Category: Uncategorized

The Top 5 Youth Digital Blog Posts

If you are looking for the hottest topics fresh on parent’s minds, look no further than the Youth Digital blog. We have collected the five hottest Youth Digital blog posts over the last 12 months and collected them in one area. The common theme: Minecraft. Is it productive? Is it safe? We answer those questions and more below.

  1. 5 Things Parents Should Know About MInecraft. Many parents worry about their kids wasting time on video games, and also about the potentially violent or inappropriate content of those games. While it’s true that some video games aren’t suitable for kids, many games present a valuable learning opportunity and can be a productive use of your kids’ time.
  2. 5 More Things Every Parent Should Know About MInecraft. By now, we’re all familiar with Minecraft, the amazingly fun, never-ending sandbox game that has been popular with kids and people of all ages for more than five years. We also know that kids gain substantial benefits from playing video games. So let’s dive a little deeper into the world of Minecraft with five more things that every parent should know about their kid’s favorite game!
  3. What Do Kids Learn When They Play MInecraft? At first glance, Minecraft may look like any other video game: a fantasy world where players gather resources, battle obstacles, and try to stay alive. But the sandbox nature of the game actually creates a learning experience for kids where they gain valuable skills that are applicable to real life through gameplay. So what exactly are kids learning as they play Minecraft? There must be a reason that it’s been incorporated into classrooms and homeschool curriculum, after all! Here are five things that kids learn when they play Minecraft.
  4. 6 Surprising Benefits of Playing Video Games. One of the most common concerns we hear from parents is that their kids’ love of video games is causing them to spend their time unproductively. Instead of playing outside or reading a book, they’re glued to a screen. But rest assured, parents– there are proven benefits to playing video games! There have even been several recent studies that generated scientific evidence of the beneficial effects of playing video games.
  5. Top 10 STEAM Contests for My Kid. It may seem that one of the last things kids want to do outside of school is something that feels like homework. However, contests are a great extra-curricular activity to get kids involved in their favorite subjects! Covering topics from science to art, there are plenty of national and regional contests open to students of all ages that are sure to excite kids and bring out their competitive spirit.

What are your thoughts? Are there other posts that resonated more? Tell us what you think.

Youth Digital Honored as Gold Stevie® Award Winner in 2016 American Business Awards

Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8 to 14, was named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the New Product or Service of the Year – Education – Game-based Curriculum Solution category for its Server Design 1 course in the 14th Annual American Business Awards.

Server Design 1 is an interactive online course that teaches kids Java programming as they design and develop their own Minecraft world. Through engaging videos, challenging assignments, interactive quizzes and access to a professional Java development tool, kids are able to create their own customized Minecraft server from scratch.

More than 3,400 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Live Event of the Year, and App of the Year, among others.

“Server Design 1 is one of our most popular courses and we’re thrilled to receive the Gold Stevie Award in recognition of its success to help turn kids into creators, not just consumers, of technology,” said Justin Richards, CEO of Youth Digital. “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!”

More than 250 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

“The judges were extremely impressed with the quality of entries we received this year. The competition was intense and every organization that has won should be proud,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of 2016 Stevie winners are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

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 60,000 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.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Youth Digital Gives Kids the Tools to Create

Not just consumers, but technology creators

Youth Digital provides online computer courses that teach kids how to be digital creators and innovators. It also offers summer camps to those lucky enough to live near one of its 21 camp locations. But the founder of Youth Digital, Justin Richards, has a goal of reaching kids who may not have access to a cool camp like his. Hence the online courses, which are engaging youngsters in more than 100 countries.

More Information: http://www.blackenterprise.com/education/youth-digital-gives-kids-the-tools-to-create/

Teachers: Embrace the Full Potential of Technology Education Through Creation

Our recent byline was published by Getting Smart.

In January, President Obama announced his Computer Science for All initiative, proposing over $4 billion in funding for schools around the country to increase their computer science programs.

K-12 schools can use the funds to train teachers, expand access to high-quality instructional materials, and build effective partnerships that will help students across all regions, demographics and socioeconomic statuses gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s tech-driven world.

Full Article: http://gettingsmart.com/2016/04/teachers-embrace-the-full-potential-of-technology-education-through-creation/?platform=hootsuite

Infographic: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Minecraft

Back by popular demand is our top 10 things every parent should know about Minecraft.

Many parents worry about their kids wasting time on video games, and also about the potentially violent or inappropriate content of those games. While it’s true that some video games aren’t suitable for kids, many games present a valuable learning
opportunity and can be a productive use of your kids’ time.

