Category: Coding

Youth Digital Launches 3D Game Development 1 Course to Teach Kids Unity® the Leading Platform for Creating in 2D, 3D, VR and AR

Youth Digital Launches 3D Game Development 1 Course to Teach Kids Unity® the Leading Platform for Creating in 2D, 3D, VR and AR

Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for youth ages 8-14, today announced the launch of 3D Game Development 1, an engaging online course that teaches kids how to develop their own video games using the industry leading Unity® game engine.

Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for youth ages 8-14, today announced the launch of 3D Game Development 1.

This course gives students the freedom to fully realize their game vision using the professional Unity® game engine. Kids will learn to code in C#, and throughout the course they will be taught industry-standard coding and design skills. Students have full control of the story; they can code their own quests, design multiple levels, puzzles, and enemies. At the end of the course, students will have a complete video game to share with friends and family.

Course highlights include the following:

  • Learn Unity® – an industry-standard tool for video game development and the platform for many popular titles like Pokémon Go® and Temple Run®
  • Learn C# – a professional programming language – and career-ready best practices

“Because Unity® is one of the most widely-used professional game engines in the Industry, there is no limit to what our kids can do after taking this course,” said Justin Richards, CEO and Founder of Youth Digital. “A lot of people don’t think kids as young as eight or even ten can learn to use tools like this, but they can learn anything if they’re excited enough about what they’re making. We give them the fundamentals, but our students always take the skills we give them and run with them, so we can’t wait to see what they go on to do with Unity®.”

The 12-month subscription (Approximately $~21/month, paid annually at $249.99) includes more than 30 hours of learning, 1 year of course access, support from online teachers, self-paced and project-based curriculum, interactive quizzes and challenges, final project, and a personalized evaluation of their final project.

To learn more about Youth Digital and its unique approach to technology education, please visit http://www.youthdigital.com.

About Youth Digital
Youth Digital offers a compelling mix of online courses that teach kids the critical technology concepts and skills that they will need to be successful in today’s digital world. With courses designed to be fun, interactive, and rewarding, kids ages 8 to 14 become digital creators through their breakthrough learning platform and cutting-edge curriculum. Students watch video tutorials, respond to questions, earn badges, complete interactive quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering key technology skills and professional-level software.

Founded in 2010 and based in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Youth Digital is committed to making technology education accessible to kids globally. Since its inception, the company has reached more than 100,000 students through its popular summer camp programs and expanding portfolio of introductory and advanced online courses. Today, students from more than 100 countries are enrolled in Youth Digital’s online courses in Java programming, game development, mobile app design, 3D printing, 3D animation, and more.

Why I Love to Create: Caleb

Why I Love to Create: Caleb

Hello, my name is Caleb and I am excited to share all of the reasons that I like to create.
First, creating is not like anything else. You can take your amazing ideas and digitally apply them into a 3D game, app, mod, or animation. To me, being able to create is like being bilingual. In fact, by 2020, quite a few STEM careers will include computer programming. This is an amazing number and I enjoy being able to learn some basic programming.
Whatever I have created, from a flying reindeer in my mod CookieCraft or making cool cutscenes in my app, Bowler Bash (not yet released!), I have always had lots of fun making my ideas come to life. Every single Minecraft item and every single if/then statement that I’ve programmed was awesome. Here are two more reasons that I like to create:
  • I can let my imagination run wild.
  • Programming is like a puzzle with lots of pieces to put together.
I like to create so much that I’m creating a software company called Cliffdrop Creative. I will use my company to make apps and other programming masterpieces.
Programming is also a great source of entertainment, so when you can’t go outside because you’d turn into a water monster, can’t find your book, and your iPad is out of battery, you can have something that will help you get a job instead.
No rules or boundaries are found in creating. It’s what you want, when you want, how you want. For example, if you want a giant troll that can control the gravity of Jupiter and you have to defeat the troll by destroying all his hot dogs (just an idea!) you can do that. The only limits are the storage space on your computer and your imagination.
If you do not think creating sounds fun, think again. And if it still doesn’t sound totally awesome, I don’t know what will be. Keep creating!
Why Summer Fun Can Include Coding

Why Summer Fun Can Include Coding

Summer is right around the corner! However, simply because school is out doesn’t mean learning needs to stop. Don’t worry; we think your kids will actually be excited to continue their education track during the summer months.

Keeping your kids academically challenged during the summer is crucial to continuing brain development. In fact, kids whose brains aren’t engaged during the summer vacation can lose up to 60% of what they learned during the previous school year. By the time school starts again in September, they’ve forgotten fundamental lessons, which may cause them to fall behind other students.

Don’t let this free time go to waste. Summer break presents a unique opportunity for kids to explore their passions and learn skills that aren’t taught in the traditional classroom, like coding.

The number of programming-related jobs is expected to soar in the next decade and the ability to code will become an essential skill for the future workforce. In fact, our recent study found that 42% of parents list science and technology as the most important subject for their child’s education. Starting to code at a young age puts kids at a competitive advantage as it teaches important problem-solving skills that boost student performance in every academic subject.

