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

Coders are the new Superheroes!

April 30, 2017

This past Friday, April 28th, was National Superhero Day. According to the dictionary, a superhero is defined as, “a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also, an exceptionally skillful or successful person.” When I was a kid, my favorite superhero was Superman. He was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a singl...

Different Perspectives

April 22, 2017

When I began my career in the epicenter of the domestic automobile industry (Detroit, Michigan), I was surrounded by customers and consequently vehicles from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Every time, I would see a vehicle from a competing automaker, I thought that we had to work much harder to win against our local competitors. Rarely did I see a vehicle from Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, BMW or ...

Self-Driving Cars, Powered by Humans.....Coming Soon!

April 15, 2017

As a former automotive engineer at Ford Motor Company, this has been an exciting week. First, Tesla announced that they would launch electric and self-driving pick-up and commercial trucks. It is widely believed that these vehicles will be equipped with self-driving technology as current model Tesla’s have this feature. Toward the end of the week, it was discovered that Apple had received appro...

3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Kids Engaged with Technology

April 9, 2017

As parents, we want the best for our kids. My wife and I will do anything and everything we can to help encourage and develop our kids to reach their full potential. Oftentimes, this means having them experiment with a lot of different extra-curricular activities until they find something that fits. Since my children are either in elementary or pre-K, we don’t believe that you can meaningfully ...

Fostering a 'Creator's Mindset' for your child!

March 26, 2017

Note: This blog post originally appeared as a guest post on the Meez Meals blog.“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” – Alan Kay, Computer Scientist While there are some who are busy imagining how the world might become a better place. There are others who are actively engaged in the creative process of building innovative solutions to make a dent in the universe – turning their ...

Belief | A Key Element of Learning to Code

March 19, 2017

“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford In educational environments, the above quote should be amended to reflect the impact of the instructor belief on a child’s internalized belief in their capabilities. Over the years, researchers have taken on the important question of teacher’s expectations within the academic environment. It is estimated that 5-...

Computer Coding Sandwich Challenge

March 12, 2017

We are constantly in search of creative ways to introduce kids to the concepts of computer programming and engineering logic. We initially launched a fun sandwich making exercise to introduce your kid to coding at home. We thought it would be fun to take this project further and have parents and kids make fun videos showing their kids going through this exercise. Here's an example of a video th...

Learning to Code at 35 years old

March 4, 2017

Throughout childhood, I enjoyed learning especially about any and all things electronic. From remote controls cars to VCR’s, I just had to take them apart and learn about what was inside. This of course led to many broken electronics around my home because while I was skilled at taking things apart, I wasn’t so great at putting them back together. Thankfully, my parents didn’t impede my learnin...

Balancing a mixed-grade classroom to maximize individual learning

February 25, 2017

After years of working in math and computer science education, you tend to discover principles of learning that are distilled from thousands of lessons with different learners. A core idea that keeps coming to mind is that beginners need structure and experts need freedom. It seems like common sense, but I think applying this principle can be tricky in practice, especially when there are multip...

Should Digital Adventures launch a Kids’ Coding Hack-A-Thon?

February 18, 2017

In sports-based activities, there is typically a portion of the week focused on practice or skill development that concludes with an exhibition (game). Since games have a binary outcome (win or lose), it enables participants to learn what they need to focus on during the following week in order to continue developing their skills.  Over the course of the season, kids play a series of games befo...

Making a Maker!

February 11, 2017

Humans have an innate disposition towards innovating. Whether it is figuring out how to keep ourselves warm and cooking our food by building fire or reducing the time it takes to travel to distant geographies through the automobile or airplanes, we have become good at finding elegant solutions to difficult problems.In kids, it is especially enjoyable to watch the development of makers in action...

Struggle: the essential ingredient to learning

February 4, 2017

Way back when I was a kid in elementary school, I used to hate it when the teacher would ask the class for an answer and someone would just shout it out while the rest of us were still thinking. It's like being in the middle of hearing a joke, and having someone else interrupt with the punchline. Back then, I didn't have the vocabulary to explain why it made me so upset, but now I realize it's ...

5 Mega Technology Trends That Will Impact Your Kids

January 28, 2017

The current generation has been surrounded by technology from a very early age. Many of the companies who are developing disruptive innovations were started before they were even born.  Google was founded almost 20 years ago and Amazon almost 25 years ago. Apple which created the platform for putting a personal computer in everyone’s pocket was founded 40+ years ago. However, innovation is not ...

Boiling a frog - How to best introduce kids to coding

January 21, 2017

If you want to boil a frog, the conventional wisdom is that you put the frog in cool water and slowly turn up the heat until it reaches the boiling point versus starting with boiling water and putting the frog in; sensing the huge delta between ambient and hot water, the frog will jump out of boiling water every time. The first time I saw a command prompt was in an Introduction to Computer Scie...

20 Minute Project Challenge | Smart, Dumb, Walking Robot

January 15, 2017

We asked our students to provide 3 descriptive words and then we gave our lead North Shore instructor 20 minutes to build a project encompassing these words. See what happens when you combine smart, dumb and walking with a Lego EV3 Robot in this fun video.