5 Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code Using MakePad

At MakePi, we made code learning possible for kids of all ages by making the first DIY tablet – the MakePad. The MakePad is a kid-friendly DIY tablet based on Raspberry Pi, giving kids the ability to learn the coding that can help prepare them for a bright career in the computer sciences and/or computer programming niche. We fully support the Maker Culture, which provides a platform for kids who want to build, make games, create new music, and so much more! At MakePi, we believe that children are our future, and we’re doing our best to help make their dreams come true.

The MakePad is our first DIY tablet that supports a kid’s ability to learn to code with ease, helping them to prepare for any tech career.

5 Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code

Learning to code not only helps prepare kids for a bright career in the computer sciences and/or computer programming arena, they’re also able to learn a number of the essential life lessons that will overall help them be more successful in life. The following are 5 of the top reasons why kids should learn how to code:

  1. Assists with Problem Solving Skills. It’s essential kids learn the skill of solving problems, as this skill will take them far in any STEM career they choose. Solving problems often includes a lot of trial and error, allowing kids to think and analyze when complications arise. When kids learn how to code, they also acquire the ability to understand the importance of sequencing by organizing issues found into smaller, more manageable steps.
  2. Supports Academic Growth. When kids are first introduced to computer science programming, many of them are bitten by the coding bug. These tend to be kids who enjoy touching and creating, making them part of the exciting Maker Culture currently taking place. This Maker Culture is quickly growing in its popularity as more and more kids show a true interest in making, building, and creating things with their hands, creating the Maker Movement people are talking about so much these days.
  3. Improves Communication. When kids learn to code, it positively changes the way they’re able to communicate with others. Coding requires kids to create games, apps, and more, which allows them to learn and develop using their technical skills, as well as their creative skills. In order to do this successfully, they’re required to communicate with others. When kids are making, creating, and building, they’re minds are always searching for the new ideas and programs that could potentially change the world, making communication skills an absolute necessity for code learners.
  4. Gives a Competitive Edge. Not all kids are going to be interested in coding, giving the ones who do the ability to easily stand out from the rest. Learning to code allows kids to better understand a variety of subjects, which means they’ll be able to relate to the outside world better. Coding gives learners a competitive edge because it will improve their literacy skills, as well as their mathematical skills. These are two of the more essential subject’s kids must master when wanting a successful career in computer sciences.
  5. Paves the Way for a New Career. An estimated 1 million computer science jobs will be available in the next 3 years, proving coders will be in high demand very soon. When kids learn how to code, they can literally change lives for the better by finding real-world problems to solve. While a career in the STEM niche will indeed make for a highly rewarding profession, learning how to code can also support entrepreneurial ventures, making the sky the limit.

MakePi…  Changing the way of education one kid at a time.

MakePi

It’s never too soon for kids of all ages to start preparing for a successful career. Especially those who are interested in technology. Because the world we live in today continues to depend more and more on new and improved technologies, predictions tell us that future careers in computer sciences and computer programming will soon be in high demand. Now that STEM careers are a big focus for kids showing an interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics careers, learning to code is truly essential to any successful STEM career path they choose.

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Why should you study Computer Engineering, Computer Science or IT?

It can be difficult for students (and their families) to ascertain exactly what to study at university after leaving school. There are certainly many options available, and what each university offers differs immensely. However, in this article we’ll hone in on three main bachelor’s degree types — computer science, computer engineering and information technology — and some of the employment opportunities associated with each course.

What’s the Difference Between Computer Science, Computer Engineering and IT?

An article by King University summarises it this way: “Computer engineers design and build computers. Computer scientists design and develop computer programs, software, and applications. IT professionals then use and troubleshoot those programs, software, and applications.” It is also important to know that, computer science, computer engineering, and IT oftentimes overlap. However, each undergraduate course will have a slightly different focus.

