It’s never too early to start teaching children about technology. That’s the attitude of many educators, as well as companies in the industries of 3D printing and other emerging technologies. At Kids-Tech, an organization based in Georgia, the philosophy is that the sooner kids start learning about the tech of today and of the future, the better – even if they’re only three years of age.
Located in the greater Atlanta region, Kids-Tech was formed by a group of professionals in the fields of child care and technology, and they’ve recently amped up their efforts with the development of Tech Class, a year-long program that will offer weekly classes in the subjects of 3D printing, drones, virtual reality and app-building. Kids-Tech works with children from as young as three years old to as old as high school – but if you’re imagining a toddler with a tablet, furiously working to design an app that will make her a millionaire by age five, rest assured that classes will be age-appropriate, fun, and aimed at familiarizing kids with the technology that they’ll be encountering throughout the rest of their school careers – and likely the rest of their lives.
“It is never too early to foster a love and understanding for learning,” said a Kids-Tech representative. “Our philosophy is: the stronger the foundation, the taller the building. The faster children can become acquainted with technology in a structured and directed manner, the more they will be able to flourish with it.”
Tech Class is being offered to over 500 children in the Atlanta area. Kids-Tech supplies all of the necessary equipment and materials for the classes, which will be held at the kids’ schools. The goal, again, is not to overwhelm kids by throwing advanced technological concepts at them, but to slowly begin to ease them in to new subjects by letting them play, interact, and organically develop their own skills and knowledge.
“They’re open to the concept and engaged in the process since we’re working towards a goal they’re motivated to attain: making cool stuff,” said the Kids-Tech team.
In the 3D printing class, for example, kids will create their own designs and then see them 3D printed, with Kids-Tech instructors explaining what’s happening at every step of the process. The students will then get to take home their own 3D printed creations, which, admittedly, will be a bit hard to hang on the fridge. Parents are going to need to develop their own new forms of technology just to display their children’s art, since magnets aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Tech Class is structured to coincide with the school year. App-building and 3D printing classes will be taught in the fall semester, followed by virtual reality and drones in the spring. While the scope and structure of the yearlong Tech Class is new, Kids-Tech has been offering their technological education courses since they launched, and feedback from parents has been positive.
“Our 3rd grader (Noah) has absolutely loved every minute of his 3D printing class,” said one parent. “We have been extremely impressed at the level of instruction, hands-on learning and how much technology he is becoming familiar with. Not only is this a ton of fun for kids, it is truly helping to prepare them for the future and give them a head start in a world which depends heavily on technology.”
Discuss further over in the 3D Printing & Kids-Tech forum at 3DPB.com.[Images: Kids-Tech]