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Free time and good weather provide the perfect conditions for kids to home their digital skills. Why not use the summer months while the kids are off school to let them learn something which will be useful in the future? But let them learn. Don't teach them. By July they've had enough of lessons. They need to discover.
On a recent trip to the New York, we put our kids in charge of the camcorder and gave them the slackest of editorial briefs. ‘Film stuff. Learn how to edit. Make a movie of our holiday.’
What they produced was stunning. There were establishing shots, voice overs, interviews, pieces to camera, interviews - the lot. At times surreal, our Fellini bambini produced a film that was a hilarious, insightful and original keepsake.
Critics loved it. 'A triumph-' Mum and Dad.
What? 'I never learned video editing when I was a lad and it never did me any harm,' you say? Well, if your kids aren't, then it might. Or at very least it won't help them.
Set them a challenge, or seek out some workshops this summer.
- In the US, Microsoft is running camps in the US where kids aged 8-13 can learn everything from movie making to app design. You can get more details here.
- Apple Camp is aimed at teaching kids digital skills across the US.
- In the UK there is an initiative to get 100,000 people into digital programmes. It is backed by Make Do Stuff which ‘aims to mobilise the next generation of digital makers’.
- Campus Party at the O2 in London is a week-long event aimed at promoting digital skills, where thousands of ‘Campuseros’ (hackers, developers, gamers and technophiles) equipped with laptops camp on-site and immerse themselves in a truly unique environment.
My kids will do jobs what don't even exist now, let alone when I was growing up. That scares me a little, but I know they need to have the right skills to prevent my fear from holding them back.