Last month Angus from OTS Melbourne travelled to Auckland, New Zealand for Kiwi PyCon. He gave a talk entitled Encouraging New Programmers: The OpenTechSchool Model, and also organised a free workshop Introduction to Data Processing with Python.Read more → Leave a comment!
We are proud to announce our first programming workshop with kids was successful. It was a brave experiment, a peek into new realms, and loads of fun.Read more → Leave a comment!
We’ve already talked about us investigating on in-depth programmes before, but now it is official: The OpenTechSchool in Berlin will offer a full-time learning Programme called Hackership. Similar to the programme the Hacker School in New York is running, Hackership is a 4-days-per-week self-directed peer-learning programme going for several weeks to become a better programmer.Read more → Leave a comment!
We are very happy to welcome three more local teams to the global OpenTechSchool Community: Tel-Aviv and Ramallah - both in the middle east and Dortmund in lovely Ruhrgebiet, so far the farthest west (in Germany).Read more → Leave a comment!
The Social Coding with Git workshop has been popular in Berlin and Sweden. Yesterday Melburnians got a chance to get acquanted with Git & GitHub, and share their contributions to the ‘Global Underground’ network of bars and cafes.Read more → Leave a comment!
The great thing about running a non-profit organization with a lot of dedicated volunteers supported by companies and co-working spaces is that there’s usually little money needed. But we don’t kid ourselves that there is a need for a solid financial basis. That is the reason why we created the foundation under German law and allowed supporters to become a member or give donations.
Once we announced this possibility we received requests for electronic payments - even from as far as New York, USA. We started looking for solutions and one that quickly came to mind was PayPal. We asked PayPal if they are willing to accept us in their non-profit program and they made us an offer we couldn’t decline.
So, we are happy to present you the zero-fee PayPal donate button for OpenTechSchool:
The great thing about this magic button: It accepts any amount in any (supported) currency! Try it out!
We are very thankful to the PayPal team for solving our problem so quickly and especially to Tim who made it all happen!Leave a comment!
The OpenTechSchool has built incredible things over the last year and every time when we add that it is all volunteer work, people are completely speechless. The things accomplished indeed are amazing and we are very proud of it but that doesn’t mean we don’t need any help; that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are we always open for more ideas and projects, we are also constantly looking for people to help us implement and execute the tasks we already have on our hands.Read more → Leave a comment!
Great things are happening in Hamburg: Last week we had the first “App Summer Camp”. Twelve girls aged 13 to 15 learned how to develop Android Apps on their own. But they did not only learn programming. They also learned how to pitch and present their results to an audience. Another important part of the four day workshop was to meet female rolemodels who work as software engineers and mobile app developers.Read more → Leave a comment!
Since I joined the group of AfricaHackTrip – developers and designers from Europe visting tech hubs in East Africa this fall – I learned about many great initiatives in this area, some of them being a perfect fit for my involvement in OpenTechSchool.
I’d like to draw your attention to a special project: Nairobi Dev School. Martha Chumo, a 19 year-old girl, is building a school to teach coding, particularly encouraging women to participate and offering financial support to those who need it. She’s currently running a campaign on Indiegogo to be able to rent a place, buy furniture and laptops. Here’s another article. Also check out her blog.
Apart from that there’s also Rails Girls going on and a lot of other things. Take a look at the blog Girl Geek Kampala to get an impression about what is going on in Uganda’s capital. I’m looking forward to meet some of the protagonists in person.
Seems as if OpenTechSchool and AfricaHackTrip share some values and could benefit from each other. I’m looking into ways how these projects can promote each other more. Maybe there will be chapters in African cities soon? Leave a comment if you have ideas.Leave a comment!
Our first OpenTechSchool event in Hamburg at the Hanse Ventures office was great: Sixteen women with different backgrounds (business, teaching, design, social work, computer science,…) and more, less or no experience in programming met to learn together and teach each other. The goal: Developing own apps!Read more → Leave a comment!
Melbourne premiered the Introduction to Data Processing with Python workshop in the wonderful Electron Workshop this time around. An interesting twist: They conducted the event in a split fashion, with learners picking from either the new data processing material or the beginners course. One learner commented, “the material was excellent, so were the helpers.” Plus, they had cookies.
Zurich had its first OpenTechSchool workshop ever, the time-tested Python for beginners. The Colab café served as a great location on that sunny Saturday. Participants and coaches alike were eager to have more workshops in the future: “Good coaches, cool location. Looking forward to the next opentechschool workshop!” And it was one of the few Zurich events which actually could get hold of a few bottles of Club Mate.
Tel Aviv has been jumpstarted by our great core member, Ben, in just about a week. The city in Isreal, our first chapter in Asia, kicked off with an Introduction to programming with Python. “I wish I could learn this way every weekend,” one participant commented.Leave a comment!
