RCET is excited to welcome our campers to our 2016 camp Jr. Adventures in Coding, Programming and Design. Across the week, the children will explore a variety of digital tools for designing and programming animations, stories, games, and other digital media. The campers started their afternoon with an introduction to ABCya Story Maker, a free web-based tool that children can use for writing and illustration. The program offers a variety of drawing tools that can be used for creating pictures and scenes. Story projects can encompass one page or multiple pages. Finished story projects can be printed and saved.This afternoon the campers took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a walk on campus. Using the camera feature on the iPads, the campers captured photos of campus sculptures, buildings, flowers, and trees. Once back in the AT&T Classroom, the campers created photo collages using PicCollage, a free app for creating digital collages on a variety of device platforms including iOS, Android, Windows 10, and Amazon Kindle Fires. Features of the app allow children to customize their collages by adding text, backgrounds, and stickers.
The campers were also introduced to two coding tools this afternoon. The campers began their coding lesson using Daisy the Dinosaur, a free iOS app designed to introduce the basic elements of coding to young children. The app utilizes drag-and-drop steps to code movement and sound. The app offers a challenge mode tutorial that shows the child how to use drag-and-drop steps to make the dinosaur move, jump, shrink and grow. There is also a free play mode in which children can design their own program to animate Daisy. Building from their work with Daisy, the campers also explored Kodable on the iPads. Similar to Daisy, Kodable also uses a game-like format to introduce the basics of computer programming. As children progress through the various levels, the game prompts them to “think like a programmer” to solve problems, utilize programming elements such as functions, conditional statements and loops. Kodable can be downloaded at no cost for PCs and Macs and is also available for iOS and Android tablets.
At the end of their first day, the campers explored This is Sand, a free iOS app for creativity and design. The app offers a canvas which can be used to create and share sandscapes. It is a wonderful open-ended tool that offers rich opportunities for building children’s creativity.The app is available at no cost for both Android and iOS tablets.