Knodemy’s Role in Coding

Knodemy’s mission and vision is all about giving every student the opportunity to learn how to code. In addition to learning about how the world around us works, learning the basics of coding and programming also builds essential problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. Learning the skill of coding from a young age helps expand the growing mind, and supplements the students receive at school.
Knodemy offers several programs to help students learn how to code:

In-person weekly courses: Knodemy offers in-person, weekly and bi-weekly courses in various different programming languages and other subjects, taught by experienced instructors. These courses are most often offered at local libraries.

Online tutoring: Knodemy’s online tutoring services are up and running online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can receive private lessons on help with any sort of STEM topic from experienced and knowledgeable tutors at any time they may need it, all from the comfort of their own home.

One-day fun, interactive events: Knodemy also hosts fun, interactive events like hackathons and robotics competitions. During these one-day events, students from all around the area come together to learn some new skills, work on interesting projects, make some new friends, and have a fun time! 
As mentioned earlier, coding is an essential skill that every student should have an opportunity to learn. At knodemy, we have made it our mission to make learning how to code accessible to everyone. Try out one of our programs and see for yourself!


Congressional App Challenge

The Congressional App Challenge is a congressional initiative to improve student engagement in coding and computer science. Between November 9, 2015 and January 21, 2016, students in participating districts are invited to create and submit original apps, for the chance to be recognized by their Member of Congress. The Congressional App Challenge was launched in 2014, and over 150 representatives participated.This year, the challenge expanded, with 179 representatives and 42 states participating!     The goal of the Congressional App Challenge is to encourage students to learn how to code, and hone in on their creativity to create original apps. The mission of this challenge really aligns with knodemy’s mission! This is precisely why we at knodemy hosted a Congressional App Challenge Day on Saturday, January 9th and  Sunday, January 10th. On this day, we invited students from all around the area to come together, form teams, and collaborate to create unique apps! The teams were  headed by experienced and knowledgeable knodemy staff members, who guided and helped the students throughout the process. The winners of the challenge were Malvika Singhal, Meenakshi Singhal, Sam DeCosta, and Shannon Yan. These students represent Granada High School, and won with their app, Tranquility. At the end of the day, students left feeling accomplished after learning something new, creating their own apps, and making new friends along the way! 


Programs That Teach Students How to Code 


Coding is all around us. Everything that “just works” has some sort of code powering it – whether it is a smartphone app, a TV, or even a microwave! Coding is essential to the world around us and how it works. This is exactly why children should start learning how to code from a young age; it is a skill that will be extremely valuable for them as time goes on. With these fun and easy-to-use programs, learning how to code has never been easier for students!
Scratch: Designed by a group of MIT students and staff in 2003, Scratch is meant to teach students ages 8-16 a basic programming language. Students use a visual programming language made up of bricks that they drag to the workspace to create animation. The website has teaching guides, community forums, and other resources to help you get started! 

GameStar Mechanic: This program teaches students how to design their own video games. Students complete various different self-paced quests, while learning how to build game levels. This program fosters the growth of critical thinking and problem-solving skills through its various tasks.

Code Combat: This is a multiplayer game that teaches students how to code in a fun and exciting way. Fantasy cartoon graphics, quests, gems, and monsters keep children entertained and keep them going until they design and complete all the levels!                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is a global movement initiated by Computer Science Education Week and It teaches tens and millions of people across the globe the basics of coding through a simple, one hour, online tutorial. This year, knodemy will be participating in the Hour of Code as well!

Learning how to code is now easier than it has ever been before! Students of all ages can hop on to the computer and learn how to design and create their own websites, apps, and programs!


Veteran’s Day Hackathon Recap

Students across the nation had the day off from school for Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, November 11. While many kids chose to sleep in camp on the couch, and watch TV all day, a group of twenty kids attended knodemy hackathon in San Ramon!
The hackathon began at 10:00 am in an office condominium in San Ramon, and the kids poured in between 10:00 am and 10:30 am. After knodemy instructor, Michelle, explained the objectives and rules of the competition, the kids split up into small teams of four to five. The objective of the hackathon was to create a website using JSFiddle; the groups were supposed to focus on design, animation, concept, and content of their websites, and collaborate to present it at the very end. Each small team was headed by one of four mentors: Harry, Zain, Brian, and Jordan; the mentors guided the kids through the process of creating their own website and presenting it. One of the mentors, Brian, said, “It was probably those kids’ first time applying their coding skills in a situation such as this, and it was really exciting to see them put their skills to use under pressure!”

