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5 Positive Ways for Students to Use Their Screens Over Break
Dennis Grice

The holiday break is upon us and for many students that means way more time in front of a screen. But that screen time doesn’t have to be used entirely for computer games and social media. Here are five positive ways for students to use their screens over break.

#5 MadeWithCode.com

In December people around the world celebrate the Power of Code and there are some amazing websites that are geared toward getting kids into this cool tech activity. One such site is MadeWithCode.com; it’s a site that proves that coding is not just boys. Made with Code is full of projects that cater to girls with the aim of helping them develop their interest and skills in coding. The site even has stories about women who have made a career from coding.  

#4 Hour of Code (Code.org)

This is the site that started it all, and it has all manner of coding opportunities for students of all grades—from pre-reader to high school and up. With Hour of Code students can start out by coding with blocks and work their way up to using Javascript. So instead of playing computer games, students can actually learn the code that’s used to make them.

#3 MakeCode

This one, from Microsoft, is a little more advanced, providing a deeper dive into coding. MakeCode has a lot of different products and coding projects available, and students can get started coding with LEGO Mindstorm or make mods for MindCraft or even learn how to make their own Windows apps.

#2 Make a Movie

Maybe coding is not your child’s thing. Maybe they’d rather use their screen for another creative and positive activity, like making a movie. Well, this international one-minute film competition might be just the thing to empower their creativity.  Brought to you by the Student Voice Foundation, the festival is open to students 5-18 and is “a chance and platform to share their perspectives with the world and embody the mindset that they don’t have to wait until they grow up to make a difference.”  Finalist will be invited to present their film at the ISTE 2019 conference in Philadelphia.

#1 Turn it off

Encourage your child to shut down their computer and turn off their phone, for a while at least. Send them outside, have them read a book, or spend quality time with family. The screens will be there when they return.

 

Dennis Grice is a Middle School STEM Coach at Concordia International School Shanghai