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

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.

What coding language should my kid start with?

January 8, 2017

This is a question we get asked a lot. The short answer is that it depends. That’s hardly a satisfying answer, so let’s get into some general guidelines you can use to help navigate the sea of options that are out there. Don’t write off ScratchScratch sometimes gets a bad reputation because it’s often used for introductory programming with very young students. As a result, many Scratch projects...

Who will manage the artificial intelligence machines?

December 29, 2016

One of the largest, most successful hedge funds in the world, Bridgewater Associates, will be using artificial intelligence to remove the element human of emotion from decision making. In the process, humans will move from not only writing the code for these machines but also developing the boundary conditions for these decisions. In essence, humans will now program & manage machines. One c...

3 Cool Things Kids Can Build With Code

December 5, 2016

One of the great things about learning to program computers is the wide variety of applications. From Bluetooth devices in our vehicles to applications on our mobile phones, adults can see the infusion & continuous evolution of technology everywhere. As Digital Natives, kids can sometimes take technology for granted because they haven’t known a time when there wasn’t a smart phone or tablet...

The parallels between sports & coding

November 21, 2016

One of the most traditional activities of adolescence is for kids to join in and play organized sports. From softball to tennis, there are several options for kids to find a sport they enjoy. As parents, we sign our kids up for sports not just because we have dreams of them maybe one day becoming professional players but also to learn valuable life lessons. While the possibility of professional...

2016 Cubs World Series Construct Video Game - Get The Final Out & Win!

November 7, 2016

"Someday the Cubs are going to be in the World Series" - Harry CarayAfter 108 years, the Chicago Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 World Series by scoring 8 runs by the end of the 10th inning to defeat the Cleveland Indians. We've all seen the final out replayed numerous times. So, we created a fun game using Construct 2.0, one of the video game making platforms that we use at D...

Skate to where the puck is going

October 22, 2016

“I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” – Wayne GretzskyWhen you read the quote above about Wayne Gretzky’s strategy, it seems obvious, easy, intuitive and natural. However, in practice, it is not exactly easy to execute. Skating to where the puck is going requires looking at the available data about how the puck often travels based on its size and weight from one position ...

What's on your kid's plate?

October 1, 2016

Many years ago, Marc Andressen wrote a compelling piece in the New York Times entitled ‘Software is Eating The World’. His central thesis was that technology is a large and growing piece of the global economy. Not only did Marc put pen to paper to express his views on this emerging trend, he also co-founded a venture capital firm, Andressen Horowitz, to place bets on software enabled businesses...

Predicting the Future – Hollywood Edition

September 6, 2016

“The best way to predict the future is invent it.” – Alan Kay, Computer ProgrammerSelf-driving cars with advanced technology may help make our roadways safer by reducing/eliminating human error from this complicated activity. Medical devices have the potential to not only save lives but improve the quality of life as people live longer. Advances in food science could enable us to provide better...

Moonshots: Preparing the Next Generation of Inventors & Innovators

August 5, 2016

In May 1961, President Kennedy, before a joint session of Congress, announced the goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. This goal was achieved on July 20th, 1969 when Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, stepped onto the surface of the moon. While Kennedy never saw the plan he set in place accomplished, his bold vision not only achieved the goal but has...

7 Easy Ways for Parents to Support Their Kids Technology Education Development

July 5, 2016

Depending on your education background and work experience, you may not have a depth of familiarity with coding/programming & engineering modeling/design. In fact, you may struggle with even completing simple technology tasks. Or, the rapid pace of technology change may have you feeling as though you are on the outside looking in……what exactly is Snapchat? On the other hand, you may be the ...

Will your child survive the automation economy?

June 4, 2016

Recently, we have seen more and more evidence that jobs typically done by humans are now being automated. From self-driving cars under development by Uber, Lyft, GM, Tesla, Ford & Toyota to automated kiosks being rolled out at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Panera.  Research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics Professor, David Autor, shows that middle-skill jobs like bookkeeping,...

How Learning to Code Can Help Develop a Growth Mindset

May 2, 2016

In 2014, Carol Dweck published findings based on two decades of research on growth versus fixed mindsets amongst individuals and organizations. Her research found that those who believe their talents can be developed over time have a growth mindset while those who believe their talents are innate gifts and therefore stable across time have a fixed mindset. Individuals with a growth mindset tend...

Let’s get girls excited about coding again!

March 29, 2016

Although, it may be hard to imagine given the current gender disparities in computer science, women have not only played a major role in the development of the field but also continue to exhibit leadership and product development innovation in technology-driven companies of the future. Amazing Contributions by Women in Computer Science In the mid-1800’s Ada Lovelace wrote the instructions for ...

Chicago Public Schools Mandates Computer Science Graduation Requirement for Class of 2020

February 29, 2016

On February 24th, 2016, the board of education for Chicago Public Schools unanimously mandated computer science as a graduation requirement for the Class of 2020. The context behind the decision is based on data that estimates a gap of 1 million job openings by 2024 versus colleges/universities that graduated approximately 40,000 students annually (2015). Structurally, the way the graduation re...