A Degree in Computer Engineering

A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, such as this one offered by West Virginia University, will enable students to “design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture and maintenance of embedded computer hardware and software,” and “produce graduates who will apply their knowledge and skills to achieve success in their careers.” A typical job for a computer engineer would involve computer and electronic product design and development, with a typical annual salary of 108,000 to 118,000 USD.

A Degree in Computer Science

A bachelor’s degree in computer science, sometimes known as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, is another excellent option. An example of this type of degree can be found here (Georgia Tech). According to the article by Kings University, cited earlier, “Computer science is a rapidly growing field and is expected to see large increases in employment opportunities.” These opportunities are in fields such as application and software developing (median salary 98,000 USD), systems engineering (77,000 USD), and web developing (65,000 USD).

A Degree in Information Technology

A bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT), sometimes known as a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, is also an option. If you would like to an example of a suchlike degree, click here (University of Missouri). Employment opportunities include; information security analyst, network architect, computer support specialist, database administrator and systems administrator, with a typical annual salary of between 50,000 and 100,000 USD.

The MakePad — An Excellent Foundation

Computing related jobs makes up two-thirds of projected new jobs in STEM. Furthermore, there will be one million more jobs than computer science students by 2020. Indeed, there are many opportunities available to students, and the job market is overflowing with high paying computer science career paths.

Here at MakePi, we want to give students to best start in the world of computing. So, we designed a DIY tablet that teaches kids how to code — the MakePad. Coding is the fundamental language of computing, and so learning related skills will certainly give them the edge as they progress through further studies and enter the workforce. It will also get them excited about this wonderful area of study. We invite you to check out the MakePad at www.makepi.com and give your kids a massive head start!

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Where would artificial intelligence be without coding? 

Many people are talking about artificial intelligence (AI). The idea that someday an AI-powered reality will rescue mankind from its current woes is an appealing concept. And we are constantly captivated and amused by the developments in this field.

To add to the intrigue, some of the assertions made about AI’s future prospects are big indeed. Some are predicting that by 2060, AI could completely supersede humans. From writing books to driving cars, from working in retail to performing complex surgery, machines will be performing many, if not all, of the tasks humans currently perform. (If you want to check a list of what AI can already do, click here).

It’s exciting stuff; possibly even a little daunting. Nonetheless, it’s food for thought. In fact, one can’t help but think about where it all began…

A Brief History of AI

AI is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.”

The term ‘artificial intelligence’, according to an article by Live Science, was coined at a conference at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire in 1956. However, despite initial enthusiasm, government funding and interest in the field dropped off around the mid 70’s, with the period of 1974 to 1980 being known as the “AI Winter”. However, the 80’s welcomed an AI revival, as competition on the AI front between the British and the Japanese heated up. There were numerous ebbs and flows in the 90’s, until AI shot to fame when IBM’s ‘Deep Blue’ famously defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov. Since then, AI has been going from strength to strength, and public interest in AI has been at an all-time high.

Computing at the Heart of AI, Coding at the Heart of Computing

The article by Encyclopedia Britannica, cited earlier, explains, “since the development of the digital computer in the 1940s, it has been demonstrated that computers can be programmed to carry out very complex tasks.” [Italics added]. Indeed, programming, or coding, is at the heart of computing. Computing, in turn, is at the heart of AI.

As AI continues to advance, code is becoming an incredibly powerful tool. Perhaps more powerful than many had anticipated. An article by Edward C. Monaghan, published by WIRED, highlights, “we have surrounded ourselves with machines that convert our actions, thoughts, and emotions into data—raw material for armies of code-wielding engineers to manipulate. We have come to see life itself as something ruled by a series of instructions that can be discovered, exploited, optimized, maybe even rewritten…”

The article continues, “In this world, the ability to write code has become not just a desirable skill but a language that grants insider status to those who speak it.”

Why not give your children, or students a head start in the world of coding? Could they learn and master code early on in their education, and make the most of the ample opportunities open to them in this field of study? Could they be the next scientists and engineers at the forefront of cutting edge AI research?

