Summer Tech Camp 2022

Is your child into computers, video games, and technology? But are you concerned about too much unsupervised screen time? Attending a summer tech camp with this focus is actually a great way for kids to explore this interest while living a new experience with kids their age and expert instructors to guide them in a safe and constructive environment that can direct their interests towards more productive activities. 

While your child learns how to create games, sites and applications with some of their favorite games like Minecraft or Roblox, they have the opportunity to learn completely new languages while exercising their logic. When you learn a new language like Java, Python, Javascript, Lua or other forms of code, you are learning a new way to think and solve problems.

By understanding how technology around them works, kids also learn to use and grow skills and qualities for the rest of their life, especially as technology’s prevalence continues to grow in the workplace. Here are some of the in-person and virtual classes your child can sign up for in CodeREV’s Summer Tech Camp 2022:

Minecraft Level Design & Engineering

Summer Tech Camps - Minecraft

Ages 6-11

Grades 1-2; 3-5

In our most popular class for this age group, students learn the ins and outs of level design and game design while learning to engineer in Minecraft by using Red Stone. Students even learn basic code commands too! This class offers thrills AND education alike as students explore their inner Da Vinci in a STEM format perfect for Minecraft lovers!

**Level 2** Dives into more complex Redstone, level design, and commands

Adventures in Programming

Summer Tech Camp - Adventures in Programming

Ages 6-9

Grades 1-2; 3-5

Students adventure through code as they begin exploring coding fundamentals by making games and animations using block-based coding in softwares such as Pencilcode, Scratch, Kodu and more. No prior typing experience or coding experience required. Kids sculpt their coding muscles in this adventure and leave having learned to code!!

**LEVEL 2** Level 2 dives deeper into coding concepts and assumes prior coding experience.

MathCraft

Summer Tech Camp - Mathcraft

Ages 6-10

Grades 1-2; 3-5

Can you say win-win?! MathCraft is the class where both parents and students truly win as parents get to watch their students thrilled to do math! This class is a must for any parents who want their kids to enjoy math more and learn math more deeply. Students actually build math problems inside the game of Minecraft, and solve them using our one-of-a-kind, amazing MathCraft program. CodeREV is currently training teachers across America in this program, and even presented this groundbreaking class at conferences such as Minecon and the renowned ISTE EdTech conference! Math content is scaffolded so students work with their grade level relevant math to match age and ability.

Game Design

Summer Tech Camp - Game Design

Ages 8-10

Grades 3-5

Enter the world of Game Design, where students build amazing games. Students create multi-level games and learn to use programming concepts such as local and global variables, and the basics of object-oriented programming. We also teach students to animate characters to model whatever they want and can create games that look and feel great. Check out our Game Design video reel to view student work!

Roblox Studio Game Design (Micro)

Summer Tech Camp - Roblox

Ages 8-10

Grades 2-4

Roblox is one of the hottest places in the universe to make games, with cutting-edge graphics and new, amazing, game-building tools. In our Roblox Game Design course, kids use Roblox’s built-in editor to create 3D worlds and then use the popular LUA coding language to code game actions, elements and mechanics. CodeREV Roblox campers also learn how to publish and share their game to the Roblox community worldwide!

**Level 2** Assumes prior Roblox coding experience and focuses on building more complex games (such as simulators), game actions, and effects.

See more classes

Save your spot for Summer Tech Camp and use code SUMMER22 to get 10% OFF on virtual or in-person camp*

*Offer valid through May 15.

Best Winter Activities for kids 2021

Winter break is just around the corner, which means we have to start planning winter activities to keep our kids happy and engaged while indoors. The holidays will feel different this year, but there are plenty of virtual and in-person options to have fun with our children. 

We’ve been working on a list of the best winter activities to keep your child entertained while getting prepared for their future in school and in life. We chose each of these activities thinking of their fun, educational and engaging nature. These winter activities can teach foundational STEM skills that will benefit our children in and out of the classroom.

So, get ready to find the perfect activity to make this winter unforgettable for you and your children.

Here are the best winter activities for kids in 2021:

Winter activities for kids

Build something amazing challenge

What better way to explore engineering than getting hands-on and start building with objects you can find at home! Gather any kind of object that could be useful: plastic cups, boxes, popsicle sticks, LEGO blocks, books, etc. Start exploring how different heights, shapes, sizes or weights work for different purposes and structures.