One such game is Minecraft®, the explosively popular 3D block-based video game.
But what is Minecraft, and why is it a great game for kids of all ages to play?
Here’s what every parent of a young Minecraft enthusiast needs to know.

YouthDigital-10-Minecraft

Youth Digital Named SIIA Education CODiE Award Finalist for Best Game-based Curriculum Solution

Server Design 1 earns prestigious education industry recognition

Chapel Hill, NC – Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8 to 14 today announced that Server Design 1 was named a finalist for the 2016 SIIA CODiE Awards in the Best Game-based Curriculum Solution category. Server Design 1 is an interactive online course that teaches kids Java programming as they design and develop their own Minecraft world from start to finish. It was selected as one of the 160 finalists across 29 education technology categories.

“We’re thrilled to be selected as a finalist in this year’s CODiE Awards,” said Justin Richards, Founder and CEO of Youth Digital. “Our goal is to empower the next generation to be creative through technology and we continue to be impressed by the amazing projects our students develop.”

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for over 30 years. The awards offer 91 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology.

“Every year the list of CODiE finalists is a case study of how the ed tech industry is using new technologies in combination with knowledge about how people learn to respond to customer needs. They’re opening doors for learners of all ages.” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of ETIN.

Winners will be announced during a virtual award ceremony on May 18. The top honor of best overall educational product will be presented at Education Industry Symposium, the nation’s leading education technology conference, in Denver July 26. The announcement will take place during a special celebration party and dinner.

Details about each finalist are listed at http://www.siia.net/codie/Finalists

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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 60,000 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. For more information, visit http://www.youthdigital.com.

About SIIA
SIIA is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company. This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit siia.net.

About ETIN
ETIN (the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA) is the leading voice for 200+ companies that provide software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the PK-20 sector. ETIN drives growth and innovation within the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, government relations and critical ed tech market information. For more information, visit siia.net/etin.

For More Information:
Katie Ackerman
SHIFT Communications for Youth Digital
kackerman(at)shiftcomm.com
617.779.1867

Allison Bostrom
SIIA Communications
abostrom(at)siia.net
1.202.789.4466

Youth Digital Releases Expansion Pack to Help Kids Code with Minecraft

Mod Design 1 lays the foundation by teaching kids aged 8 to 14, professional Java programming as they learn to code with Minecraft.

Throughout the modules, students watch videos and create their own unique Minecraft mods.

27-year-old Justin Richards founded the Youth Digital education platform in 2010 with the goal of inspiring the next generation of creators, not just consumers, of technology.

Read the full story: http://www.zdnet.com/article/youth-digital-releases-expansion-pack-to-help-kids-code-with-minecraft/

Creativity 2.0: How Parents Can Encourage Creativity Through Tech

Creativity 2.0: How Parents Can Encourage Creativity Through Tech

Remember when being creative simply meant drawing a picture of your family, writing a story or putting on a play? Times have changed, but our perception of creativity has stayed the same for the most part. At least that’s what we found in a recent study, conducted by Youth Digital, of parents with a child between the ages of 8 and 14.Graph

Technology has opened up so many possibilities for a new definition of creativity for kids, yet most still tend to think of crayons, paintbrushes, and pencils when arming children for a creative project. These tools are still an important part of the creative process for kids. However, this analogue creativity perception only scratches the surface of what’s possible today. Just look at some of the cool projects our students have created using tech.

The study solicited the opinions of 270 parents from across the United States. The survey showed that,  despite the fact that parents feel technology and science are the most important subjects for their child’s education, most don’t think of tech when they’re weighing their options for a creative project for their child.

In fact, 42 percent of parents surveyed listed science and technology as the most important subjects for their child’s education. On the contrary, only 1 in 5 parents thought about using technology first when thinking about creative projects for their child. Most parents (41 percent) thought of traditional creative projects primarily including painting, drawing or writing a story. That being said, it’s not surprising that more than 1 in 3 parents said that their child turns to crayons, paintbrushes, and pencils most often when they’re feeling creative.

However, it’s also interesting to see the difference in perspective between moms and dads. For instance, dads tend to put a higher emphasis on the importance of science and technology education, with 42 percent of dads naming them as the most important subjects. Only 33 percent of moms thought science and technology were the most important subjects. Interestingly, a science experiment was the first thing that came to mind for dads when they were thinking about creative projects for their kids, with nearly a quarter (24 percent) selecting it as their first choice.