Coding software that engages kids with creativity is a great at-home option since it allows kids to work at their own pace while creating impressive projects. At the end of the summer your kid will have knowledge in an emerging technology sector and a finalized project to show for their hard work.

But, your kid doesn’t only have to learn independently!

Summer break is the perfect opportunity to enroll your kid in a coding camp. These camps, like ours, inspire an interest not taught in mainstream education, while promoting creativity and productivity. Here are three benefits of enrolling your kid in a coding camp for the summer:

  1. An opportunity to meet other kids interested in coding. Kids can discuss and collaborate on their projects, which teaches vital teamwork skills. Working with peers can also inspire a passion for computer science beyond the summertime by meeting up with their new friends during the school year to show off their latest creations.
  1. In-person access to dedicated, top-notch professionals. Teachers can be more hands-on in person and motivate kids to stay on task by fostering an environment that welcomes curiosity and creativity. These professionals become role models for the campers, as they show kids real-life examples of where coding can take your career.

 

  1. A structured day filled with different activities. Coding camps aren’t just about sitting in front of a computer. The days are broken up to give campers a chance to play outside and get involved in fun games. Kids can exercise minds while still enjoying the benefits of the warm summer months.

Whether it’s an at-home program or a camp dedicated to computer science, you can’t go wrong with teaching your kid how to code this summer. This valuable skill will transcend their academic careers and provide necessary brain development that is essential for long-term personal and professional growth.

3 Ways Learning to Code Develops Skills for Success in School

3 Ways Learning to Code Develops Skills for Success in School

It’s no secret that learning to code teaches valuable STEM skills. But what some parent’s don’t realize is that working with code teaches kids how to breakdown complex problems taught in other subjects, like science and math, by offering a visual approach. According to Stanford University taking a visual approach to math instruction at the K-12 level leads to more success in the subject.

Coding is a system of symbols and rules used to represent instructions to a computer, like language – the same type of language that is a vital component to how people communicate in many fields. Coding is a skill that can influence every academic discipline by providing kids with the opportunity to be creative, which helps with brain development. Students today use coding to create apps for science fairs, produce 3D printed art or even customize Minecraft Mods.

The skills that kids pick up as they learn to code transcend into many subjects. While it’s clear that coding helps students succeed in STEM courses, coding also helps with the development of skills necessary to succeed in other areas – like English and history.

These valuable lessons help students succeed throughout their academic careers, and beyond. Here are 3 ways learning to code helps in other subjects:

  1. Teaches kids how to engage. It’s not easy during a long school day to keep kids engaged. Memorizing names, dates and places in history class doesn’t interest most students. Learning to code – and create with coding – not only requires focus, but also encourages critical thinking. For example, school districts around the US, such as Fairfax County Public Schools use technology to encourage critical thinking in history classes, leading to higher engagement. With higher critical thinking skills students don’t simply memorize history facts, they think critically about how history is written and why.
  1. Teaches kids how to tell stories. When they create with coding, kids can see their ideas come to life. As they strengthen their ability to code, they create complex stories, which require thinking skills. In storytelling, kids need to understand the consequences of characters’ actions and come up with logical details. Knowing how to create complex stories and connect ideas is necessary in writing papers – especially in English classes where students are expected to explain and explore intricate themes in literature.
  1. Teaches kids how to organize. To see the results of their coding projects, kids must remain organized when entering numbers and symbols. One false colon and the project won’t display correctly! With coding, kids learn to pay attention to these details. Being organized is useful in any school subject whether it’s outlining a paper for English or taking notes for history. By the time kids reach their future careers being organized will be expected.

Learning to code is a valuable skill for success in any classroom subject and early exposure helps in integrating these skills into a kid’s life. In fact, a study conducted by Google found that students involved in computer science were 46% more likely to pursue this interest, which means they’ll succeed in other subjects through their education. As careers in computer science continue to grow and integrate into all professional fields, a well-rounded education will be necessary for success.

Parents: Technology Isn’t Just for Entertainment

Parents: Technology Isn’t Just for Entertainment

Technology presents numerous challenges for parents with young children. From frequent tablet and smartphone product updates to new video games and cartoons, technology plays a prominent role in kids’ lives.

Kids today consume more media and technology than ever before. In fact, those ages 8 – 12 spend an average of eight hours per day playing video games, watching TV or movies, checking social media, etc. The various devices, programs, and platforms keep kids quiet and entertained, but the educational value of what the kids watch – typically on multiple screens at once – is disturbingly low.

As technology takes on a bigger role in our everyday lives, the instinct to put a tablet or smartphone in kids’ hands to keep the peace shouldn’t be the norm. Instead, for the 60 percent of parents who admit to using tablets and smartphones to distract their kids, advancements in technology have actually presented the opportunity to introduce technology as a fun learning tool, not a distraction.

Learning skills in technology can turn the next generation into creators, not just consumers. The innovation within technology education has been immensely valuable in sparking this shift inside the classroom, but parents also need to help kids create and ask questions outside of the classroom – both valuable assets in shaping the minds of tomorrow.