Idea: Create a challenge around the activity. Challenge your children to recreate an existing structure, like a famous building or bridge, with the objects you find at home.

Enjoy a family STEM movie night

Nurture your child’s interest in STEM with a STEM edition movie night! STEM is everywhere. You can find science, technology, engineering and math in almost any movie you choose. Gather the family and choose between science and technology documentaries, biographical films or science fiction flicks to find the role of STEM in the movie.

Idea: You can watch The Theory of Everything to be inspired by Steven Hawking’s life as a physicist. You can also try Radioactive, which highlights Madame Marie Curie’s brilliance and her courage as a female scientist. Hidden Figures is another great choice and tells the inspiring true story of pioneering female, African-American scientists at NASA. 

Create an offline game:

If your child loves playing games, it’s time to design their own! Game creation can really improve your child’s problem-solving skills, creativity and confidence. You can start by brainstorming and helping them think of the fundamentals of the game: How many people can play the game? Does the game have rules for the players? What is the game’s objective? What characters will the game include?  After that, it’s time to start building the game. Create a game board, characters, cards, dice, costumes or any other pieces needed to play the game.

Idea: You can choose to create a physical game or program the idea of the game online

Design a video game

Creating their own video game is an amazing way for kids and teens to put their ideas into action! If your child is more into online activities, you can integrate online STEM activities with a purpose. By learning a kid-friendly coding language children can combine their interests with valuable 21st century skills.

Idea: Try out our Online or In-person Winter Tech Camps. We’ve designed the ultimate Coding, STEAM, Game Design, Engineering, and Digital Design camp experience for children led by expert instructors with extensive virtual teaching experience!

Experiment with science

Explore science at home with easy-to-do science experiments! You can get your kids excited about science by trying out science experiments with nothing more than objects you can find around the house. You can try from making frozen bubbles or crafting crystallized ornaments to be amazed with magic milk. Next time your kids tell you they’re bored, set up one of these experiments and watch them be amazed!

Idea: Pinterest has an amazing repertory for fun experiments for kids, teens and the whole family! 

We really hope these fun winter activities will make this winter break fun and productive! 

Best family-friendly video games

Playing video games with your kids is a much better practice than you may think. Of course, we don’t want our kids growing up in front of the screen, but taking the time to share some quality screen time with them is a great idea. Video games have become more than an entertaining tool; video games are incredible tools to learn through play, experience and action.

Learning through games is often used to make knowledge more accessible and easy to connect with not only for kids, but also for adults. Think of Duolingo or Fitbit, apps designed to help engage its users with learning. Video games can do that too. That’s why we’ve created a list of games that are both fun and educational that you definitely should try with your children at home. 

Best family-friendly video games

The Little Big Planet series:

This game series follows the adventures of Sackboy and his friends. The first two games are mostly platform-jumping and avoiding obstacles to make it to the next level. Players can also create their own levels, customize characters or build complex contraptions in a level. The game also helps develop logic, spatial orientation skills, design and problem solving.

Minecraft:

Minecraft is like virtual Legos. Minecraft has so many educational benefits for kids that it’s widely used in schools and tech camps to teach creativity, problem solving skills, engineering concepts, math and much more. Minecraft lets its users explore and create worlds by gathering resources, crafting tools and engaging in some combat. The flexibility of the game allows kids to approach the game in multiple ways which makes it more interesting for kids. It is also a great way to change sides and get involved letting your kid teach you something for a change.

Snipperclips:

This is a largely underrated co-operation game that’s perfect for parents and their children. Screaming instructions at each other, laughing hysterically and high-fiving as you snip your way through really fun levels are some of the characteristics of this game. Players must come up with creative ways to solve multiple puzzles, each one with unique objectives, such as fitting inside a shape template, carrying objects, or cutting out a pointed end in order to pop balloons.

Kerbal Space Program:

With this game your child can explore physics, the solar system, mathematics and basic aerospace engineering. This is a rocket simulation game, and it focuses on a space program for an alien race called the Kerbals. The idea behind the game is to build a rocket that works based on realistic aerodynamic and orbital physics. Once you get your Kerbals into space, you can explore the solar system, build bases and construct space stations. The game got a lot of attention from NASA and the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to planetary science and planetary defense.

Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego?

Explore the capitals of nations across the globe, locations of historic events and other geographical facts. Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is a series of three video games that use Google Earth software and can be played by clicking the icon of Carmen Sandiego. Players use the magnifying glass to interview witnesses in different cities, gather clues while learning about geography and history. When they think they’ve figured out the next step, they can click the airplane icon to fly to the next city and continue unraveling the mystery.

Video games have become an excellent way to learn, have fun and, as parents, to be able to connect with our children. Have you tried or heard your children talk about any of these games? Tell us in the comments if you would try any of these video games with your children, or if you have any others you enjoy playing together!

Computer Science Learning Statistics

With COVID-19, Computer science education has become more important than ever. The pandemic has highlighted our need for computing use and its power to help us all innovate and adapt. From small businesses to families, companies, and education, we all relied on the advantages of technology to survive unprecedented times. Yet, at the same time, it has shown the disparities, especially, in schools to provide students with computer education.

Today, computing-related jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S. economy. In fact, there are currently 400,000 open computing jobs across the United States. Yet, the problem is that the education system as a whole still isn’t actually providing the needed access to this crucial subject.

Take a look at some of the most relevant statistics about Computer Science taken from the Annual report on K-12 computer science in the United States.

Every child should have the opportunity to access high quality computer science lessons that will eventually help them develop foundational 21st-century skills for their future. Sometimes, the best way to get this is by learning from experts in the field, like the people who may teach after school enrichment and camps. Check our After-School Classes where your child will find coding, design, animation, math and many other computational skills to explore in a safe environment guided by our industry expert mentors.

Text-based and block-based coding for kids

Tech has become inevitably present in our everyday lives and will become even more so a few years from now. In consequence, tech or XXI century skills have passed from novelty to an actual necessity. Learning how to code has quickly become a must in every school, rather than just an elective. Coding enables children to express their creativity through another language, the language of the future.

You may be wondering if a child of any age can learn how to code…. well, believe it or not, the answer is yes. Even kids who can’t read and write yet can do it. Yes, as surprising as it might sound, it’s true. This is possible because there are 2 types of coding languages: block-based and text-based (line) code. Let’s explore a little bit more about the coding languages that your child can start with.

Block-based coding

About 20 years ago the MIT Media Lab introduced the concept of block-based code with a language named Scratch. The objective was to create a way to program computers by simply dragging and dropping puzzle blocks that represented complex programming commands. This new method opened the doors for kids to create through programming without having to write a single line of code. With block-based code, teaching and learning the basics of computer science became accessible to young learners.

Text-based and block-based coding for kids

But how does block-based code work? Block-based code, or visual coding, uses colorful drag and drop shapes in a workspace to simulate the coding. Children can create sequences of actions according to the color-coded categories they choose. There are movement blocks, control or events blocks, blocks for adding loops, variables, and functions. 

Block-based code is the simplest and most fun way for kids to start learning the logic of coding. The best thing about this is that despite being a simplified form of code, your children will be able to create and run games, apps and animations. Besides, block-based code will give them a solid basis to understand text-based code later.

Scratch is one of the most popular block-based coding languages out there. We actually use Scratch in some of our Micro Coding Classes because it favors pattern recognition, enhancing the understanding of the structure and logic behind programming. Additionally, block-based coding is a great first step for kids to go from the basics of programming to a more advanced level with text-based line code used by professionals.

Text-based coding

On the other hand, we have text-based line coding. This type of coding language is basically typing instructions while following syntax. Syntax, just like in spoken languages, is the grammar and spelling rules of a coding language. It can easily be introduced to kids after they understand block-based coding or if they are at an appropriate developmental age.

Learning the syntax of text-based coding languages is easier when kids recognize that each section of text-based code corresponds to the blocks they learned with block-based code. This is where kids will start understanding text-based coding languages and applying real computer science knowledge.

In simple terms, text-based programming languages are typed using a keyboard and stored as text files rather than the drag and drop style that block-based code uses. Some of the most popular text-based programming languages are Python, Java (used in Minecraft), and JavaScript.

With text-based coding, kids, and even expert coders, can tackle some typical problems while starting coding. Some of the most common ones are Syntax Errors, Code Styling, and Readability. These are small and very common errors that learning how to face can help kids better understand the languages and processes they are learning.