In April we introduced a new Learners Meetup format and we’re really happy how things are developing. The Learners Meetup in a way is the essence of what OpenTechSchool is about: people from all backgrounds and experience levels, especially absolute beginners, are coming together to learn and talk about technology. We are creating a community out of learners and coaches, novices and experts of all fields and interests. The barcamp-style part of the event we started in May turned out to be a great way to get people to talk to others about topics they’re interested in. Small groups of two to eight participants that share the same interests including at least one expert get together. After 15 to 20 minutes one person per group summarizes for everybody what the group was talking about. Everyone gets involved that way and talking usually continues after the official ending.Read more → Leave a comment!
Prior to this announcement we wracked our brains and discussed a lot. But since creating a longer, more in-depth learning programm would be our biggest project so far, we really want your input now. After all, a project of this size means much more responsibilities and day-to-day work than one of our weekend workshops.
As always we care most about the learning experience of our participants so we want to make it right from the start. If you’d be interested in participating in such a programme, you can help us succeed by taking six minutes of your time and answer this short learners survey.
Thank you for helping us figure out how to make tech education better!
And thanks to JD Hancock for this amazing Storm Trooper Photoset.Leave a comment!
We were initally planning to co-host our talk with a few other tech learning inititatives at this years Codemotion in Berlin, but when we learnt they were unable to participate, we had to restructure our talk and the topics to talk about. Though a little shy first, we decided to take this opportunity and, after talking about the lastest developments in the tech education space and presenting the OpenTechSchool and what we do, talked about something we’ve been pondering about for a while: How to make sure learning becomes an on-going process and take a peak into the future plans of the OpenTechSchool.Read more → Leave a comment!
When we started the OpenTechSchool movement about a year ago, we established a few core values we follow. Alongside of that we also promised ourself to “document everything” to make it the easiest for others to copy the concept and get their own education efforts off the ground the most efficiently possible. This is of course an unachievable ideal but we are sure todays launch of the ask.OpenTechSchool knowledge base brings us a hell lot closer.Read more → Leave a comment!
After the successful launch of OpenTechSchool Australia, we are very happy to announce another two local teams joining the always extending OpenTechSchool movement: Hamburg and Zurich. And not only are the kick-off events already set up, no the first workshops and events are on schedule in those cities already, too.Read more → Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool will be a part of the first annual Codemotion Berlin tech conference May 9-11. The entire conference takes place over the course of three days– one day of workshops (Wearables/Arduino/GLSL Shaders etc.) and two days of conference (including Hard & Soft(ware) hackathon, mini-game jam, labs, makers- and start-up- areas as well). The focus of the conference is Technology– in all its glory– both hardware and software, technical and creative. Tracks include web, mobile, big data, makers and creative.Read more → Leave a comment!
This is it! We are excited to announce that OpenTechSchool is now official a Foundation, more precisely a “gemeinütziger e.V.” — a non-profit foundation under German law.Read more → Leave a comment!
The OpenTechSchool Zurich is scheduling its first workshop, Python for beginners, which is going to take place at the wonderful Colab (which, incidentally, rhymes nicely with our Berlin facilities, so that must be a good sign!) The workshop is going to be 4 hours on a Saturday, noon-ish, with an optional install party on the preceding Friday night.
We need you Python enthusiasts to help us with the coaching! So if you think you can help coaching Python please join the Meetup group and fill out the Doodle so we can quickly agree on a date. No need to be an expert, no matter how much you know about Python programming your knowledge and experience will be useful to a beginner!
See the Meetup announcement for details.Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool Australia held it’s second workshop, this time with the new Websites with Python Flask workshop.Read more → Leave a comment!
HacKIDemia, OpenTechSchool and Toywheel are bringing the hackathon format of working together on technology in interactive workshops to the world of Kids in Berlin with their first Kids Hackathon on Sunday, April 28th 2013.
Do you have a child (6 to 15 years old) and you want them to learn the latest technologies hands on and by experimenting in interactive workshops? Bring them to our Kids Hackathon where they learn to use microcontrollers, crafts and programming to express themselves and their ideas in the areas of interactive storytelling, space, music, healthcare and body functions, environment and ocean.
The Kids Hackahton will take place Sunday, April 28th 2013 from 10:00 a.m. at Immobilien Scout 24, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin near train station Ostbahnhof. Workshops will be held in both German and English, the event is free to attend but donations are encouraged. In order to participate you have to subscribe. You can register by filling in this form.Leave a comment!
