Building a translation community for digital making resource
Our solution's stage of development:Early
Our projects have helped hundreds of thousands of 9- to 13-year-olds learn how to create with computers. However, the majority of our projects are only available in English. We want to dramatically increase access through a low-cost approach combining translation software with volunteers who understand technical language and regional localisation.
Teaching children programming is essential for ensuring their future employment, and for enabling entrepreneurship. Code Club facilitates access to digital making education by providing tried and tested learning resources. To do this for the most disadvantaged communities, these resources need to be translated into a wide range of languages. But professional technical translation on this scale is expensive, and unsustainable for a small non-profit organisation. Technology alone cannot solve the issue either: human understanding of language is required for accurate translation of coding instructions.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
Independently conducted research shows that Code Club works in English, and we regularly experience demand to translate our projects into other languages.
A recent study by Sayamindu Dasgupta at MIT MediaLab (‘Learning to Code in Localized Programming Languages’) found that children demonstrate understanding of new programming concepts at a faster rate when they learn to program in their native language.
The costs and technical challenges of translating our content means we need to mobilise our community and combine their skills with the right technology. Our track record shows that we can effectively leverage a volunteer network and support technological solutions.
Our target outcomes:
During the prototyping phase, we plan for 36 core Code Club projects to be translated into 10 languages. This will give potential access to 285M children. These free resources will be deployed online and offline through our website and via downloadable content, to be accessed by children, parents, educators, or volunteers who run Code Clubs. Code Club resources currently receive 2 million views a year. We expect that by translating them into 10 languages, the number of total views will increase to at least to 4 million a year.
How we will measure our progress:
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
All non-profit organisations with ambitions to share resources globally will at some point come across this problem. We have not identified any organisation using the solution of combining these particular technologies with human translation. We are in a unique position to implement the solution we have described because we can leverage our very large global community, our experience of mobilising volunteers, and our technological capability.
Why our solution is human-centered:
Our solution combines technology with the language skills of humans. We and our volunteers are dedicated to putting the power of digital making into people’s hands through products, digital making projects, and educational programmes. In creating our technology solutions, from the Raspberry Pi itself to our online learning platform, we put the needs of our learners and volunteers at the centre. Our solution centres on humans, using their abilities to accurately translate projects and cooperate remotely. As a result, we will enable people to contribute to making digital making education accessible for their region.
How people will access our solution:
Translators can access our resources on the Code Club website https://codeclubprojects.org. Translators will receive access to an online version of a resource translated using a tool similar to Google Translate. They will use a technology such as Transifex https://www.transifex.com/ or CrowdIn https://crowdin.com/ to upload their work to our platform once they have translated and reviewed the resource.
Our translated projects will be delivered free of charge. Learners will be able to access them on our website. For those with no permanent internet connection, downloadable versions of the content will be made available.
Technology-Readiness Level:4-5 (Prototyping)
How we will sustain our team financially:
The work of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (including Code Club) is funded through a combination of our own revenue (from the sale of Raspberry Pi computers) and donations and grants from industry and foundations.
We plan to raise any further funds necessary for work on this project from global corporations in technology-related fields, in particular those with an interest in the regions we will be able to reach as a result of this project.
The factors limiting our success:
Recruiting translators: we need to find suitable translators who are able to give their time. We have success in mobilising volunteers with programming skills, but recruiting volunteers skilled in translation is a new area for us.
Marketing access: letting people know that these resources are now available in their language will be important to ensure they become widely used. We’ll look to partner with other distribution channels to do this.
Internet access: we believe internet access may be a challenge in some communities. To address this issue, we are currently developing an offline content platform.
How long we have been working on our solution:Less than 1 year
How long it will take to develop a pilot:1-3 months
How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:3-6 months
Our expected annual budget:
How much of our budget we've secured to date:
We're looking for partners in these fields:
Why we're applying to Solve:
Being a part of MIT Solve’s community is the most important reason for us to apply. We have achieved success because we choose to learn from other people and to share the challenges we face; we are open to different approaches to this problem. We are keen to match with potential donors and partners who share our values and our ambitions - to equip young people for the jobs of the future, and to enable them to understand and shape their digital world and solve the problems that matter to them, both as makers and entrepreneurs.