The question about when we should start teaching our kids text-based coding often arises. And the answer is, there’s no specific age to start with. To use text-based code, kids should know how to write and read, but other than that there’s not a specific age when to start. Actually, just like in any other spoken language, the earlier a child is exposed to it, the easier it is for them to catch it. 

Conclusion

Learning to code at a young age is a fundamental skill that will grow in children as they enter into adulthood. It enables children to understand the technology that surrounds them, becoming not just users, but developers and creators of their own reality. 

Best coding languages for teenagers

Coding is an incredibly useful skill for almost everyone. It helps you understand how things work, solve problems, find innovative solutions, attention to detail, and plenty more. Learning to code at a young age can really improve the development of these fundamental life skills and open new career and job opportunities for the future. But, deciphering all the different coding languages available for teenagers can seem intimidating, especially if they are just getting started!

Since coding is an essential 21st-century skill, there are numerous coding languages designed to teach youngsters how to start coding. Choosing the right coding language for your child’s age can open a window into the world of programming. The better your child understands one of these languages (including its syntax and grammar), the more likely they’ll be able to create, design and code whatever they want. But, before finding out the best coding languages for teenagers you might want to know “what’s a coding language?”

What is a coding language?

A coding language is a language we use to give instructions that a computer can follow. Those instructions allow us to develop software programs, scripts, or other sets of instructions for computers to execute. Like in spoken languages, such as Spanish or Italian, coding languages can share similarities, but each one has its own rules. In coding languages, these rules are called syntax. And unlike spoken languages, if there’s a slight error in your syntax, the computer won’t be able to understand what you want. That’s why coding requires so much dedication and attention to detail.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there for every skill and experience level. Usually, block-based code is used to introduce kids to code since it’s less intimidating because it involves dragging “blocks” of code with the instructions you want to give to the computer. But, more advanced coders can start exploring text-based code with coding languages designed especially for them.

Best coding languages for teens - Minecraft

Below, we’ll break down the characteristics, advantages, and level of challenge of the coding language we think are best for teens to engage with code. Java, Lua, and C# are among the most popular, so let’s take a closer look at each one!

Java:

Java is the coding language used in Minecraft and one of the most widely used coding languages in the world. This makes it a great option for kids that love playing Minecraft as they will be more motivated to stick with it since they can use it to actually modify the game of Minecraft. It is also the perfect approach to get a better understanding of coding and keep growing in the matter in the future. 

Java works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc.), and is also easy to learn and simple to use. Besides its versatility, Java is secure, fast and powerful, allowing its users to make game engines, Android mobile apps, large backend environments, and much more!

Recommended for:

  • Teens who play Minecraft and want to level up their game experience
  • Teens who want to explore programming concepts
  • Teens who already have a background in coding and want to strengthen their skills

Featured courses: Modding in Minecraft

Lua:

Lua is a powerful and fast coding language that is easy to learn and use. That’s why it is probably the perfect language to start learning with. Lua is lightweight and designed essentially for embedded use in applications. One of the most popular examples is Roblox. Roblox uses Lua to develop actions in the game such as conditionals, loops, variables and more. 

Lua is a multi-paradigm language, which means that it has a set of features that can be applied to many issues. The popularity of Lua comes from its multiple applications. You can not just find Lua in Roblox, World of Warcraft, and Angry Birds but also use Lua code. 

Recommended for:

  • Teens who play Roblox and want to improve their game skills 
  • Teens who want to learn to code quickly
  • Teens  interested in game design

Featured course: Roblox Studio Game Design (Macro)

C#:

C# is the perfect solution for learning to code while making 3D games. C# is a popular coding language used to develop everything from mobile applications and video games to enterprise software. C# it’s very similar to Java, which makes it easier to learn for someone who already knows this coding language. 

C# is a great way to start diving deeper into the world of coding. Because of the multiple applications it has, C# is the fourth most in-demand programming language for jobs.  This makes it an amazing option for middle and high-school students who want to pursue a career in STEM fields.

Recommended for:

  • Teens who are interested in designing video games
  • Teens who would like to explore developing apps for cellphones and tablets
  • Teens who already have explored Java with Minecraft

Featured course: Unity 3D Game Design

We hope this guide helped you obtain a better understanding of the coding languages that can make your children excited about coding. If you need help to decide which one would be a better fit for your child’s skills and interests, you can reach out through our social media accounts. 

