Kids love summer but finding productive ways to spend all that free time can stress out parents. School is out, but your students can continue to learn. Parents will welcome some parting guidance from you as their child refreshes and not just prepare him/her for a new grade but for future. Such as, by getting them enrolled in courses or summer camps that can get them entered into the online world or learn to code so they can design mobile apps and maybe one day be leading the genius team of some great firm, so teachers here are some ideas for that you can share with parents this summer.
Active Learning Experiences
Your city department of parks and recreation probably sponsors a variety of active learning experiences. Encourage your parents to check their webpage for day camps, field trips, and events scheduled for the summer. Make a list of the ones you think your students would benefit from to email parents. Before you send the list, check with the park department to see if scholarships are available for needy students. Let parents know the costs involved and if financial assistance is available. If there are buses or any transportation included, share this. Pre-arranged transportation makes life much easier for working parents.
Learning at the Library
Many public libraries offer hands-on classes over the summer. Search the library calendar to see what is available. Almost all libraries have a summer reading club, and many offer learning activities for kids. If your local library doesn’t have many opportunities, search the calendars of nearby libraries. Share what you find with parents.
You can set up a safe blogging environment for your students at Edublogs or Kidblog. Both organizations provide a safe, secure, and closed environment where your students can blog about their summer adventures. Best of all – it’s free to teachers and students. Help your students set up their accounts before the end of the school year to save parents from having to navigate the tech issues. You can post a few reading prompts throughout the summer to keep kids reading and writing.
Summer Coding Camps at the Microsoft Store
Speaking of writing, summer is an excellent time for kids to start writing code or build on tech skills that they already have. Some of these camps are entirely free, but they fill up quickly. Microsoft offers free 4-day Minecraft coding camps where kids can learn the basics of computer science while playing the favorite Minecraft game. The events are held at Microsoft stores throughout the summer. Many of the stores also offer 2-hour workshops on multiple topics. Depending on your location kids can learn to make 3D movie, improve MS Word and PowerPoint skills, or start a business. Parents can register their students online or visit the store.
Develop a Mobile App at the Apple Store
Not to be left behind, Apple offers their free coding camp at participating Apple Stores. Like the Microsoft camps the mobile developing camps are designed for students ages 8-12, but most stores also have options for older students. Find out what the Apple store nearest you have to offer and pass it on to parents.
Mobile App Maker Parties from Mozilla
There are hundreds of code camps online with prices ranging from free to extremely expensive. One of the top free Android development courses is sponsored by Mozilla. At the Mozilla Webmaker camps, kids learn to code and even market a mobile application that will run on their Android phones Maker Parties are scheduled everywhere from Mumbai to Wichita.
Learn Coding at a CoderDojo Event
CoderDogo is an international non-profit set up to help kids all over the world learn to code, design graphics, and acquire marketable tech skills. The events are free. Most even have laptops to loan students who don’t have one of their own. At CoderDogo, the students have fun with other local kids, but they also become part of an international community. CoderDogo students get the chance to work online with other kids around the world.
iD Tech Camp Scholarships for Girls
The tech giants like Google and Facebook want to encourage more girls to pursue careers in technology by offering full code camp scholarships. One of the more generous projects is iD Tech Camp where girls can spend a week or weekend learning mobile development, web design, robotics, and computer science. These classes are held at over 100 colleges across the US every summer. The classes are very small (less than eight students) and the hours are intentionally long and intense to simulate a startup environment. Without a scholarship, the camp fees range from $399 to $4,099 so applying for a waiver is worth the effort.
Make a Game of Searching for Online Opportunities
There are so many opportunities to learn skills online that no one can keep track of them all. Encourage your parents and kids to search for free educational opportunities online, then share them on your class blog or Facebook page. Great places to start are EdSurge, Class Central, and Google Education.
Learning can be fun. Learning tech skills prepare kids for a bright future. So write one last email to your class’ parents full of lists, links, and activities to for a fun and enriching summer. Then take a well-earned break.