Summer can be FUN and EDUCATIONAL.

Why let your kids be consumers of Technology when they can be PRODUCERS !!

Kids can’t get enough of Technology these days, why not give them the gift that will make them PRODUCERS of technology! Make this Summer last a lifetime for your child with hands – on  STEM focused  educational AFFORDABLE camps and classes offered at various summer camps throughout North East Chicago.

Check out our locations at : STEM CAMPS NEAR YOU


6 weeks to Summer Break !!

Is STEM part of your child’s SUMMER experience?

Summer STEM camps provide kids with an opportunity to experience the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Summer programs provide a fun way to explore unfamiliar subjects — potentially discovering new areas of interest and building on existing interests or knowledge. Introducing  Computer Science and Engineering concepts to kids in elementary and middle school years might potentially lead them to explore paths that will evolve into our next generation of innovators, engineers, doctors, software developers, mathematicians, and physicists.

Imagine backyard BBQ party with music created by your kids blasting in the background where your kids and their friends can play some cool apps created by them soaking in the sun and enjoying the delicious barbecued food. Imagine hosting a themed party where your kids play detectives and solve the case of missing cake by incorporating the CSI techniques they learnt in TECH STARS camps. Possibilities are endless with STEM and SUMMER.

Classes that are FUN and teach them valuable concepts to become Producers of Technology are a GREAT way to incorporate learning into their summer!!

Interested ? TECH STARS Summer Camp registration is in full swing and classes are filling up.

So don’ t wait – REGISTER TODAY –

Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality?

Buckleitner Update

          Let me start this month’s wisdom dispatch with a quote from Apple’s Tim Cook, who says “VR, I think, has some interesting applications, but I don’t think it’s a broad-based technology like AR,”  In other words, we all need to know the difference between VR (with the goggles) and AR (like Pokémon Go).
          Why is this my topic this month? Because we’re going to start seeing a lot more Augmented Reality in commercial books, toys and apps over the next 12 months.  More children and parents have some form of smart device in their pocket. This device has a camera, a connection to the Internet and a graphics processor that can overlay computer graphics over real world images. Book illustrations, toys or even a rug can trigger virtual experiences — and the real world can be cleverly interwoven with an imaginary one. This trend is important to note for both business and technology reasons, because it represents a way for interactive designers to get paid. The app is free, but it adds value to something you buy. The people who sell the toy or book pay the people who make the app.
         This month, you can find reviews of several examples, including a rug, called  SpinTales Jungle Rug, which lets a tiger loose in your child’s room.
       Here are two AR books: Sarina Simon’s ABC Animals Alphabet in Motion, which uses short movies to illustrate each animal.
    And the beautifully illustrated French title Chouette!

Pair Programming!

What is Pair Programming and why do we LOVE it?

Pair programming is exactly what it sounds like, we pair up students and they work together during our courses to program. With the wide range of classes we offer we have many students and we have found that having them pair up not only helps them understand programming on a higher level; it also helps with social skills and helps them prepare for real world working experiences. As adults we know that we have to work with many people and sometimes it can be a bit frustrating but learning how to work together at a young age helps as our students grow and venture out into life.

Programming is fun but it can also be a bit challenging, but fun without a challenge, would be way too easy. What most parents don’t know is that with our classes programming starts as young as Kindergarten/1st grade and goes all the way through Junior High. Pairing them up when they are younger teaches them to work together and problem solve with one another before asking the teacher. The outcome of this is success, because the happiness students feel when they can problem solve without the teachers help, is joyful and rewarding for both students and the teacher.

As a mother of a kindergartner I know firsthand that at that age they need the practice of working in pairs. As a teacher I also know that older students also need the experience of working together. When I teach my Junior High students or even middle school students they each want a computer for themselves. The older they get, I feel the less social they become because of all the technology these days, so when they step into one of our classes they work together and become socially interactive. Personally, nothing makes me feel better than to see my students getting along and enjoying working together and grow as individuals in their partnerships!

We-Do Robotics and why its a great idea to sign your child up for more than one session of our classes!

This last week I presented in a webinar on our we-do robotics class and why I feel the class is still so important. After much debate and with Spring sessions still having openings and Summer sessions creeping up on us, I thought that I’d share some of my ideas and thoughts from the presentation with you. I feel like so many of us lose interest because we feel like there is a limit to what our robotics classes have to offer, but I am here to tell you today that the possibilities are endless.

There is so much more to our robotics classes, and the majority of our other classes if I am being completely honest, than creating the designs and learning only the materials that are intended for the class. There are after class activities that students can do, these activities reiterate what we did in class and show the parents what we learned. There is so much learning potential for our students in this class, and the fact we start out young is definitely an advantage for your child.

I know, just like with other classes some parents hesitate to re-sign their child up for a class they have taken, and its understandable but when you do this you are giving your child more and more experience. I can also assure you that although they may have taken the class before, they will most definitely learn something new, something they did not learn in the last session. Returning students are on a higher scaffolding stage as well as more socially developed. Social skills are key to success in our classes because we pair our students up and get them comfortable working with others and they learn how to problem solve together. Sessions fly by and by the time we realize it, it is over and there are topics and areas we haven’t been able to even touch on.

As a parent I encourage you to look for programs run by educators that are consistent. Consistency doesn’t always have to mean that the same teacher will be returning returning, consistency is also good educators sharing the experiences they had with the class and students so the teacher going can and will teach their very best they can. Most of our classes are set up in a way that if you sign your child up more than once, they will still learn new skills and be taught new knowledge. One of the most successful ways we at Computer Explorers do this is through variations of curriculum, whether it be for the whole class or for an individual child. We do this because we know that students do like our classes and chances are they will want to re-sign up for a class, so to re-assure you, the parent, that they are learning new ideas each and every time they walk into class, we as teachers are always coming up with fun and new ideas to bring with us into class each session.  So please come join us for our Spring and Summer sessions because we have some NEW and EXCITING classes starting. You asked, well your child asked, and we listened:)

Stay tuned because in our next blog I will be going into what our new classes are and what our students and teachers think of them. So until next time, Happy Blogging!!!!

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