22 May, 2020
Organizing activities to fill your child’s summer can be a daunting task. After a whole year at school, children relish the chance to finally relax with friends, enjoy hobbies and sports, and attend summer camp. Yet the current crisis has left us with even more time to fill, and social distancing measures and the closure of schools, camps, sports and entertainment facilities has disrupted the stimulating activities children normally fill their summer with and the opportunities they most look forward to. However, staying at home does not mean that summer has to be an isolating and dreary time.
Thanks to the abundance of technology that we have at our fingertips, it’s possible for children to learn new skills and occupy their time with fun activities, while giving parents a bit of respite and time to work. In response to the crisis, many businesses are now offering virtual summer camps where kids can get involved in a huge range of activities, from dance and chess to foreign languages and art, all from their own home. For those who’ve expressed an interest in coding but never quite found the time to fit it into their schedule, summer 2020 is the ideal moment to enrol in an online summer coding camp. So, why could a virtual summer coding camp be beneficial for your child?
When children have spent so many weeks away from their friends, virtually meeting a group of likeminded peers can be a huge boost. Different online summer camps offer different levels of interaction. At the most basic level, there are subscriptions to videos which can be watched independently at any time. Next, there are webinars with large groups where the camp instructor speaks to the children in real time, questions can be asked, and messages can be sent. Last are interactive webinar classes with small groups, where children can directly interact with their camp instructor and classmates and make new friends. What’s more, online summer computer camps can be great for more introverted children who are sometimes out of their comfort zone at real-life summer camps. An online camp resolves this aspect, as the children participating can feel on more of an equal footing with their peers and the instructor, and can interact with others in a less pressured environment.
As the courses are undertaken at home, virtual summer computer camps are hugely flexible. Children can take classes wherever and sometimes whenever they want, depending on the format of the camp. The number of participation hours per day can vary widely to suit the requirements of the parents and child. What’s more, the variety of online coding camps available allows children to learn many different aspects of programming, including robotics, gaming, and web and app design. There are camps to suit all levels of knowledge and, as mentioned above, they can be as in-depth and interactive as your child wishes, ranging from free video subscriptions to expensive, highly interactive camps.
Since we’ve been spending so much time at home, our attention frequently gravitates towards screens. It has become easy to fall into a hole of passive on-screen consumption, watching YouTube and Netflix and scrolling through social media. Conversely, online summer coding camps provide active and productive screen time. Children can still stay in touch with technology, but will do so in a way in which they’re simultaneously learning new skills, understanding how technology works, and getting to grips with different media and software. Children may already be accustomed to an online learning format since the closure of schools, and therefore will adapt easily to a virtual coding camp.
It can really boost a child’s confidence and motivation to be learning new skills and creating their own project during these unexpected times. Whilst doing a virtual coding camp, children will not only learn how to programme, but will acquire problem solving and analytical skills and be engaged in independent and self-directed learning – skills which are useful far beyond the virtual summer camp. What’s more, once a child has an idea of all the opportunities which are at their fingertips, they may discover a true passion for coding or for other areas which have sparked their interest.
At CodeAdvantage, we offer a number of virtual summer coding camps suitable for all levels and interests from Kindergarten to 10th grade. Our camps come in three different formats: week-long camps with 2 hours of classes per day; two-week camps with one hour per day; and weekly camps with one hour per week for 8 weeks. If there isn’t a date or time that works for your schedule, you can create your own camp for your own group of friends, siblings or classmates.
All of our camps are interactive live classroom experiences, and class sizes do not exceed seven students. Preliminary meetings are organised which allow your child to individually meet the camp instructor and ask any questions. Our expert instructors will guide your child through the virtual coding camp, giving live instruction and feedback. Optional practice materials and challenges will be provided weekly so students can continue learning even when class isn’t in session. Technical support is available, and just like in school, our principal is available to assist students with any other issues or concerns.
Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions or comments on this topic or coding and STEM in general, please feel free to contact us.
Photos by Aaron Burden, James Pond , and Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash