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AZ Tech Beat | May 26, 2017

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Turning kids into CodaKids – video

Turning kids into CodaKids – video
Tishin Donkersley

Video contribution Xavier Smith

Instead of your child hanging out on the couch in front of the Xbox for hours on end managing their Mod, what if they could design their own Biomes and give Creepers superpowers?

Scottsdale-based CodaKid, a dynamic computer programming and video game design organization that teaches children from 6 to 14 years old how to code, is making programming cool and fun for kids through their interactive classes around game and app development.

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Founder David Dodge is a long time video game developer, designer and architect who worked in studios such as Sega of America, Cyclone Studios, and 3DO. He started Codakid because he has a passion for teaching code and mentoring the next generation in computer science.

“We have three tracks at CodaKid: computer programming, game design and digital arts. Our classes teach kids how to design their own games.

The most popular class is “Game Design with Minecraft, where kids build their own maps, player-to-player maps and Hunger Games style maps,” Dodge said.

Their computer programming class teaches kids to access Minecraft source code, make changes in the game and exposes them to foundational coding concepts.

For the older kids, CodaKid has advanced classes where they build mods in Java script and they recently added Android app development.

“The sky is the limit, we develop new classes each month,” