Kloop Media, under its project with Internews, launched a training course for local journalists, youth and civil society activists who had never programmed before. This initiative was supported by the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office funding additional training.
Twenty young people, who had never programmed before, were given the skills come up with their own mobile app and create a website using WordPress CMS (Content Management System), placed in free hosting. Also they learned how to work with databases and use the Play Market.
The first week of the training was dedicated to general principles of creating and promoting a mobile app and website, which later were used as data providers for hybrid applications.
Rinat Tuhvatshin, the course trainer used Karel educational programming language that he adapted to Java and Android. It helps participants to overcome the fear of programming acquainting them with basic concepts of programming. The app shows them how they can write actual programs.
Rinat Tuhvatshin, course trainer, co-founder of the public foundation “Kloop Media”:
“Carel the Android is a small robot, living in a digital matrix able to execute simple commands (move, turn left, put Beeper, pick Beeper, check whether there are barriers next to you, check whether there is a beeper where you are standing). However, combining these commands, you can teach Carel (or its advanced version at that point, a new “super Carel”) to do various interesting things, for example, to draw the chess field or bisect matrix of arbitrary size, and also to respond to button pressed on the phone”.
According to him, participants learned concepts such as: “variable”, “class”, “object”, “method”, “function”, “inheritance”, “cycle”, and learned how to run their applications on emulators and real phones/tablets in just half of the day using “Carel the Android”.
In the second week of the training participants learned how to create graphical interfaces, activities, responding to the various user gestures (tap, double tap, fling, swipe), In addition they learned how to pass information between them and how to use the WebView, creating hybrid applications with the help of that teaching app.
Ulanbek Abakirov and Jamilya Madalbekova, “Civil Alliance of improved nutrition and food security”:
“… the fundamental knowledge, given by this training, will be of great benefit to us for the development of future applications, based on Android. Our team had been working on the development of a hybrid system of the poll for research. By the end of the training, our project was 60% ready and we expect to complete this work early 2016”.
Now, upon completion of the course, at least nine participants are able to create full hybrid or simple apps for smartphone with “Android” operating system.
Aigerim Asanova, «public organization of people with hearing impairments and deafness»: “Before that, I had known nothing about programming, I was an ordinary PC user. For 2 weeks, I created the website and the app “Please, hear me” on my own. The app is intended for communication between people with hearing impairments and deafness. I thought that my idea is unrealizable. I began to carry out my idea step by step. At first, I created a website www.peopledeaf.kloop.asia, then non-hybrid application. In the first days of the training, the trainer focused on MVP (minimal value product) and at the time of creating the site, we had already detailed our apps. I found the app’s core purpose and requirements of the potential user. On the penultimate day of the training app had been downloaded in Play Market. Now users can download and use the app. The app works in the following way: a voice message of the speaker translates into a text message. There are also some standard phrases”.
During the training course, the participants became friends and helped each other to learn programming. They created a group on Facebook to exchange experiences and help each other. They also decided to hold periodic online meetings with trainer for getting advices and exchange their experience.
The material and manuals used during the training (including source code) are publicly available on the android.kloop.kg.
Mobile apps, developed during the course of programming:
This app will assist for conversation between deaf people and hearing people. Hearing people can record text files as notepad in database by their time and their names. So deaf people will be able to see what he is talking about. Also was created a website www.peopledeaf.kloop.asia. A developer — participant of the training, a 22-year certified surdopedagogics Aigerim Asanova, she started beta testing of the app ” Please, hear me ” two days before the end of the training. During beta testing, the deaf volunteer, using only the app, got a forty-minute consultation in a bank, regarding the loan and in the Central Department store, concerning the purchase of the laptop (the app read speaking, including complex technical terminology, and transformed it in written texts).
The app “Try to read by a Doman’s method” (available in Play Market) – The appendix created and handicapped for children to early reading tuition. Publication of the app is planning until the end of December 2015. Sujun Sydykova is a Developer from (NGO “women support Centre”). In addition, Suyun made a mobile version of website of the organization;
The app created by another developer, but during training was added new feature that will allow workers to check their status on the database migration service of Russia. Sagynbek kyzy Symbat is a member and a representative of the NGO “Insan Leylek” (she came from the farthest region of the Republic on the border with Tajikistan — Isfana) not previously engaged in programming.
The app “System of carrying out polls and researches” – It will help to carry out various surveys and studies, while the location of the interviewer will be verified using GPS. In the case of disruptions to the Internet, questionnaire will be stored on your device and sent automatically when connectivity is restored. Developed by a training participant — Ulan Abakirov (Civil Alliance for improved nutrition and food security. In the process of being finalized.
The app «EVENT app» (working title) – App for finding events by category in Bishkek. It will be a convenient, concise and free search service where people can solve the problem of finding a suitable place for leisure. Developer — Bakai Abdykul uulu (Central Asian free market Institute — CAFMI). It is being revised.
Mobile app is the information portal kloop.kg (in Russian and Kyrgyz languages) – Developer — Elmurat Ashyraliev. He is editor of Kyrgyz speaking news site kloop.kg. In the process of being finalized.
Mobile app “I am looking for the friend” (working title) – Dating app, with a complex functionality. Developer is Marat Basylov, who was studying web programming. The app is still in development; coach is Rinat Tuhvatshin. He conducts remote consulting.
The app “Shabashka” (working title) – Application for listing of urgently needed services. For example, services in installation of the software, repair services etc. the Developer: Nurlan Akibaev, freelancer. The application is complex in functionality. The app is still in development; coach is Rinat Tuhvatshin. He conducts remote consulting.
The app will provide easier access to information about the city of Tash-Kumyr: news, announcements and things about the city of Tash-Kumyr. Developer — Valentina Galich, Internews in Kyrgyzstan.
On completion of training it was necessary to finish some points is a writing of a code in the Android for operation of buttons of social networks in a mobile application and remove unnecessary visual elements through SCC. Further development of the app will be use to expand functionality, in particular, based on user needs that may appear during its use.
The app “Carel Android” (working title) – Developers are Farhad Tashmatov and Nur Adygeev. This app created for learning the basics of programming. Is still in development, coach is Rinat Tuhvatshin. He conducts remote consulting.
The app “Smart White Board” (working title) – Developer: Bermet Omurzakov. Mobile app designed to plan your day for creative people. Is still in development, coach is Rinat Tuhvatshin. He conducts remote consulting.
Training course on programming was held in the framework of the project Internews Network “Access to information”, with the support of the U.S. Agency for international development (USAID), and thanks to the support of the UNESCO Almaty in the framework of the initiative Youth Moblile in Central Asia.
Internews Network in the Kyrgyz Republic
Photo generously provided by the Public Fund “Kloop Media”