Monday, January 4, 2016

Channeling Energy

Connor loves his electronic devices. He also loves jumping on the trampoline, playing baseball and soccer, running around in the backyard, and climbing - but if he had no limits on what he was going to do - he'd choose electronics and then books.

I don't really want him on devices all the time - I still think breathing air outside, interacting with people, and creative thinking are good things. But, I also don't like telling him he can't do his favorite things, especially when he's got a long string of days where he's under the daily time limit Ed and I set for him on electronic game playing.

So, we've opted to try and channel Connor's electronic energy into something more creative than racing pods, blowing things up, and whatever else it is Connor does on his iPad / 3DS / xBox. Enter - Jamtech. This one day program offered Connor the chance to build a video game in a day. It's a long and intense day, and it's really designed for someone older than Connor - though elementary students are invited to attend as long as they have an adult with them.

Ed attended with Connor. Either of us can program, but my sense is that Ed enjoys it more than I do. Also, the event was right after Ed got over being sick, so sitting and coding was probably a better option for him than chasing Helen around all day.

They came home with a game that has been reasonably fun to play. But more importantly, Connor decided to create another game to give to his cousins for Christmas. And since one of his cousins got a laptop for Christmas, it might work out to be a nice little combo.

I was impressed that Connor came up with the task on his own - and then pretty much completed it on his own (though there was a problem moving the game from developer to player mode which Ed and his brother resolved on Christmas Eve).

Here's to more coding in 2016!


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