My 10-year old daughter loves Minecraft. Now she’s learning how to program her own Minecraft server in Java thanks to Youth Digital‘s excellent Server Design Java Minecraft programming class online. I’m so so so blown away by how amazing this online class is, you guys!! And I’m not a newbie with this, either. I’ve taken online classes and taught online classes. Hands down, this is the BEST coding (or any other) class online I’ve seen. It’s PERFECT for kids ages 8 – 12 because it’s age-appropriate, paced well, conversational, and is easy to navigate.
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My 10-year-old son’s favorite camp is a Minecraft one which he does with his friends for the past two years. They are all serious gamers and the moms are happy with a week of really expensive computer camp because we think it will get them programming their own games. I’ve been working to take his interest in gaming into other areas like reading and science and this summer, my secret goal for him is to program on his own in Python which is a better language for gaming I’m told, and easier to use than Java.
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Getting our kids on board with STEM early in the game seems like a great way to go. And just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that gentle parent-ly nudge in the right direction has to take a break. An easy way to get kids hyped about things like computer programming and coding is signing them up for one of these three (edited to add: no wait, four!) rad, tech summer camps going on right now, some of which are like full-on day camps; some of which kids can do right from home in those quiet hours after playing outside all day.
Oh, and if you need a few more encouraging words that may help stoke the tech summer camp fires for your kids, here’s one to start with: Minecraft.
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I was happy to learn that Youth Digital is the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8-14. Their mission is “Creating Creators” and their vision is to make advanced technology available to every child. They are striving to do this through their innovative platform that get kids learning by being interactive, rewarding, and fun.
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When it was founded in 2005, the iED focused on fostering immersive learning in higher education, Walsh said. More than 400 universities signed up to participate “right out of the gate.” But starting in 2009, the organization began to expand its efforts to include K-12.
“The college kids were losing their minds if they got to do this stuff as part of the classroom experience,” Walsh said. “But I had this gnawing feeling in my gut that by the time the students got to college, the job was already done. They were already engaged, and immersion was just icing on the cake. I felt that we needed to get this technology down into the schools where we’re losing kids at tremendous rates because they’re just not engaged. I felt that we needed to get these exciting technologies into K-12.”
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