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

Creating is WAY more than just coding

April 8, 2019

Learn to code is definitely on trend. In fact, based on a recent survey, 9/10 parents want their kids to learn this important skill. Hour of code is a large and growing educational event that millions of students around the world participate in. However, exclusively focusing on coding limits the full potential of what future inventors and innovators need to learn in order to positively impact t...


Don’t underestimate the learning potential of Scratch

April 1, 2019

At Digital Adventures, Scratch is one of the many hardware and software platforms we leverage to teach kids how to build with technology. Yet, when some students come in they already have preconceived notions about the utility of this powerful language.  They either say, I’ve already done Scratch or can we do a more challenging language? As an education technology platform, our goal is to make ...


Labels, Stereotypes & Truth in Tech

March 23, 2019

In general, there tend to be labels and stereotypes that are ascribed to activities and interest. As humans, these labels and stereotypes can help our brain group and make sense of large amounts of information so that we can take action. For example, in sports we tend to label participants as above average athletic. In addition, one stereotype is that athletes are just dumb jocks or below avera...


Let's Re-Think Education

March 15, 2019

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are no doubt aware of the college admissions scandal that resulted in indictments of 50 parents around the country who have been charged with paying an admissions counselor millions of dollars to get the children into the schools of their choice.While there is no doubt plenty of blame to go around, it’s also instructive in these situations to look at ...


3 Keys to Overcome the Challenge of Learning Technology

March 8, 2019

With the number of students we work with on a weekly basis, we are able to get a good sense of the challenges students face when learning technology. At the highest level, learning to build with technology is often a new experience for students. While they may have been around technology their entire lives, building a project can be very different.  In fact, as we’ve previously discussed, lots ...


The Lack of Technology Struggle is Hurting our Kids

March 3, 2019

When I was a kid, there was a high level of struggle inherent in learning to build and engage with technology. If I wanted to play a video game on the computer, I had to type in a bunch of commands. And, even after I corrected all the typos, that was no guarantee that the game would load up.Or, if my friends and I were playing Nintendo and wanted to switch games; there was a chance that the new...


The Best Teachers Mathematically

February 22, 2019

No this isn’t a post about how the best teachers are math teachers although I do love math as it forms the foundation for much of my educational and professional experience. Instead, I want to share the idea of how good teaching can be thought of using a mathematical framework.In my estimation, the best teachers are always focused on how to maximize the individual potential of each student. Sin...


Becoming a global shaper

February 15, 2019

The New York Times recently published an article outlining the two codes, computer science and the U.S. Constitution, kids need to learn in order to make in impact in their career and with their life. This conclusion was based on research conducted by The College Board (administrators of the SAT) that found these two areas were highly correlated with success. Since that time, The College Board ...


Overnight success starts today

February 8, 2019

By the time someone like Bill Gates (Microsoft) or Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) or Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square) or Sheryl Sandberg (Google & Facebook) or Marissa Mayer (Google & Yahoo), it may seem like their success was immediate and predictable.However, if you dig a bit deeper, you will learn that each of these experts spent years developing and honing their abilities. With repeated pr...


Just build it! - You don't need permission to create

February 1, 2019

With the polar vortex creating the coldest temperatures in decades in Chicago, the local school districts decided that the conditions were unsafe and so kids were out of school for a few days. Since they had 2 days without the burdens of school, my kids were free to organize their days around what they were interested.My daughter decided that she would create a drawing of a flower using Scratch...


NO - You can’t learn to code in an hour

January 25, 2019

There are profound joys and utter disappointments that come with educating kids. Personally, I’ve always said that having kids is one of the longest term, high risk, high reward investments one can make. For at least 18 years but often for their entire lives, parents invest in their children in hopes that they will be successful. It isn’t until some point far in the future where we know whether...


Why technology excels at creating teachable moments

January 18, 2019

One of the best parts about being within the education space generally is being able to participate in teachable moments. Whether teaching math, science or philosophy, there is nothing like illustrating a concept and seeing the gears start to turn in a student’s head and then having them ask a question that enables you to solidify the lesson for both the individual and the group.At Digital Adve...


3 key learnings from launching our new edtech product BrainSports

January 11, 2019

This past Fall we launched a new edtech product, BrainSports. Our goal was to bring together elements of sports (training, competition, community) while also re-imagining an educational framework for teaching our students coding & engineering design skills that will power their future success.During the Fall season, students in both our Lincoln Park & Wilmette studios worked towards bui...


Tech's Broken Promises

January 4, 2019

We aren’t living up to the promised potential of technology. Solutions are supposed to make the world a better place. They are supposed to help fix the immense challenges in a difficult world. As of late, technology is falling short of its promised potential. From the recent insight that most of the internet is fake to the influence large scale social media platforms can have on elections aroun...


Every Company is NOW a Technology Company

December 28, 2018

While Netflix was originally founded as a company designed to change the viewing behavior of consumers by sending them DVD’s via mail. Over time, the company began streaming content via the internet using a combination of data & analytics to drive high levels of customer engagement. In order to satisfy the growing demand for content and insulate itself against the competition, Netflix began...