Online technology courses empower kids to create their own games and apps, which can turn into profitable businesses. Technology offers endless opportunities for creation, so imagine what kids can create in the future if they’re learning now. As they build necessary skills in technology, kids can learn what their passions are and better prepare themselves for the next phase of their life or even their future professional careers.

Some parents believe that teaching kids with their gadgets is a way of “tricking” them into learning. But, 9 out of 10 parents want their kids to learn basic skills in technology. So, why not provide children with the opportunity to learn necessary skills for the digital age via mediums that they already enjoy?

There are three main areas where technology education provides numerous advances for kids, planting the seeds for passion and professional success and even the beginnings of an entrepreneurial mindset:

  1. Literacy for the digital age:Technology is an integral part of almost all industries, from healthcare to transportation. Accordingly, proficient technology skills and knowledge are critical assets for students’ future economic opportunity and social mobility.
  1. Job readiness:In 2015, there were more than 600,000 high-paying technology jobs unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields, according to the White House. Today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs, and they will need a solid technology foundation in order to be successful, regardless of the industry they choose.
  1. Real-life skills:Technology education offers great benefits to students that translate to real life, regardless of career path. From problem solving to critical thinking, using and learning to create with technology helps kids acquire skills that will aid them in their educational, professional, and personal pursuits.

Teaching tech at a young age gives kids a competitive advantage in the growing digital era. In fact, a study conducted by Google found that early exposure is essential to creating interest in the growing computer science field. These skills need to be fostered not only at home, but also in the classroom.

Parents who encourage their kids to create and ask questions outside of the classroom fosters an atmosphere of learning and creativity. Technology doesn’t need to be mechanism for distraction. Embrace it as a method to draw out interests and hobbies that otherwise remain buried when kids simply consume technology instead of using it to create.

What Is a Minecraft Dimension, and Why Does My Kid Want to Create One?

What Is a Minecraft Dimension, and Why Does My Kid Want to Create One?

One key thing that sets Minecraft apart from so many other games is the ability of players to “mod,” or modify, the game by modifying the code that Minecraft is written in. Modding is many players’ favorite part of Minecraft! Mods can change almost anything about the game, which makes it a fun way to create an entirely new gaming experience inside Minecraft.

Basic mods often including making new items that players can use in the game, such as a new sword or suit of armor. Advanced mods, however, can completely alter how the Minecraft world appears and even how it functions. Modders can create whole biomes like coral reefs or dense forests, or even entirely new dimensions inside the game. Creating these mods is a great way for players to express their creativity and bring their imaginations to life.

The default (unmodified) version of Minecraft contains three dimensions: The Overworld (the regular game world), The Nether (an underground dimension), and The End (a floating island). All three dimensions can generate infinitely, but each dimension has something unique about it that makes it fun for players to explore them. Players can also mod new dimensions to create their own unique realm inside the Minecraft world.

Creating a dimension inside Minecraft is similar building to a fort: you can control how it looks, as well as what rules apply while you’re inside! Inside your own Minecraft dimension, you can customize every aspect of the landscape, as well as add advanced functionality like artificial intelligence and automatically-generating structures. Creating a dimension gives players a place to invent and create all of the complicated, exciting mods they’ve dreamed about.

However, building such an advanced mod is complicated. It requires an understanding of basic coding concepts and advanced programming skills. Our newest offering teaches young modders all the necessary skills to build their own Minecraft dimension! Mod Design 1: Dimensions is an expansion pack that allows kids to build on the coding concepts and skills they learned in Mod Design 1 to create their very own dimension in Minecraft.

If your student is ready to take their modding to the next level and code their very own Minecraft dimension, check out Mod Design 1: Dimensions today!

How to Get Girls Into Coding

How to Get Girls Coding

With coding being touted as the new foreign language, it’s clear that girls are falling behind in literacy.  According to Girls Who Code, in middle school, 74 percent of girls express interest in STEM subjects, but when they choose a college major, only 0.4 percent of girls select computer science. In 2015, girls made up less than 22 percent of all students who took the AP Computer Science exam. And only 18 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women.

It’s clear that girls are not receiving the same technology education that their male counterparts are. But why is it so important that girls learn to code? Continue reading “How to Get Girls Into Coding”

6 Future Careers for Your Young Coder

Future Careers for Your CoderWhether your young student is just getting interested in learning to code or if they’re already a Java genius, a background in computer science is a crucial asset for kids to be successful later in life. After all, today’s youngest generation will grow up to be tomorrow’s innovators and creators.

The recent focus on STEAM education, coupled with the new Computer Science for All initiative proposed by President Obama, ensures that this generation will receive an improved computer science education. But why is digital literacy so important, and how will it benefit them after graduation?

A background in computer science will set your kid up for a plethora of opportunities for their future career. Here are 6 jobs your young coder could choose to pursue! Continue reading “6 Future Careers for Your Young Coder”

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Java

10 Things You Don't Know About Java

We’re not talking about coffee! Java is a computer programming language that was created for general purpose coding. Originally designed for cross-platform compatibility, meaning it can be used for a variety of different devices and programs, Java can run on almost any operating system.

But beyond the basics, Java is an incredibly interesting coding language! Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Java. Continue reading “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Java”