Apple Camp of My Eye

One of the many joys of summer is being able to spend time with your kid.

One of the stresses of summer is being able to spend time with your kid.

There’s a lot of downtime. So what to do in 100+ degree weather? Sure, there’s reading, TV, Legos, and board games. There’s the library, which provided many hours of interest and fun, but there are times when I feel I can literally see my 10 year old’s learning curve diminish before my very eyes. Thank goodness for Apple Camp!

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Isaac attended two weeks of Apple Camp. The first was Coding with Sphero Robots. As an English facilitator, it was music to my ears to teach coding by programming the Sphero robot to tell a story. I have seen the Sphero used in classrooms where it was programmed to go through a maze, but having it tell a story seemed like a much more authentic task. After all, story is at the heart of engaging video games, and that’s where many of the campers’ interests were.

Isaac’s Sphero story was about waking up to nightmares, each one worse than the last until there was the ultimate nightmare: school! (He actually really enjoys school, but any time my son can poke a jab at his Mama, he will not hesitate.) Here’s a screenshot of his coding. He’s also able to see the Java script of his program:

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Isaac enjoyed this week so much. He requested to have a Sphero of his very own. He has done a bit of programming on his own. Side note: Although Sphero Spark+ is quite durable and can withstand clumsy abuse from preteen programmers, it is not durable enough for a dog. Consider yourself warned. Our dog, Finn, loves to follow it, but it’s a sure fire way to need a new one if your canine friend captures it in his mouth.

At the end of the week, we were reminded that coding is indeed….

This week, Isaac is attending Digital Storytelling with Clips. This is a super easy app for iOS devices. Yes, it’s even easier than iMovie. It has fewer editing capabilities, but as an on-the-go video editing app, it is a winner.

Of course, reviewing the arc of a story made my heart warm. Camp counselors aka Apple Genii discussed the beginning, middle, and end of stories, the importance of setting, characters, and action, and shared ideas of shots that helped to communicate various elements of story. They even story boarded. Who doesn’t love a good pre-writing exercise?

Isaac was so very proud of his film. He showed it to everyone he came in contact with after Wednesday’s camp, and he is very excited for the Apple Camp Film day later this afternoon.

I cannot recommend Apple Camps enough! As you can see from the movie, the counselors are super kind and supportive. Isaac had 3 of them helping him with his film! See, storytelling IS cool! Plus, did I mention that it was FREE? Even the cute t-shirts. Just sign up early. Apple also has some great kid events on the weekends so keep an eye out for those.

You know what they say, “An Apple a day….”

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