The Digital Adventures Blog

For parents, educators and students to discuss tech education for kids, best practices for teaching coding & engineering design to kids & emerging technology trends

3 Reasons Why the Mixer & Ninja Partnership Failed

June 23, 2020

This week, we learned that Microsoft is shutting down Mixer. As a result of this move, top tier streamer talent is now free to sign with Twitch, Facebook Gaming or any other platform of their choosing. While this may have been surprising to many, the reality is this partnership was doomed from the start. In business school, we studied a case on top tier financial analysts who were given the opp...


Puzzles, Progress & Programming

June 17, 2020

My youngest child recently turned 7 years old. For many years, he's been into puzzles. When he first started putting together puzzles at 5 years old, they were just a few pieces.  Typically, the pieces were large and it would take him quite a bit of time to figure out how to put everything together. Every time he completed a puzzle, we would celebrate.His 1st grade teacher also enjoys puzzles. ...


All Virtual Learning Didn’t Fail

June 11, 2020

While there are some salient points in this Wall Street Journal article, the reality is that online learning is being painted with a very broad brush. And, unfortunately, most of the commentary is decidedly negative.Just like there are different types of screen time, we also have different types of virtual learning.The reality is that there is much more nuance and considerations that we need to...


Want to teach your kid to code? FREE isn’t always best!

June 5, 2020

Coding seems to be unique within education in that there are a large number of people who think that kids can learn to code simply by turning them loose on the internet with Google searches and Stack Overflow as their reference material. This phenomenon has always struck me as particularly peculiar especially given that it can take years of practice to develop and improve your technical skills....


3 Great Lessons the SpaceX Dragon Human Flight Teaches Kids

May 28, 2020

This week, SpaceX is targeting the launch of their first human space flight, Dragon, with NASA astronauts - Bob Behnken and Dave Hurley. Many skeptics did not believe that a private technology company would ever reach this important milestone. They believed that only the federal government could design, develop and launch a complicated project like human space flight.However, Elon Musk believed...


The Power of Digital Play

May 21, 2020

As parents, we sometimes forget that kids know best when it comes to play. These past two months have been tough. I’ve found myself sleep deprived and on edge, trying to find creative ways to balance my life while making sure my daughter is okay. What I have loved are those rare moments when I can slow down and observe my daughter. They remind me that kids know best when it comes to play. Espe...


How to Create a Facebook Avatar That Actually Looks Like You

May 18, 2020

Before you get started, let’s talk a little bit about why creating your own avatar on Facebook has taken off. Everyone is sitting at home looking for something fun to do. What could be more engaging than creating a digital version of yourself? For those of us who are old enough to have seen the movie avatar, this exercise is especially nostalgic.Certainly if Facebook wanted to, they could have ...


Kids - Learn to Spawn 30+ Virtual Reality Animals at Home

May 15, 2020

One of the great things about technology is that it is all around us. At times, this omnipresence can make us feel like technology rules our lives and that of our kids. Other times, you realize that technology has made a dramatic leap in terms of capability & that wow factor!Augmented reality is a technology that we have been excited about the potential for some time. In fact, we even wrote...


The Digital Future is Here, Right Now!

May 8, 2020

The current public health crisis has exposed many things about the global economy. We are a lot more dependent on each others mutual success than we would’ve ever imagined - Hello, Butterfly Effect. The dependency means that the global economy is not as resilient to challenges. It also means that nations require much more high level cooperation than many of us believed was necessary or even pos...


How to Create an Easy Flower Animation in Scratch

May 7, 2020

Animations are a great way to level up projects. Great animations can also be used to extend a project to create more realistic looking characters or action sequences. However, there are times when you want to have an animation be the entire focal point of a project.In this tutorial, we will go through how to create a flower animation in Scratch. Estimated tutorial time: 45-60 minutes. Below is...


Parents Should Win the 2020 Teacher of the Year Award

May 3, 2020

Teachers are a very special group. My mother was a teacher. Many members of my extended family are teachers. I’m married to a teacher. I also run an education technology company that employs teachers to guide students in learning how to build with technology. In essence, I have the utmost respect and the highest regard for teachers. In many ways, one could argue that everyone who has ever learn...


How to Build a Simple Smoke Animation Effect in Scratch

April 30, 2020

While we often focus on making sure that we are programming character movement along with the subsequent events and actions to simulate interactive game play, visual effects are also an important element of making great projects. A simple effect that makes your project more realistic will provide more enjoyment to the user and more satisfaction to the developer. Often it can take just as much t...


3 Ways to Create a Great Online Learning Experience for Kids

April 26, 2020

For the past several weeks, Digital Adventures has completely transitioned our instructor guided, in-person studio classes over to an online format. While this switch has not been easy, we have learned a lot about our students, our families, ourselves, and our business.Through the process of working with these various groups, we have identified 3 key elements to creating a great online learning...


How to Build a Simple Bubble Animation Effect in Scratch

April 23, 2020

While we often focus on making sure that we are programming character movement along with the subsequent events and actions to simulate interactive game play, visual effects are also an important element of making great projects. A simple effect that makes your project more realistic will provide more enjoyment to the user and more satisfaction to the developer. Often it can take just as much t...


3 ways for kids to build community during difficult times

April 18, 2020

Over the past few weeks, New York City & Los Angeles made the difficult decision to shut down their respective school districts for the remainder of the year. Earlier this week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker followed suit and closed all schools in the entire state for the balance of the year. This means that the 3 largest school districts in the entire country which collectively teach milli...