Roblox: what is it and why is it so popular?

“Two-thirds of all U.S. kids between 9 and 12 years old use Roblox, and it’s played by a third of all Americans under the age of 16” (Roblox Corporation, 2020). Roblox has been recognized as the world’s most popular game you’ve never heard of. Actually, this online game recently exceeded Minecraft’s user numbers. But what is Roblox about and why has it become so popular?

What is Roblox about?

Roblox launched in September 2006 and it advertises itself as an ‘Imagination Platform’. With 64 million players every month and an estimated total of 178 million accounts on the platform, Roblox is one of the most popular online games worldwide. What makes it different from any other game in the industry is that the games are made by its users. A site created for gamers by gamers. 

On Roblox, the fun doesn’t just come from playing the game, it comes from making the game. Currently, the official Roblox website states that its users have published over 20 million games on the platform. Besides being a place to let your imagination run free, Roblox is made for socializing. On Roblox, users are encouraged to make friends with other online players while creating their own 3D worlds. The site inspires its users to “Imagine, socialize, chat, play, create, interact and relate with others in many ways.” 

Roblox for kids

Because of its socializing nature, Roblox has been used to stay connected with friends during the pandemic. In fact, in March 2020 Roblox saw a 40 percent increase in users. And just three months later, that number grew from “a third” to “over half” of all Americans under 16 years old. Besides the unique characteristics that make this game incredibly popular, there are other good reasons why it’s worth exploring it.

Roblox is a gateway to code

Roblox isn’t just a fun way to create 3D worlds and play, it can be a useful tool to introduce children to the fundamentals of coding according to their age. The coding language used in Roblox is called Lua. This is an extremely powerful and versatile language for young children and teens, as well as adults. Lua is a popular and easy-to-learn programming language used in many programs apart from Roblox. For example, World of Warcraft, a very popular game, has Lua embedded in it. 

Almost all of the features you see in Roblox are coded with Lua. Your child can master variables, functions and events just by building in Roblox. Roblox Studio allows players to write their own written lines of code to create and control individual objects. The combination of visual world-building options, as well as pre-set shapes and menus, lets players explore code and grow more confident as they create more complex and exciting things. 

STEM skills

Unlike what we’ve usually been told, video games can help develop useful skills in children. The unlimited creative potential that Roblox has along with its educational uses create a perfect duo to develop STEAM skills. Designing 3D worlds has everything to do with engineering and design. Coding and mathematics often go hand in hand. Coding is the language of the future and as our world today is heavily reliant on technology, being familiar with how hardware and software work can be a great benefit across nearly all industries. 

All in all, learning through a familiar and enjoyable tool like Roblox can make concepts involving engineering, math, science and technology much easier to understand and exciting to learn. Also, when playing the game or building in it, basic life skills like logic, creativity, problem-solving and decision-making are nearly constantly being practiced. This is why schools are encouraging the use of Roblox, a favorite of many kids, to teach in a more engaging way. You might want to check our Roblox Studio Game Design After-School Class., taught by expert game designers who have taught hundreds of kids coding and game design using this amazing platform.

Future opportunities

As a consequence of developing STEM skills, children can find an entry door to enroll in successful career paths and job opportunities. Most careers and jobs these days will require you to have the aforementioned skills. Whether it is for an outright STEM related field, a sales position, or even a field that leans more on the creative side, your child will need to work on their STEM skills.

Also, computer jobs are growing at over twice the national average. So, rather than being a “trendy” interest, coding is now becoming a vital skill set. Coding specialists and computer programmers are often well-paid professionals. And as the world continues to turn more and more digital,  this will become increasingly common.


There are plenty of benefits to exploring this popular game. Of course, it is always important to keep track of how your child uses this kind of online tool. Using some guidance when playing the game can really improve their learning experience. Exploring Roblox in a structured, safe and fun environment like our after-school Roblox classes might be the best option for you and your child.

STEM skills for the future

STEM-based education teaches children more than math or science concepts, it puts an emphasis on preparing children for the future. The skills that STEM education gives to students extend beyond these fields. In fact, STEM helps children develop valuable skills that enable them to be successful in any industry or field they choose. But what are those valuable skills and how can they use them for a better future?

