Coding with Youth Digital

“Coding is the new literacy. To thrive in tomorrow’s society, young people must learn to design, create and express themselves with digital technologies.” – Mitchel Resnick, professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab and director of the Lifelong Kindergarten research group.

When G1 discovered the joys of playing Minecraft, it was as I predicted – he is obsessed with it. Even though I am aware of all the educational benefits of playing Minecraft, I confess I was not entirely on board. Since it has motivated him to learn more about programming in Java, I have relented my stance against it.

G1 has completed the Youth Digital course on server design and recently starting working on Mod Design 1. This was an essay he wrote about why he thinks they are so good:

Seven Why Youth Digital is Good for Kids

  1. It teaches kids how to code and it’s fun.
  2. Coding could be useful in life.
  3. You can make mods/servers.
  4. Making mods/servers are educational and fun.
  5. You can make mods and link it to Minecraft to play.
  6. You can share your creations with your friends.
  7. You can have the experience of a Minecraft coder instead of watching popularmmos.

I, on the other hand have different motivations for wanting the boys to learn programming…

The Benefits of Learning Programming

  • It enhances problem solving skills – it trains the mind to think in more analytical ways (Golpin, 2014).
  • It can facilitate and extend our children’s ability and drive to construct, hypothesize, explore, experiment, evaluate, draw conclusions on their own (Seymour Papert).
  • It teaches skills and learning behaviours that are important for real world success (Brian Heese, 2014):
    • checking your work for details
    • how to apply logic
    • persisting at a task
    • how to ask good questions (especially in written form)
    • collaboration

Youth Digital Programming Courses

Youth Digital offers a mix of online courses that teach kids the critical technology concepts and skills that they will need to be successful in today’s digital world. Designed to be fun, highly interactive, and rewarding, kids can go from creating their own 3D video game to designing their own fashion collection. Youth Digital helps kids become digital creators as they step towards mastering key computer concepts and professional software.

What works best for us is their clever use of Minecraft in many of their courses…

Server Design 1

In this year-long online course, kids learn Java™ programming as they design and develop their own Minecraft server from start to finish. The end result is a playable, shareable Minecraft server that they built from scratch. Recommended for ages 8 to 14.

What it offers:

  • Real Java Programming – Kids learn the basics of one of the most popular coding languages in the world as they customize their own Minecraft server using Java.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use a professional Java development tool.
  • Key Coding Concepts – Kids master introductory computer programming concepts including methods and parameters, if-then statements and if-else statements, logical operators, variable types (strings, booleans, and integers), instantiation of new objects, array lists and more.
  • Server Access – Kids will create a customized server with secure sharing capabilities.
  • Over 30 hours of self-paced, engaging online lessons and bonus materials.
  • 1 year access to a dedicated team of online teachers to help students along the way.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

Mod Design 1

Learn to modify the Minecraft game with this year-long online course that teaches kids programming with Java™. Code their own Minecraft mod from start to finish and watch as the end result becomes a unique, shareable Minecraft mod that they built from scratch. Recommended for ages 8 to 14.

What it offers:

  • Real Java Programming – Kids learn the basics of one of the most popular coding languages in the world as they modify real Java code to build their own Minecraft mods.
  • Key Coding Concepts – Kids master introductory computer programming concepts including object-oriented programming, methods and parameters, instantiation of new objects, and more.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use a professional-level Java development tool, Eclipse.
  • Over 30 hours of self-paced, engaging online lessons.
  • 1 year access to a dedicated team of online teachers to help students along the way.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

3D Character Animation Course

Kids will learn key 3D character animation concepts in this year-long online course as they create animated movies using their favorite Minecraft characters. Kids will learn all the necessary skills to create fun animated shorts, laying the foundation for a future career in animation, or simply giving kids a productive outlet for their love of Minecraft! Recommended for ages 8 to 14.

