This morning campers in the AT&T Classroom explored virtual reality apps using Google Cardboard Viewers, a foldable cardboard template that when assembled allows a user to experience virtual reality on a smartphone. The campers used the viewers with the Google Cardboard iOS app on refurbished iphones. (There is also a Cardboard Camera app for Android phones available from Google Play). In addition to setting-up the device as a viewer, the Google Cardboard app also offers access to a set of immersive experiences to be used with a viewer through the app including Kaleidoscope, Arctic Journey, Urban Hike, Museum Exhibits, and Explorer.
Building from their previous work with Scratch Jr, this morning the campers were introduced to two new tools for coding and programming -- The Foos and Code Monkey. Produced by CodeSpark, The Foos curriculum is based on research conducted by MIT and is designed to facilitate sequential thinking and problem recognition. The app also targets specific coding concepts such as loops, conditionals, commands and parameters. The Foos is multi-platform with free applications available for desktops, Kindle Fire, as well as iOS and Android tablets.
The campers also had a coding lesson today using the Code Monkey website. Code Monkey is an online game that engages children with coding and programming concepts as they are participate in game play. The website offers new games and challenges to players each month. In addition to coding skills, games such as Code Monkey also offer important opportunities to children for further developing their creativity and problem-solving skills as well as skills for divergent and higher order thinking.