What is Minecraft?

What’s up, Minecraft?

Ever heard of your kid say Minecraft and that s/he’s building stuff there? So you get curious and search for it over Google and realize, well, it’s JUST a game.

And so you thought.

Minecraft is more than JUST a game. It’s a platform where your kids develop their creativity, enhance their social skills through multi-player mode of the game. Minecraft is an extraordinary route for children to practice and construct their insight and problem solving skills.

Further, it’s also a good way to bond with your child. Minecraft can be extremely complex and hard to get by for children and grown-ups, so it’s really great to learn it together. You can start by playing in the single player mode and explore the world of Minecraft together. If your child has already played the game ahead of you, you might also want to explore learning it with them through the multiplayer mode via your connection at home.

It’s also interesting to note that the game is an awesome approach to supplement (if not introduce) the technology and robotics course your child learns at school. However, some schools doesn’t offer this as part of their curriculum. You might want to check out some coding school Ortigas residents know such as the Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge or JACK. It’s good to explore and allow kids to experience creating their very own Minecraft Game through the most exciting game development class in JACK. The kids will learn to create and design their own character and environment in just five days! Only the kids’ imagination is the limit!

Next time your child tells you that they want a game, ask yourself if you really want them to play it OR if you would go the extra-mile to teach or guide them to CREATE.

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SkinTrack Technology Transforms Your Arm Into A Touchpad

Photo Credit: Carnegie Mellon University via Gerard Laput

Controlling and interacting with content on a smartphone or tablet is a relatively easy task given their large screens. However, the same is not true for smartwatches, which are proving to be more of a fashion statement than a piece of useful technology. Now, a group of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute’s Future Interfaces Group (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University is trying to change that with an invention that transforms the arm into atouchpad.

This is not the first time scientists have tried to create such technology. However, previous “skin to screen” approaches have been clunky, requiring the use of things like interactive textiles and projector/camera combinations. SkinTrack, in contrast, requires users to wear just a ring and their favorite smartwatch. According to HCII team member Yang Zhang, “it (SmartTrack) is not obtrusive; watches and rings are items that people already wear every day.”

Playing Angry Birds (Photo Credit: Carnegie Mellon University/Gierad Laput)

The ring uses high-frequency electrical signals to communicate with the watch and transfer the controls from the tiny screen onto the surface of the arm. Though the technology behind SkinTrack may be complicated, its usefulness is easy to comprehend.

With SkinTrack, a person can use their smartwatch to do everything they would on a tablet or computer. That means they can scroll through lists, look for directions, and even make a call by shifting the dial pad onto the back of the hand. Even cooler applications include doodling on skin and seeing the image appear on the smartwatch, or controlling apps like Facebook and Snapchat from the arm “touchpad.” SkinTrack can also be used to play games, allowing fans to continue with their favorite hobby, without missing a beat. The technology also recognizes hotkey commands. Users can simply trace “N” on their hand to open a news app or “S” to silence a phone call.

Learn more about creating apps with JACK here.

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How to Introduce Your Kids to Coding

Isn’t it amazing how quick kids learn how to use a phone or a tablet? Give them time and a few instructions and watch them work their way independently! They learn from their Ates and Kuyas and even from you. Now the question is, how do we encourage our kids to be more productive with technology? Under a watchful eye, assist them to rehearse what they recognise and attempt new interactive activities with them. Encourage them to play with you away from the addictive games on their iPad or iPhone by allowing them to learn how to code.

We are in the era where there are a lot of opportunities for kids to learn more than meets the eye. Instead of teaching them how to play games, teach them how to create one! Don’t know how? Here are a few tips to introduce your kids to coding:

1. Start off with Scratch Programming
Scratch is a programming platform and educational tool used by kids who are beginning to discover the exciting world of programming. This programming language introduces the fundamentals of developing various applications. The students learn the foundations by dragging blocks of code, ultimately creating their very own stories, animations, and games.

2. Encourage them to do more with Lego and Robots
Lead them to be a young electronics and communications engineer with Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge. Allow them to experience the world of robotics through coding and implementation of their own program design with Lego bricks; ones that they can bring to life with the power of microcontrollers, servomotors, and smart sensors.

3. Enroll them in a Coding School
In today’s digital world, coding has become a fundamental skill that is best taught at an early age. When kids learn how to create using the latest hardware trends and innovations, they also learn how to be more creative, at the same time, using logic, to solve problems. Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge is one of the best coding schools in Manila. Its mission is to provide kids with the highest quality learning experience by celebrating and encouraging their creativity through dynamic and project-based learning all in a fun and engaging environment.

Top Three Courses for Kids

Most Filipino Moms would know how their kids easily adapt to new technologies. It has become a far cry from what they are actually used to, 30 to 40 years ago. Oftentimes, they end up asking “Is technology really good for my child?” or “What is the best skill or learning that s/he could learn at his/her age?”

The answer is there is really none! Kids are like sponge, the younger they are, the more absorbent and receiving they are with new technology. There is no exact stage of their growth to teach them, even kids as young as one or two year old can operate an iPad. According to experts, parents can decide or at least lead their kids to what interests them such as design, tinkering, and creating new stuff like coding a new game.

There’s a high-quality deal of advantage that children can obtain from studying new technology. The ability to apply technology to seek solutions to questions and solve simple problems should start early. They should be the owners of technology rather than being just consumers. Right here are top three coding courses that youngsters and teenagers would possibly find exciting to do.

A Taste of Game Salad
So you like playing games because it’s fun, but did you know that creating one is way more awesome? Game Salad teaches the fundamentals of computer science by allowing students to design and execute their games, and it doesn’t stop there. Publish your program on the App Store, and let other people experience it!

Program, Practice, and Play with BB8 Droid
Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge is the first to bring you a real-life droid! Program your BB-8 to make 2D head movements, follow paths, avoid obstructions, and race with other droids in a fun five-day class! Just like the one in the Star Wars movie, this BB-8 Droid will recognize your voice and react upon detecting it.

Code to Fly with Drones
You want to be a pilot? How about a software engineer? Can’t decide? Then be both with Code to Fly with Drones! Learn to code by programming the machine to take aerial photos, in-flight maneuvers, and controlled flight plan. The program allows students to experience flying a drone while equipping them with the necessary coding skills to perform 3D movements and aerial acrobatic tricks.