Question: How do I get my kids interested in Technology and Coding?
Answer: Kids love to learn when they want to learn. I have found that when kids satisfy their want versus need with Coding along characters like Steve from Minecraft, keeps them not just interested but retaining what they learn more. From personal experience I continuously get my kids interested in Technology and Coding by introducing them to free Coding classed like ones offered by Code.org and 3D Printing tutorials from MakerBot. Below are my recommendations on how to start your kids on this journey.
(My Recommended Kid Path)
Ages 14 to 15 - Raspberry Pi anyone? This is the start to teach kids how to build devices that can be controlled from a Phone or Tablet using Cloud technologies like Azure. Will serve as foundation in High School for Robotics and Electronics.
Cost - Around $60 to $100 (Raspberry Pi Device) and your time.
Ages 13 to 14 - Introduce your child to 3D printing. I personally bought the MakerBot Mini Replicator and using curriculum by MakerBot for teaching kids 3D printing. Take a look at the MakerBot in The Classroom Book (Registration required to download) sent to me by MakerBot as a starter. This class will be the foundation to teach kids how to create products and start learning about the popular Internet of Things new trend.
Cost - Around $500 to $1500 (MakerBot 3D Printer) and your time.
Ages 11-12 - Introduce kids to Autodesk 123D to start creating 3D Cad drawings and files which can be used for 3D printing.
Cost - Software is free and your time. Class may have cost for instructor led curriculum.
Ages 10 to 11 - Java for Minecraft Coding Courses. Look for kid Coding courses at a local city libraries, schools, or third parties like ID Tech.
Cost - $500 to $1000 (Java for Minecraft Class) and your time.
Ages 7 to 10 - Have your child learn Minecraft. It is not only a great game but also a tool used in many schools to teach creativity and will be foundation for Microsoft's Minecraft in the Classroom offered by Minecraft Edu.
Cost - Around $50 (Minecraft Game for Xbox and PC download) and your time.
Ages 5 to 10 - Hour of Code Free Courses. Look at Hour of Code.org for free courses to teach your kids how to Code using popular tools and fun characters.
Cost - Free Classes and your time.
Note: More recommendations to come, feel free to email me and ask me questions.