Want to support the development of young creative coders in South Africa? You can make a donation via our crowdfunding campaign on Thundafund.
Creative Code is a prize-winning World Design Capital 2014 recognised project. Winner of a WDC2014 “Best Pitch” award (27 May 2014), Creative Code introduces school kids to computer coding, making coding and visual design more accessible through youth media, gaming and mobile phones. You can see some of our lessons here.
A low-cost media literacy coding curriculum is presented through weekly lessons and longer workshops during summer and winter vacations.
Projects emphasize youth culture (mobile photography, pixelart games) and local visual languages and media (beading, patterns and fabric design) to engage students with the logical and procedural dimension of visual design.
In contrast to the ‘black box’ approach of most digital literacy curricula, Creative Code emphasises tangible programming, embodied learning, web-making, visual design, FOSS development processes, and game design and development.
A central goal is to engage young people in meaningful creative digital design projects. Over the past eighteen months, the Ikamva Coders have produced several original games and many visual designs. These experiences and learning processes have been documented with the aim of producing curricula, learning materials, and research into the representational and conceptual processes at work as young people learn about coding and digital design.
Careers and further study
We also encourage and assist the coders in applying to courses of study involving digital media and Computer Science. The Coders learn about various opportunities that are open to them – not only Computer Science (where Maths can be a big barrier) but also the many creative career paths which today require digital skills or coding.
We mobilise code
Our key long-term aim, is to make our coding lessons accessible to young people via low-cost mobile phones and tablets, and to use our research to improve the accessibility of such introductory materials. Right now we’re experimenting with our own tablet apps, and with the great resources available for mobile coding from TouchDevelop.
Why coding lessons?
Only the most privileged young South Africans have opportunities to study Visual Art or Information Technology at school level. According to the Department of Basic Education, in 2013, only 4 874 of SA’s 562 112 Grade 12s studied Information Technology and only 6 755 studied Visual Art for the National Senior Certificate. This means that only around 1% of matriculants are getting a foundation in the subjects which would help lead them to careers in Digital Media or Computer Science.
Who are we?
Creative Code is run in partnership between the Centre for Film and Media Studies from the University of Cape Town, and Ikamva Youth, a multi award-winning youth development non-profit organization. Ikamva Youth relies on volunteer tutors and equips learners from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge, skills, networks and resources to access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities once they matriculate.
We often work collaboratively with staff and postgraduate students from Computer Science and UCT’s Centre in ICT for Development.
The Ikamva Coders are twenty eight members of Ikamva Youth, ages fifteen to eighteen. They participate in a volunteer-run after-school programme, attending extra-mural homework and tutoring sessions and holiday workshops.
Our Facebook page
You can make a donation via our crowdfunding campaign on Thundafund
We publish our artwork and games on our website
More about Ikamva Youth
Ikamva Youth http://ikamvayouth.org/