At the end of the hackathon, each group presented their projects to a panel of judges They were judged not only on their projects, but also on their presentation style and teamwork skills. The winning team, the purple team, was led by Jordan; their website focused on basketball lessons, facts, and fun trivia!

The participants not only learned to code and built their websites, but also learned a great deal about the importance of teamwork. They walked away after a fun afternoon, having met some new kids their age and maybe even having made some new friends.

The Veteran’s Day hackathon was a huge success, and we cannot wait to see these kids at more knodemy events in the future! Check out this Hackathon video:


Top 5 Apps for Boosting Productivity

Mobile phone apps are often all about fun and games, but they can also help you keep your life organized and increase your productivity! Here are the top five mobile phone apps to help you boost your productivity:

1. Evernote: Both a website and a mobile app, Evernote allows you to create different digital notebooks to keep track of everything in your life, from expenses to trip itineraries to meeting notes. Evernote lets you add screenshots and snapshots of your notes or receipts to your digital notebooks and tag them to keep them organized. This makes it easy to access them quickly when you need them!

2. Pocket: The user interface of Pocket is simple, easy to use, and allows avid readers to quickly and easily save articles and other web content to read later. When they are done reading the article, they can simply remove it from their reading list.

3. Workflow: With the Workflow app, managing your workflow has never been easier.The app allows you to customize your tasks so that you can skip certain tasks and prioritize others. Workflow allows you to create any type of button for any activity that you perform on a regular basis (i.e. order an Uber, call your mom…etc.) and with the click of a button, the task is completed!

4. Timeful: This is an intelligent calendar app, mixed with a to-do list. The app’s algorithm calculates and learns how you work and complete tasks, and suggests ways to build new habits, be more efficient, and get things done. 

5. Buffer: We live in the world of social media, and Buffer allows individuals to sync all their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, and schedule Tweets and posts from one simple platform. 
    Using these apps can really help you boost your productivity and manage your time more effectively. Tell us about your favorite productivity app in the comments section below. 


Harvest Festival 

On October 24, 2015, Live Oak Elementary School’s Parent-Teacher Association hosted the Harvest Festival, a fall celebration for the whole family! Hundreds of students, parents, siblings, and friends gathered around in the Live Oak Courtyard for activities, performances, contests, games, arts and crafts, food, and more. Knodemy also set up a booth at the Harvest Festival, to show students and their parents what we are all about. We had robots set up in a large ring for the students to try and test out, and needless to say, they had so much fun with that! We also had computers set up for students to try the basics of coding, and for the knodemy instructors, Brian and Michelle, to show the students and their parents the wonders of coding. This was a great first glance at the kind of programs and courses that knodemy offers. Brian and Michelle showed the students the basics of programming languages such as HTML and Python, which provided a great preview of the things that students learn in a knodemy Code camp course! The parents and students were all impressed, and many of them signed up for courses and events, such as the hackathon!

We loved interacting with the students and their parents, and we cannot wait to see a them at our hackathons, classes, and other events in the future! Take a look at a video from the Harvest Festival below: 


Why Coding? 

Code powers our world. Every website, smart phone application, computer program, calculator, and even microwave relies on code in order to operate. Behind each one of these apps and devices, there is someone who wrote the code and created a program. Coders are the designers and creators of today’s digital age.

Coding is the essential literacy skill of the 21st century; the next generation is already immersed in technology and will interact with computer programming to perform the most rudimentary tasks. That is exactly why coding should be part of the curriculum in schools. Coding and programming challenge, and help learn problem solving. Designing a website or an app makes the mind work differently than memorizing historical facts or writing an essay. It stretches the brain, and fosters the growth of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which is exactly what young students need during their crucial years of development.
Today we rely on technology to perform basic everyday tasks. Just on a daily basis, most of us use our smart phones, laptops, and smart TVs, all which are technologies powered by code. Learning how to code will allow us to understand how the intricate technologies around us work. It will provide us with a deeper understanding of the world around us.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the computer science industry is projected to grow much faster than any other industry in the country over the next ten years. It is estimated that in the next ten years alone, there will be approximately 1.4 million computer science jobs in the U.S. Industries not even directly related to computers, such as banking, medicine, and journalism, will require computer scientists and coders as well. 
Coding is a skill that all students today should learn, and one that should be implemented into grade school curriculum. The world is quickly changing and transforming into one that is digital and code-based, and learning to code will allow students to more fully understand this world.