I’m really excited to talk about this subject today! My two boys were lucky enough to join the Animal Jam Code Camp a couple weeks ago and learn some HTML coding, CSS coding and were also able to program a little robot with an app called Sphero! What??? Yes, it’s true. Many of you already know that I have a family iphone app called Kid Chatteroo, it’s my baby. Through the whole process of making the app, which was very extensive, I would explain to my kids that there are series of letter and numbers that make each part of the app work and do what it needs to do. They always found that fascinating. When I heard that there were camps like this and that they could attend one, I jumped out of my chair at the opportunity. KID WOULD PICK RIGHT UP ON THIS IF TAUGHT.
They learned to use this little robot Sphero. You use an IOS app and coding to control the little robot. Such a cool way to learn!!!
Why coding is important for kids? This is how I see it:
- Kids are now fully enveloped in the digital age. According to Code.org only 10% of high school offer computer science programming. They predict that there will be a shortage of one million trained computer scientists in the next decade. You can see that the schools are not changing with the needs of society. Technology is moving so fast that it’s hard to keep it.
- THERE AREN’T ENOUGH GIRLS THAT CODE!!! 108 coding programs were started between 2010 and 2013, 63 of which are focused on women or girls! We need more girls getting exposure to these fields!
- It’s important for kids to be equipped with this coding knowledge now to be more sufficient and prepared for the future.
- A Georgetown University study estimated that from 2005-2018 there will be a 2.2 – 2.6% annual employment increase in computer and mathematical science occupations and 700,000 of the 800,000 new jobs will be for computer specialists.
- It’s a known fact that kids can learn languages fast and easily. This is the same for computer languages. My boys that participated in this event picked up on basics things quickly. Imagine what they could do if they starting this young, as 9 and 10 year-olds, to learn to code. The options for jobs in the future would be endless.
- THERE IS A NEED! I want my kids to learn skills that will be in need in the future instead of seeking for skills that will be obsolete.
Animal Jam in association with Nation Geographic knows this about the future and importance of computer programming.
- They like to encourage kids to explore and be introduced to the computer sciences through fun an engaging online activities.
- They hosted this Coding Camp and we were so impressed.
- Animal Jam is a growing (20 million strong) online community where kids can take on the role of their favorite animal and get ready to Play Wild!
- Their animal avatar can explore the massive land of Jamaa, from Coral Canyons to the Bahari Bay, while making new friends, participating in fun parties, and customizing its den.
- They can discover awesome facts about the plants, animals, and natural wonders around them.
- National Geographic Animal Jam is an online virtual playground for children who love animals and the outdoors and is the result of an ongoing creative collaboration between Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic.
- They have a goal of providing a fun, exciting, and safe environment for kids to play online.
By learning how to code and by learning to be interesting in exploring the world around them, a child can learn how to train their mind in a different way, strategize creatively to solve a problem, to design a project or to communicate an idea. They also learn how to build on what others have already created — which will improve their chances of being employed in the future.
My boys walked away with exposure to some great material. I love that they did it all in a very fun and exciting way too. I will definitely be interested in this in the future. Anytime the kids can learn something unique and different than the norm, it’s very powerful. What a great experience.
Thank you Animal Jam for your interest in our children’s future.