Before stepping into the skills derived from a STEM-based education, we should understand what STEM really means. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term STEM has become recurrent in school’s curriculum, education policies and skills needed for employment.

STEM skills for the future

STEM is a method of education where these subjects are taught together and not individually. It shows the bridges between these valuable subjects by putting students at the core of the experience. STEM focuses on hands-on experiences, making children active learners instead of passive listeners.

Skills Derived from STEM-based education

The focus on hands-on learning that STEM education encompasses, added to real-world applications, helps children to develop fundamental skills for their future. These so-called 21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, initiative, flexibility, productivity and communication. Perhaps even more importantly, STEM-associated skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, and acceptance of failure are inherent to this learning style.

Regardless of the interests, passions, or future career paths considered by children, these skills are preparing them to be successful and innovative wherever they go. 

Problem-solving

One of the skills that really makes the difference in any life situation your child could face is problem-solving. One can think of all of life as a series of problems of different complexities, in addition to the problem-solving nature of school, university, or in careers: society requires more problem-solving skills than it ever has before. STEM develops problem-solving skills like no other subject because it encourages kids to experiment, make mistakes and learn from their own experiences to find or create solutions.

Creativity

The ability to think creatively and change standards are the basis of innovation. Creativity isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it is not a skill you are simply born with either; you can train creativity. Learning how to think outside of the box can change the way you approach different situations on a daily basis. STEM-based education teaches how to look at a problem from a different perspective while fostering creativity.

Flexibility

In a world where advances in technology, inventions and knowledge change by the day, flexibility is definitively a much-needed skill. Since technology and science change so quickly, flexibility is also integral in success in STEM-related education since they’re always updating themselves. The ability to be flexible will prove incredibly valuable to keep updated in the ever-changing environment around us. Last, learning to adapt quickly will help your student to adapt to a fast-paced career and job market. 

In addition to these life-changing skills, there are also solid numbers related to the increase in STEM-related job opportunities as shown below.

Projections of  STEM-related occupations:

  • According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 75% of fast-growing occupations require STEM skills.
  • Employment in STEM occupations grew by 10.5% or 817,260 jobs, between May 2009 and May 2015. Compared with 5.2% net growth in non-STEM occupations.
  • Computer occupation is showing the highest number of STEM jobs because of the consistent progression in the digital sector. 
  • As a result of the increasing participation of consumers and businesses in the digital economy, computer-related occupations are expected to grow exponentially in the next 10 years. 
  • STEM workers command much higher wages and are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts.

-U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Jan, 2021

(Here you can dive even deeper into the stats surrounding STEM-related occupations)

The data above is solid: needs in the job market are changing. That’s why we place so much emphasis on the importance of learning to code from a young age. Preparing children today to become the innovators, inventors, designers and coders of tomorrow begins with a STEM-based education. From schools, camps, and after-school programs we can create hands-on and real-world experiences to prepare our children for a lifetime of success. 

Let us know how you feel about STEM in the comments and if you’re interested in another blogpost about how you can start exploring STEM skills from home!

Parents guide to the digital age

We live in an era where children are “Digital Natives” – let’s face it, technology feels like it was designed for them.  So, as caring parents, it’s important for us to keep up with the digital age. But how? In order to help children have healthy usage of digital tools, we as parents must assume our role in actively teaching these skills.

Digital devices, media, virtual learning and online-mediated interactions are an integral part of our world today. The benefits that the digital age offers us are endless, if used appropriately.

Children know how to upload and download stuff, edit photos, search for content, and fix grandma’s phone when she deleted all its apps. They navigate digital tools like fish in water to such an extent that it’s common to hear parents bemoan “My kid knows so much about technology that I feel I could never keep up”. 

Parents guide to the digital age

It’s great to see how children seem naturally born with these skills, but it also might be a little scary. There is no doubt that bad stuff can happen to kids with unsupervised use of technology, from being exposed to inappropriate content to inappropriate people. But the solution is not necessarily taking away their devices or banning an app. That can be kind of like saying cars are dangerous, so we’re going to completely stay away from cars. Instead, we can better understand technology, relate to it, connect with it and, teach them how to use it.

How to do our homework?