As some of you probably already know, we’ve been supporting HacKIDemia, which took place on Easter Monday, April 1st, here in Berlin by promoting the event. We are happy to announce, that HacKIDemia and OpenTechSchool decided to take their collaboration to the next level and do a first, new event all together: the Hackathon for Kids, which will take at the end of April (target dates are 27th/28th of April) will consist of various full-day challenges and workshops kids hack on with their parents and qualified coaches. We are thinking about the Nasa-Send-Things-to-Space-Challenge and the famous TEDxYouthAustin-Makey-Makey-Sound-installation but also about more software involving topics like setting up Arduinos and sensors to track and visualise air conditions or Scratch-based Software-Challenges. We are already in talks with an amazing venue and have sponsors on board to help us with other stuff around.
What we need now are great ideas for workshops and coaches willing to host them with us. Therefore this is a call for coaches of all backgrounds and languages, interested in hacking with kids. If you are interested in coaching tech and making to kids, please quickly answer these few questions and join the organisational meetup on Wednesday, April 10th at Co.Up at which we will discuss what to do and how to get organised. And even if you don’t speak german or can’t make it to the prep meeting, please fill out the form, there are checkboxes for both of those.
Oh, what a joy this is going to be!
(Thanks to Simon Höher of knowable.org for taking these awesome picture of the event, which the one on top was taken from. )Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool has held many good coding workshops but not so many hardware-related ones. We would like to change that by starting with a very simple and beginner-friendly workshop about opening (mostly mobile) hardware. To do that, we are looking for coaches.Read more → Leave a comment!
Last weekend OpenTechSchool Australia kicked off with the traditional Introduction to Programming workshop. Let’s take a look at our first OpenTechSchool event down under…Read more → Leave a comment!
We at the OpenTechSchool are coming from the tech-industry and are tech-savvy people, who started this whole movement because we felt technology is tought wrong as it is done today. We never really thought further than tech until Sam made the great Video of us for his “Year of Open Source”-Project and raised said question in the corresponding blog post. In it Sams asks whether the way we organise ourself and our learning materials in combination with the very personal and including way of real-life events could be transfered to other topics and subjects. Sure, we saw the idea of the OpenStartupSchool here in Berlin (on which we are still waiting for anything to happen) but as this rather close to us and focusses on a similar audience, we really didn’t see this as going much further. Not until Sam brought up that this sounds like a great learning technique for learning languages.Read more → Leave a comment!
You know that at OpenTechSchool we have always been supportive of women in tech, being glad that half of our learners are women, proud to have amazing female role models among our coaches and dedicated to building a safe learning environment where both women and men can feel welcome.Read more → Leave a comment!
Through the Hive-Network we recently came together with Sebastian Seitz from the Technologie Stiftung Berlin (TSB). He is supervising the project “Make IT real” and one of the things they are organising there are so called “Student Labs” here in Berlin: a place set up to facilitate a whole class of pupils or students and make a half- or even full-day workshops dedicated to teach tech topics. And the OpenTechSchool would like to help with that.Read more → Leave a comment!
During the preparation of the Summit of NewThinking we met Sam Muirhead, who pursues a very interesting project called ”Year of Open Source”. For more than half a year everything Sam begins or renews, he forces himself to make it as open source as possible. From clothes or over travelling up to entertainment, everything as open source as possible but at least as “share-ish” as possible (think of car pooling or hitchicking instead of flying). He documents all his doing with blog articles and videos and may will put together a final documentation on his efforts at the end.
On thing he wanted to pursue this year was learning to code. So he was looking into open education concepts and - as he is also located in Berlin - interviewed some of the OTS Team members and put together this amazing video (thank you so very much) and made a great blog post about us.Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool Melbourne kicks off with Introduction to Programming in PythonRead more → Leave a comment!
Last Saturday the python coaches of Berlin met once again to discuss the upcoming learning materials and workshops for the next few weeks and months. There will be more material and though people already volunteered to join in writing, we want more coaches to participate.Read more → Leave a comment!
Learn how to program your first app for Android, Google’s most successful mobile operating systemRead more → Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool is going down under with recent Berlin alumni Steven Farlie kicking things off in Melbourne with a call for core members.Read more → Leave a comment!
Last month, Ben gave a talk on how OpenTechSchool uses GitHub to create and manage learning material in an efficient and open fashion at the Summit of Newthinking in Berlin. Since the recordings have been uploaded, we want to publish both the video as well as the presentation on this blog.Read more → Leave a comment!
Much has happened since we created our first version of the website back in July: not only did we move to meetup.com to manage most of our events, gain new team members, and add plenty of learning materials, we also set up OpenTechSchool in another city - Stockholm! The website didn’t reflect any of those changes, though, so we decided to redo everything from the ground up. I am very proud to announce that “Project Nikolaus” officially took off and you can see the results online as of now. “Project Nikolaus” wasn’t only the redesign of a website, but is about much more than that, and I’d like to take the time to explain a few aspects of it to you in this blog post.Read more → Leave a comment!
