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11 March 2019Êîìàíäà ÂÊîíòàêòå

Training talented developers is an art of its own. It demands a creative approach, an enormous amount of work, and the willingness to give it your all. This is why a year ago we decided to start helping those who are developing the future of IT education and launched the VK Fellowship, a grant program for computer science and programming teachers.

Starting today, applications are open to all who wish to participate in the second VK Fellowship. 15 winners will receive grants of 120 thousand rubles and take part in two professional seminars.

Training talented developers is an art of its own. It demands a creative approach, an enormous amount of work, and the willingness to give it your all. This is why a year ago we decided to start helping those who are developing the future of IT education and launched the VK Fellowship, a grant pr.., image #1

How the VK Fellowship Came to Be

The VK Team has already created numerous projects for the IT community, such as the VK Hackathon (one of the largest hackathons in Russia), the VK Cup programming championship and the VK Tech Talks, an event held in cities all across Russia. Each of these projects helps motivate talented developers expand their knowledge and hone their skills. However, we believe that behind every expert is a mentor who realized that individual’s potential in time and helped them reach new heights.

The teachers we selected for the VK Fellowship were not just good at what they do, they also took a creative approach to their teaching processes, adding their own innovations and ideas. After all, it takes a bit of creativity and straying beyond the bounds of the school’s curriculum to convey the knowledge needed to reach truly amazing results.

All teachers in Russia, except those in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, are eligible to apply for the grant. Age, work experience, and place of employment are not factors that are taken into account. Applicants could be school teachers, university professors or club leaders. The most important aspect we are looking for is that the applicant has developed and uses a course teaching the basics of programming that they themselves have devised.

Training talented developers is an art of its own. It demands a creative approach, an enormous amount of work, and the willingness to give it your all. This is why a year ago we decided to start helping those who are developing the future of IT education and launched the VK Fellowship, a grant pr.., image #2

First VK Fellowship Grant Recipients

In 2018, 85 teachers competed for the VK Fellowship grant. The largest number of applications were from Tatarstan teachers with many others coming from Nizhegorod, Samara and Sverdlovsk Oblasts. To be accepted to the program, applicants had to solve programming tasks better than other contestants as well as get the expert committee interested in their project.

15 teachers from 11 regions in Russia received grants. They had each created their own unique educational course, some for school or university students and some even for other teachers, with course levels ranging from elementary to advanced. 12 of these teachers received VK grants, with 3 others receiving special grants from Promsvyazbank.

  • Ilshat Safiullin used to teach C++ but switched to teaching Java so that middle schoolers could more easily understand the logic behind writing code.
  • Once a quarter, Danil Nafikov’s students take part in a programming competition against students from four other Tatarstan schools. They also made sure that physical education doesn’t fall by the wayside by adding sports to their course.
  • In class, students of Marat Hasanov develop games and websites as well as work on boosting their typing speed.
  • As people across the nation are counting down for New Year’s, Alexey Shmelyov’s students are actively engaged in programming at a competition he holds on New Year’s Eve. He’s developed courses on competitive programming that even novices can make use of.
  • Not only does Inessa Shuykova prepare school students for programming competitions; she teaches her colleagues how to do so as well. She developed a project aimed at retraining computer science teachers that provides everything from textbooks to educational meetings.
  • Nail Husainov is both a university professor and the developer of the “School::Code” project, designed for students grades 4 to 11. This project imparts knowledge which the students can apply in various spheres, such as game development or competitive programming.
  • Alexander Borodin adds his own ideas to his university course. He evaluates students’ work using a point system. If a student turns in their assignment after the deadline, they’ll lose points, but if the work is high enough quality, these points could be made up.
  • Anton Denikin created the Silver Tests portal, where students grades 7 to 11 can test their knowledge of computer science and mathematics as well as prepare for competitions and state exams.
  • Sergey Belyaev is the founder of “Programming school”, one of the first programming task solving platforms, and one which other grant recipients use in their work.

These are just a few of our grant recipients’ projects. You can read more about these projects and others on the VK Fellowship public page.

Such a variety of courses grants those who wish to learn programming boundless opportunities to do so and allows students to choose not only what, but how they want to study. These resources help students find both in-person training and online courses that teach languages such as C++, Python, Java and Pascal, as well as provide opportunities for both competition and teamwork with others.

Training talented developers is an art of its own. It demands a creative approach, an enormous amount of work, and the willingness to give it your all. This is why a year ago we decided to start helping those who are developing the future of IT education and launched the VK Fellowship, a grant pr.., image #3

VK Fellowship Seminars

The VK Fellowship is not only a grant. It is a community of leading programming teachers. Last year, we held two seminars, where grant recipients were able to share experiences, learn something new and generate fresh ideas.

The first seminar took place in August at Innopolis University. The teachers discussed ways to motivate students, how to give presentations and public speeches, as well as how to use project-based learning in their work. Part of the seminar was dedicated to creating projects, something the current educational system lacks.

The summer meeting helped us understand that teachers are interested in sharing their experiences and growing their professional knowledge. At the winter seminar held at “Sirius”, we held classes on emotional intelligence, design thinking and gamification of learning. Here, we also demonstrated how VK could be used for educational purposes and for interacting with students.

A tightly knit community of like-minded people was born thanks to the VK Fellowship. Now, grant recipients chat with each other on VK, share useful material, compile a shared database of assignments and plan competitions together. We are confident that such cooperation can make teaching processes even more interesting and effective.

Training talented developers is an art of its own. It demands a creative approach, an enormous amount of work, and the willingness to give it your all. This is why a year ago we decided to start helping those who are developing the future of IT education and launched the VK Fellowship, a grant pr.., image #4

Apply and take part in the second VK Fellowship grant program, or if you know a teacher that you think that would be a good fit, be sure to let them know about it. Applications are open until 12 April on the program’s public page. You can stay up-to-date with the latest information by following the VK Education community.