What it offers:

  • Key 3D Animation Concepts – Kids will learn essential 3D animation concepts including keyframe animation, rendering and compositing, camera composition, and more.
  • Character Animation – From walk cycle development to facial expressions, kids will learn the basics of character animation to bring their Minecraft characters to life.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use professional 3D animation software, Blender.
  • Over 30 hours of self-paced, engaging online lessons.
  • 1 year access to a dedicated team of online teachers to help students along the way.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

3D Game Design 1

Make your own video game! Kids learn the basics of PC video game design, including models, textures, volumes, lighting and more. The result is a real 3D game that can be played and shared with friends.

What it offers:

  • 3D Game Design Concepts – Kids will master advanced 3D game design skills, including how to declare variables, define attributes, and more.
  • Advanced Functionality – Kids will apply concepts from both courses, including advanced scripting and programming, to gain control of their game’s functionality.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use professional-level 3D game design software, OWL Game Creator.
  • 30 hours of instruction over a one year course with access to support from online teachers.
  • Self-­paced and project-­based curriculum with interactive quizzes and challenges, and final project and instructor assessment.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

App Design 1

Students ages 8-14 can learn how to create their very own mobile app. This is the first course in our App Design program, which ends with students learning how to design and publish their own apps.

What it offers:

  • Key Mobile Development Concepts – Kids learn the foundations of programming concepts, including if-then statements, variables, and complex logic.
  • Real App Creation – Kids complete the process of designing a mobile app, including choosing characters, level design, and programming the app’s functionality.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use a professional software development kit, Multimedia Fusion 2.
  • 30 hours of instruction over a one year course with access to support from online teachers.
  • Self-­paced and project-­based curriculum with interactive quizzes and challenges, and final project and instructor assessment.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

3D Animation 1

3D Animation 1 is an exciting online course that teaches kids 3D animation techniques as they create their own 3D movie! With a focus on the 12 basic principles of animation, kids will learn a wide variety of animation skills and concepts that will give them a broad foundation of animation knowledge from keyframes to camera movements.

What it offers:

  • Key 3D Animation Concepts – Kids will learn the fundamentals of 3D animation, including moving objects in a 3D space, animating characters, and more.
  • 12 Basic Principles of Animation – Originally developed by two Disney animators, the 12 principles of animation give kids a high-level overview of all the components used to create awesome 3D animations.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use a pro-level 3D animation software, Blender.
  • 30 hours of instruction over a one year course with access to support from online teachers.
  • Self-­paced and project-­based curriculum with interactive quizzes and challenges, and final project and instructor assessment.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

3D Printing and Modeling

3D Printing & Modeling 1 is an exciting online course that teaches kids key 3D modeling skills as they design their own 3D creations. Through engaging videos, challenging assignments, interactive quizzes, and access to a professional 3D modeling tool, kids will create their own unique three dimensional models that they can send off for real 3D printing!

What it offers:

  • 3D Modeling Concepts – Kids master the basics of 3D modeling, including how to sculpt, texture, arrange and render their models.
  • Real 3D Printing – Kids get access to professional 3D printing technology as they use their new modeling skills to prepare their creations for 3D printing.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use professional-level 3D modeling software, Blender.
  • 30 hours of instruction over a one year course with access to support from online teachers.
  • Self-­paced and project-­based curriculum with interactive quizzes and challenges, and final project and instructor assessment.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)

Fashion Design 1

Fashion Design 1 is a captivating online course that teaches kids professional digital illustration techniques as they design and create their own fashion collection! Students watch engaging videos and complete challenging assignments as they create their own age-appropriate, unique fashion portfolio.

What it offers:

  • Key Design Concepts – Kids learn highly sought-after graphic design and digital illustration skills that are applicable to a variety of creative and technology careers.
  • Fashion Industry Knowledge – Kids recreate the process of creating a fashion collection, from picking a theme, defining their ideal customer, and executing digital illustrations of their garments.
  • Professional Software – Kids learn to use a professional-level graphic design program, Inkscape.
  • 30 hours of instruction over a one year course with access to support from online teachers.
  • Self-­paced and project-­based curriculum with interactive quizzes and challenges, and final project and instructor assessment.

Limited Time Only: Get it from Educents – $149.99 (normally $249.99)