that you can truly be innovative.

  4. Interview with CodeCamp 2016 participants


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    After an intensive month learning the in and out of PHP /Laravel framework, we interviewed 3 of the 15 participants (Frederick, Memuna, and Olabode) of the recently concluded 2016 CodeCamp about their experience before and after the training and here is what they had to say…

    *****

     Fredrick Mgbeoma


    Tell us a little about yourself

    My name is Fredrick Mgbeoma, a Computer Science graduate of the University of Port Harcourt.

    Why did you apply for CodeCamp?

    I have always had an interest in building software but I wasn’t able to combine school work back then with learning how to program because the education system’s major concern was working to get better grades. I started after graduation but wasn’t learning as fast as I expected so I saw Codecamp as an answer to my prayer and I applied.

    What was your first impression at CodeCamp?

    The intensity of the classes and it has been worth it.

    What do you think gave you an edge during your Codecamp interview?

     I’d say my strong desire and my passion for programming must have sounded convincing enough to give me an edge.

    What was your biggest challenge with regards to what you were taught at CodeCamp and how were you able to overcome them?

    A: My biggest challenge was Objective Oriented Programming (OOP) I was able to overcome it by repetitively trying and consulting my classmates during the review with my classmates the next day.

    What project were you working on?

     We worked on an event booking web app.

    Where do you see yourself applying what you were taught at Codecamp?

    Take this as a kick start to actually invest in solutions.

    What is your advice for future participants at Codecamp?

    Focus. Before you come make sure you are willing to learn. Avoid distraction if you really want to gain a lot.

    ******

     Memuna Haruna

    Tell us a little about yourself

    My name is Memuna Haruna, I studied Electrical Engineering and graduated in 2014.

    Why did you apply for CodeCamp?

    I was searching for opportunities to learn more and was glad when the opportunity came.

    What do you think gave you an edge during your CodeCamp interview?

    I was confident and I already had an android product I had developed which I included in my application.


    What was your first impression at CodeCamp?

    My first impression was that we hit the ground running on the first day.


    What was your biggest challenge with regards to what you were taught at CodeCamp and how were you able to overcome them?

    My biggest challenge was the MVC framework. I got good materials and I was able to overcome it by practicing.


    What project did you work on?

    We worked on an event booking platform.


    Where do you see yourself applying what you were taught at CodeCamp?

    I intend to apply what I learnt into a project I am currently working on – a forum where people ask techie questions and get people to answer. I intend to call it lorem ipsum.


    What is your advice for future participants at CodeCamp?

    Learn as much as you can, not just from the tutors but from fellow ‘CodeCampers’ to network and get as many materials as you can. Also, build relationships with other trainees. Don’t think you know too little and shy away from learning further.

    *****

     Abesin Olabode

    Tell us a little about yourself

    My name is Abesin Olabode, an undergraduate of OOU final year, I started learning in 2012 and took a break about 2 years ago.

    Why did you apply for CodeCamp?

    When I started learning how to program, I didn’t really know what to learn so I started learning HTML and CSS. After a while, I began to learn Python and Java. I expected that at Codecamp I would learn what is needed and of course I have gotten it.

    What do you think gave you an edge during your CodeCamp interview?

    I think it was because of what I built before I came here, I built a platform called Campushello.com, a platform that allows a student in Nigerian Universities book rooms online but it was built on WordPress and wasn’t too good.


    What was your first impression at CodeCamp?

    {Laughs} It was a very funny one. I walked into the room and obviously, everyone had already introduced themselves and Kene asked me where I was coming from and I answered: “I am coming from Alagbado, quite far”. Everyone laughed and my folks still fondly tease me by calling me by “quite far”.


    What was your biggest challenge with regards to what you were taught at CodeCamp and how were you able to overcome them?

    My biggest challenge was CSS but I overcame it because the environment was good for learning and I was able to ask a question on what I didn’t know. Kene, our instructor, was helpful with the classes and kept asking follow-up questions.

    What project were you working on?

    5 of us, my team and I, worked on the project meeting room booking app – cBookr. It allows users to book meeting rooms within CcHUB. It was an eye-opening project because it helped put into practice what we were taught. We actually used Laravel and presented the app during the demo day and got feedback.

    Where do you see yourself applying what you were taught at CodeCamp?

    I see myself applying what I was taught in my personal projects and also if I get an internship, I will apply what I learnt but if I do not get an internship, I will apply what I have learnt in the freelancing sites I am on and also I have to work on feedback I got.

    What is your advice for future participants at CodeCamp?

    Don’t think of CodeCamp as a place where you have to be familiar with many languages . The instructors at CodeCamp expect you to know the basics but be receptive to learning because you will be bombarded with learning here.

    Find out more about the other participants http://cchubnigeria.com/codecamp/

  5. Recap: re:learn September Meetup – Addressing the Skills Shortage in Education


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    Last week Thursday, over 20 education and technology professionals participated in the September edition of the re:learn meetup. Our discussion was around the shortage of skills in the education space.

    Here is a recap with highlights from the meetup.

    The Problem:

    According to the latest projection by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), in order to reach the 2030 global education goal, countries must recruit 69 million teachers, to provide every child with primary and secondary education. Of this figure, 24.4 million will be needed to teach primary school and 44.4 million at the secondary school level.

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, the teacher gap is widest, as 17 million primary and secondary school teachers will be required by 2030. This accounts for about 25% of the global requirements. A major contributing factor is the high rate of population growth, of children that fall in that demographic. Currently, more than 70% of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are affected by huge shortages of primary school teachers, and as high as 90% for secondary school teachers.

    Consequently, Nigeria has a high teacher to student ratio, ranging between 1:78 and 1:134, against the recommended ratio of 1:40. This ultimately causes a strain on available teachers, while reducing the quality of learning for their students.


    Quality vs Quantity:

    Undoubtedly, there is a huge need that requires filling, however, the quality of teacher matter as much as the quantity. Factors such as training and qualification, coupled with the style of delivery in the classroom were identified as some of the measurable indicators of teacher quality. An interesting outcome from the discussion was the UNICEF survey conducted in over 50 countries, and with over 500 children on what makes a good teacher.

    Key motivating factors to improve the quality of teachers include upgrading the training quality in Colleges of Education and Universities, remuneration and clear opportunities for career growth.

    The Way Forward:

    Bridging the teacher gap is a priority, and necessary for preparing the next, and future generations for the challenges and opportunities of this century. Some of the key areas for improvement around teacher training and engagement included:

    – raising the professional standards for teachers
    – improving salaries and working conditions for teachers
    – reinventing teacher preparation, with the gradual shift from manual documentation of lesson notes, and increasing professional development opportunities,
    extra funding for the sector apprenticeships and internships to foster hands-on classroom experience for teachers

    While these challenges exist, they also present the opportunity to identify innovative ways of bridging the education gap. At re:learn, one of the ways to address this, is through the re:learn Trainers’ Network – a network of individuals who are passionate about education and technology. We’ll be sharing more about our network in the following weeks.

    October is Here!

    This month, we’ll be looking at different ways technology is disrupting education in Africa. Learn more and RSVP to join the discussion here.

    The re:learn meetup is a growing community of education and technology professionals, volunteers, school administrators and other stakeholders, who are committed to improving access and quality of education in Nigeria.

    Do you know any individual or organisation doing something interesting in the Edtech space? Spread the word, we’d love to have them join our growing community!