Being absolutely updated about every single app, game or social network our children could have access to is impossible. But, there are a few tips we could use to create a more conscious digital age navigation. 

Critical thinking in the digital age

Children navigate the digital age innocently. Teaching them critical thinking to analyze certain situations that may arise in this environment will benefit their use of technology. Having a talk with your children about the importance of privacy and the dangers the internet has is key. 

Children need to know that just as they can benefit from the internet, there are also dangers that they can detect and avoid themselves. Teaching them they can analyze and make decisions, guided by you as their parent, will help them throughout their life. 

Taking care of the landscape in the digital age

As we mentioned before, cultivating critical thinking in your children is fundamental. But, just as we must promote their independence and responsibility, it is also our duty to take care of the content they have access to. Doing a little research about the games they play or the influencers they follow will give you a glimpse of their digital environment. Then, you can decide for yourself which apps or games are appropriate for your kids. Is there a way to control whom they connect with on a game platform? Do you want to limit their access to those games with a certain ESRB rating: EC for Early Childhood, E for Everyone, E10 for Everyone 10 and up, T for Teen, M for Mature, and AO for Adults Only.

Also, there are thousands of apps or games labeled as educational, but this isn’t always quite right. Products pitched as educational are also worth checking out. Organizations like Common Sense Media reviews apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choice.

Make a family digital use plan

The use of technology shouldn’t just be monitored for your children, but also for parents. Parents are number one role models for children. Technology, when used thoughtfully and appropriately, can really enhance our daily lives. Media shouldn’t displace important activities like face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play or exercise. 

Co-play, co-view and co-engage with your children’s movies and games encourages bonding, learning and social interaction. By playing a video game or watching a show together, you will have the opportunity to share experiences and become a part of it. The idea is to not just monitor them online, but interact with them and help mold their experience! 

In the end, kids will be kids. They could make mistakes when using digital tools. Helping them understand that technology is great while being used properly is the best thing you can do for them in our digital age.

Find out some really educational, fun, and safe activities for your children online by checking out our After-School Classes!

What is 3D Modeling?

Think Shrek, Lord of the Rings, the recent Star Wars – what do these blockbuster hits have in common? They all unleash the power of 3D modeling and design! 

Whether your child likes 3D animated movies, video games or design in general, learning to 3D model can become their new passion. But, what is 3D modeling and why is it a good choice for kids to learn?

3D modeling is a computer graphic technique to create a 3D digital representation of any object or surface. To create a 3D model, you can use special software like Blender, Tinkercad or Maya to manipulate the vertices (points in virtual space) that create a mesh. This group of vertices in a mesh form a 3D object.

3D modeling example

The fundamental base of 3D models are the mesh that can be modified to create any form you want. This process allows you to create digital objects that can be fully animated. This makes this technique an essential tool to develop characters, animations and special effects.

What is 3D modeling used for?

Since you can create almost anything with 3D models, they can be used for a great variety of applications. You will find 3D models in video games, movies, robotics, architecture, illustration, engineering, advertising, fashion, medicine and more!

Therefore, 3D modeling has become an essential skill of many creative and technological careers. For example, game designers, animators and developers can bring their ideas to life using the power of 3D models. Architects and engineers use it to plan, design and preview the details of their work. And almost every Hollywood movie creates their amazing special effects using 3D models and animation.

3D modeling example 2

Interesting fact: Game of Thrones used 3D modeling and animation to mock up their episodes before filming them.

Why is it a good choice for kids to learn?

Because of the multiple applications that 3D modeling has, it has increased its value and its demand in the job market. Though 3D modeling and animation is still a growing industry, job opportunities and related career options continue to grow in the future.

New uses and applications of 3D models continue to be found every day in different areas. This is how it becomes a useful tool for young people to apply in the future, whatever career path they decide to choose.

Besides the extensive market for 3D modelers and animators and future career opportunities, 3D modeling itself develops essential skills for kids’ lives. This technique boosts creativity and problem-solving skills. Visual and geometrical skills are greatly stimulated when learning to 3D model.

So let your child unleash their inner Da Vinci or Michelangelo by exploring 3D models and animation. This amazing skill will allow them to have fun building 3D models of whatever they can imagine, while adding value to their future careers. 

If your child is into video games, design or engineering, feel free to explore our 3D modeling and animation online class specially designed for kids ages 10 to 14.