MakePi has designed a DIY tablet that effortlessly teaches kids as young as five how to code. It’s affordable, easy to use and incredibly powerful. To get the MakePad into the hands of students across the world, visit us at www.makepi.com and get on board!

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MakePad and the “4Cs” of Learning and Innovation in the 21st Century

In a recent post, we briefly touched on 21st century skills. Just to re-cap, according to P21.org, these are “the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship”. The entire skill set is broken down into three main areas: learning and innovation skills, life and career skills, and information, media and technology skills. The first area, learning and innovation, is made up of four key skills, often referred to as the 4Cs. These are: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.

Here at MakePi, we feel strongly about developing these skills in the students of today. In fact, we designed the MakePad with these skills in mind. The purpose of this article is to re-visit the 4C’s and see how MakePad “stacks up”.

The MakePad and the 4C’s

Critical Thinking

According to one definition, critical thinking is “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.” When learning how to code with the MakePad, students will certainly be engaged in the central processes of critical thinking.  In addition to conceptualizing their ideas and instantaneously applying their new-found knowledge and skill, learning with the MakePad is all about trial and error and learning through reflection.

Creativity

Creative skills are an integral part of solution based approach to problem-solving, and of ‘maker thinking’. As we alluded to in one of our recent posts, maker culture is all about a DIY approach to learning; one whereby students create, construct and build tangible objects or produce personalized content. These principles are at the center of our philosophy and the MakePad was designed to give students to express their creativity and individuality. Furthermore, using the provided components, students can easily build the tablet themselves from scratch!

Collaboration

Collaboration relates to a person’s ability to work with a diverse group of people in a respectful and productive manner. Learning to work as a team holds out many benefits as far as a student’s learning is concerned; benefits that will continue throughout a student’s life. The MakePad facilitates collaboration at various stages during the learning process. Kids will collaborate and share with others, communicating their ideas, successes and failures with friends, relatives or others in their class.

Communication

Clear and effective communication is vital to success in the range of different situations. The challenge set before educators is to ensure that the communication skills that are taught to students now are useful and relevant in the current technological landscape. For example, according to Concordia University, technology literacy is extremely important. With the MakePad, not only will students be practicing communicating with each other using the traditional methods, they will be developing their repertoire of technology and digital literacy skills. In learning how to code, they will be interacting with the world in ways they could never have imagined!

Let the MakePad Work Its Magic

The MakePad is an excellent resource for teaching kids how to code. We’re confident it will assist students to develop 21st century skills as well, namely, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. We invite you to get on board and help us move STEM education into the 21st century! Sign up here!

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MakePi nailed it at CES Las Vegas!

The MakePi team are bursting at the proverbial seams to show the MakePad to the world. At CES, 2018 our booth (#52905) at Eureka Park receive several attendees that wanted to know more about MakePad and how we can improve STEM education.

 

MakePad was chosen one of the 15 startups to compete at Startup of The Year Award for Tech.Co. The pitch night happened on January, 8 and it was an incredible opportunity to showcase our company, meet important investors and advisors.

We really stand out at CES! The lively four-day conference got together more than 184k attendee excited to see 1.2k speakers and 184k companies from across the globe ready to show off their latest innovations. MakePi team received several amazing feedbacks and that gave us more strength to follow our dream of spreading the code language for kids from all over the world.

 

It’s Time for the MakePad

The MakePad story all began with one simple mission— “To make the learning of code possible for everyone.” They are also proponents of the ‘maker culture’— a movement which encourages a DIY approach to designing, building, creating and learning. With these objectives firmly in mind, the team at MakePi set about designing a simple and intuitive DIY tablet that would effortlessly teach coding to kids as young as five.

The MakePad is different from what’s currently on the market in three key areas— ease of use, affordability and accessibility. Indeed, the MakePad is interactive, self-explanatory and easy as pie to operate. The inbuilt Raspberry-Pi based processing technology offers serious processing power at a fraction of the cost. Internet is not required to operate the device, meaning that it’s more accessible to more kids, especially to those in developing or isolated areas.

Check out what we are doing here at MakePi by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

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