Arduino - a small micro controller conquers the world. And we want to help it. Not only because we’ve been asked a lot about hardware workshops for that device but also because we think it is just amazing what you can do with it. But we need help - help by experienced Arduino and hardware people, who want to share their passion with other by coaching. We need you!Read more → Leave a comment!
Last Tuesday marked the 3rd Python workshop for OTS Berlin. Let’s look back on creating websites with Django.Read more → Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool is in Stockholm, and we couldn’t wait for our first workshop to take place. Get to read and see all about it:Read more → Leave a comment!
Beginners: it’s time to get social! OpenTechSchool is proud to announce it’s first workshop for social coding. Learn how to share your code online, find interesting projects and connect with programmers across the world!Read more → Leave a comment!
A few months back me and my pal Paul Nelligan started our little “Micro Hack Days”: Every once in a while, we took the Saturday afternoon to come and hack together in some public place. It was fun and productive, but quickly we realised it would be nice to have more people there to hack-a-long and chat with. So beginning of October we decided to institutionalize this a bit more and make a public meetup under the OpenTechSchool umbrella. Last Saturday we hosted the first “official” event and it was … splendid!Read more → Leave a comment!
Our third Beginners Meetup was last week, where we learnt about binary and logic gates and had two very inspiring talks from women who have recently learnt programming.Read more → Leave a comment!
We have been very busy behind the scenes to create the most awesome month of OpenTechSchool yet: plenty of events this month and even more coming up or in the works. Also our very first event outside of Berlin and more about our expansion in this article…Read more → Leave a comment!
Animations and visualisations are nice look at, but not that easy to produce, epecially when you are missing the math background. That’s why OpenTechSchool would love to host a workshop about math in visualisation and 3D. In order to do that, we need help!Read more → Leave a comment!
Last Tuesday was the second in our Python Beginners series. This time we went social with the Twitter Search API.Read more → Leave a comment!
Last Wednesday marked our second Beginners Meetup. It was a fun-filled and information packed evening. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.Read more → Leave a comment!
Last Saturday OpenTechSchool held the first workshop for Python beginners. Let’s look back at some of the highlights of the day. Thank you to the students and coaches that helped make this workshop a great success!Read more → Leave a comment!
Wow, that was an intense and a very exciting week. When we first got offered the possibility to have a presence at Campus Party link we thought it would be a nice addition to their program to hold 2-3 workshops there. We were just in the planning state for our very first workshop and didn’t know where our journey would take us.Read more → Leave a comment!
Alongside all of our hard work to bring you lots of interesting workshops at Campus Party, a dedicated team of Python coaches and OTS organizers have been busy planning a new workshop. On September 1st, you will have the chance to attend a four hour introduction to Python, starting at 14:00.Read more → Leave a comment!
Our first Beginners Meetup went well, with around 50 participants joining us on August 8th at co.up. First up was Bea with a short intro into what OTS is & what we had envisioned for the (still evolving) learn & tell portion of the event.Read more → Leave a comment!
OpenTechSchool held its first workshop, JS for Absolute Beginners, on July 21-22. Here is a look at the event from three perspectives: that of a participant, a coach, and an organizer. Thanks to everyone who made this event a giant success!Read more → Leave a comment!
For the sake of catching up with each other in the ‘real world’ rather than the Internet, we have decided to meet biweekly for OpenTechSchool team breakfasts. We’ll be meeting at 8:30 every other Thursday at co.up. You’re invited to join us!Read more → Leave a comment!
Berlin is a beautiful city in which you can lose yourself among many amazing tech events, meetings, and chances to exchange and improve your skills. It’s very easy for a developer to find other developers and create new projects or get some help with what they’re working on. But what about the beginners? Or what about the people who don’t know anything about a particular language they would really love to learn?Read more → Leave a comment!
I’m very glad to announce that OpenTechSchool will be offering workshops during CampusParty. Yes, we will participate in this week-long tech event, taking place on Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin from August 21 to the 26th. With 10,000 participants, developers, and tech enthusiasts from all over Europe, and over 600 hours of content, workshops, hackathons, presentations, and who knows what else, it will be one of the biggest tech events this city has ever seen. Awesome, right?Read more → Leave a comment!
Openness to us means sharing, whether that be the coaches sharing their time and skills, or, over time, the learners sharing what they have gained with newcomers and becoming coaches themselves, as well as sharing their projects and progress with others. It also stands for our aim to provide the opportunity for coaches to pool their brainpower and create the workshop and curriculum themselves, rather than having a rigidly set way to teach or learn the material.Read more → Leave a comment!