Student Google Chromebook

Google Helps Refugee Kids Code a New Future in Germany

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

It’s hard to dismiss the negativity surrounding the more than one million refugees making Germany their new home, but many of the migrants are truly looking for a brighter and safer future. Children refugees are often left with few options to receive a proper education in Germany, but Google, and others, have been pushing to fill the gap, offering the recourses with technology, showing kids how to code their way into a bright and successful future.

25,000 Chromebooks across 500 locations

UNICEF issued a report in June that showed how refugee children are being given a lower standard of education than native-born Germans, and in some cases these kids are getting no education at all. The report has led some of America’s largest tech giants to step in. Google, Microsoft and HP have all pledged to help provide better educational resources to the more than 80,000 reported refugee children in Germany.

Google has already donated 25,000 Chromebooks across 500 locations, and the results appear to be overwhelmingly positive according to a CNET report.

CNET visited one of the refugee centers in Berlin, which received 22 of the donated Chromebooks, and spoke with Ahmed Al-Tameemi, a 25-year-old refugee, who is helping the young kids embrace technology.

“They will not see Arabic”

Many of the kids have never been exposed to the English alphabet, which led Al-Tameemi to initially ask for Arabic stickers to put on the keyboards, but quickly changed course, saying “Let them learn to write English because it will be like this in the future. They will not see Arabic.”

Children at the center have quickly embraced the technology and are using it to gain access to a higher level of education that was not available otherwise. Though Al-Tameemi wants to see the children dive deeper into the technology, pushing kids to understand both how it works and how it can be a tool to build out a successful future — one that may never have been available in their home country — and is showing kids how coding can be the skill that takes them there.

Sources: CNET

Photo: Charlotta Wasteson [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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