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

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.

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...