We also continue to see a trend of parents becoming more involved with their child’s education across the board. When asked about their biggest concerns about their child’s education, nearly half (49 percent) of parents surveyed cited poor curriculum and ineffective teaching methods. This explains why more parents continue to look for outside resources to help foster their child’s creativity and supplement their education in key subjects like technology and computer science.

Technology presents an unprecedented opportunity for kids to gain valuable skills and use their creativity. Parents see technology as a critical component of their kids’ education and their lives, and there’s a growing opportunity to empower the next generation to have fun learning and be creative with tech.

4 Apps to Keep Your Kids Learning this Summer (While Having Fun!)

4 Apps to Keep Your Kids Learning this Summer (While Having Fun!)

Summer is just around the corner and you are probably already imagining ways to ensure your kids don’t forget everything they learned this year. While summer brings outdoor play, there’s also some amazing and engaging apps that will keep your kids wanting to learn this summer both inside and outside. Here are four that we are think are worth looking at.

  1. Stop Motion Studio. Stop Motion Studio helps you to create terrific stop action movies with a whole host of unique features including an integrated movie editor and zoom in/zoom out functionality. If your kid is looking to create amazing stop motion movies this summer, this is a great tool to get started and it allows for online sharing capabilities. iOS/Google Play
  2. Toca Blocks. Toca Blocks is a unique world-building app that lets you play in the worlds you craft. This app allows you to explore your creativity while problem solving how to take blocks and transform them into something else. iOS/Google Play
  3. Code Warriors. Code Warriors is a fun introduction to coding. While it doesn’t provide the ability for kids to code from scratch, it does provide an epic multiplayer robot combat game, where you learn coding basics while battling in both single and multiplayer missions. iOS/Google Play
  4. Animate Me. Animate Me allows kids to move 3D animated characters into action and create animated movies. While a bit basic in its complexity, the app allows for kids to explore 3D animation easily. iOS/Google Play

While we agree your kids shouldn’t be buried in apps all summer, there are quite a few apps out there that will explore  your kids creativity in an educational and fun way. If you think there’s one worth adding, let us know.

Youth Digital Releases Mod Design Expansion Pack to Help Kids Learn to Code with Minecraft

Company Expands Most Popular Course by Four Additional Modules for Java Coding Education

Chapel Hill, NC – Youth Digital, the leading technology education organization for kids ages 8 to 14, today announced the official release of Mod Design 1: Dimensions, an expansion pack for its most popular course Mod Design 1, which teaches kids professional-level Java programming skills. The expansion pack offers students four additional modules that allow kids to deepen their knowledge of coding with Java through creating Minecraft dimensions.

“Mod Design 1: Dimensions expansion pack is the number one request we’ve heard from students and parents,” said Justin Richards, CEO of Youth Digital. “This highly anticipated course builds off of skills learned in Mod Design 1 and gives kids the opportunity to extend their knowledge of Java programming through a customized Minecraft dimension. It’s a great way to deepen students’ coding knowledge while creating a really exciting final project they can share with friends.”

Mod Design 1 lays the foundation by teaching kids professional Java programming as they learn to code with Minecraft. Throughout the modules, students watch engaging videos and create their own unique Minecraft mods.

Mod Design 1: Dimensions teaches advanced coding skills and concepts, while allowing kids to complete challenging assignments, concluding with a cutting-edge final project that tasks students with creating a customized Minecraft dimension that they can actually play and share with friends. Course highlights include:

  • Advanced Java Programming: Students will take their knowledge of Java even further as they write code from scratch.
  • Complex Coding Concepts: Kids learn how to program more complex features for their mods, like custom portals, automatically-generating structures, and advanced artificial intelligence.
  • Professional Software: Kids improve their proficiency with a professional-level Java development tool, Eclipse.

“I’m so excited about Mod Design 1: Dimensions because Mod Design 1 was my favorite Youth Digital course,” said Youth Digital student Ronan Boyarski. “I already loved making my own Minecraft mods in Mod Design 1, but the expansion pack has taught me so much more about Java programming and how to create almost everything I have ever wanted to mod!”

Included in Mod Design 1: Dimensions:

  •     10 Hours of Instruction
  •     1 Year Expansion Pack Access
  •     Support from Youth Digital’s Online Teachers
  •     Self-Paced and Project-Based Curriculum
  •     Interactive Quizzes & Challenges
  •     Final Project with Instructor Assessment

To learn more about Youth Digital and its offerings for kids to learn to code with Minecraft, please visit http://www.youthdigital.com.

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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 60,000 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.