Oceanit believes that an innovative mindset starts with two things: education and imagination. Our SURF (Social Utilization of Resources for the Future) initiative began over ten years ago when we first adopted Design Thinking and began hosting DT workshops and trainings across Hawai’i to spread this method of problem solving. SURF grew over the years to encompass two more programs, Altino: Coding for Non-Coders and the Aloha AI network.
In 2020, our SURF initiative launched a free, online computer science resource for teachers, students, and parents: AltinoCoding.com. With education moving online and potentially being remote for the foreseeable future, the SURF initiative led by our very own Ian Kitajima, launched the new Altino Coding site on September 4th, to provide a virtual training center for our Altino Coding for Non-Coders curriculum.
This new online resource features a virtual version of the Altino Car that can be programmed to run code and “drive” on-screen. The SURF team created and recorded the first 20 virtual coding lessons for anyone who is interested to learn creative problem solving skills via coding at no cost, thanks to our sponsors. This new site is based on three years of Oceanit’s in-person Altino Training program, which to date has brought computer science professional development to around 600 K-12 teachers, at 131 public schools.
While in-person classes using the programmable Altino car were popular and engaging – learning while playing – we needed to find a way to ‘go remote’ during the challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. So we built the new Altino Virtual Car! The top-down car drives like a video game: users write the command code and then have the virtual car drive those commands, all in a browser page.
To use Altino Online you will need a device like a smart phone, a tablet like an iPad, or a desktop computer; a web browser, and an Internet connection. The website and virtual car are friendly to most smart devices, making the platform accessible to even more learners than the original goal for the in person program. With the pandemic keeping many people at home, adults are now tasked with helping keiki learn virtually. Oceanit’s SURF Foundation developed the self-paced Altino programming video lessons and the hands-on virtual car to be entertaining and engaging for everyone; the programming classes are available to all parents, teachers, and students (either keiki, or just lifelong learners) free of charge to help keep education sustainable during the pandemic and beyond.
A big mahalo to our sponsors for also seeing the vision- the Altino Virtual Car and classes are free of charge to all learners thanks to them, and without them, this would not be possible:
- Kamehameha Schools
- Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation
- Harold KL Castle Foundation
- Hawaii Dept of Education
- Dept of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)
- Omidyar Foundation via HCF
- Servco Toyota Hawaii
- Hawaii State Legislature