Robot Invasion: Teaching Kids to Code

Robot Invasion: Teaching Kids to Code

The robots are coming, the robots are coming! I can’t wait. Last November I came across a crowd funding campaign from play-i, now Wonder Workshop, to build programmable robots with the goal of teaching kids to code. Now, a year later, the robot invasion is nearly upon us and the world is about to be changed forever. For the better! As the robot army prepares to span the globe, children all of the world are about to step into the world of programming without even realizing it. Learning through play, it’s the best way to learn. The relationship between plan and learning in children is well documented. But how many of the thousands upon thousand of toys marketed towards your children really look to take advantage of this relationship? At Wonder Workshop they believe kids too often get told the right and wrong things to do. They believe that too often their success level is measured by standardized tests rather than their creativity and individual ingenuity. They are on a mission to empower children, to encourage them to create, to learn through play, and to become “shapers of their own world” rather than passive bystanders. We should be running to join them on this mission. Schools should be running. I am a father of 3 and I am a coder so the Wonder Workshop Mission really hits home. We live in an increasingly digital, computer driven world. Should we not teach our children the language of the world? I spend my days building websites, databases, and custom solutions with computer code. It sounds dreadfully boring, right? Because computer programming...
Rock Island: The Awakening

Rock Island: The Awakening

We stood alone among the rocks and oyster shells, surrounded on all sides by water. Somewhere beyond the water lay the land and the noise of the daily grind, but here now the only sound was the gentle lapping of the slow rising tide against the side of our tandem kayak which was moored to a large piece of driftwood a few paces from where we stood. Beneath our feet was Rock Island, as we had become accustomed to calling it. Presently it was no more than 100 feet at its widest point, a small patch of algae covered rocks, shells, and mud peeking forth from the surface of a small creek, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. But soon, as part of the daily tidal dance, it would again sink back beneath the surface like a giant sea turtle returning to the depths after rising for a breath of air. Rock Island was just a short paddle from the house where I grew up and just a little further from the house where I presently lived with my wife and kids. I had stood on this very spot many times before, but not for several years. When I was a child the island used to be much wider, even containing green grass, but now it was diminished, devoid of greenery, and only surfaced at low tide. Weathered by time and climate change, at high tide the island was now a ghost, its presence below the surface only marked by the tattered solo white flag someone had staked to its center to warn passing boats. The island was not...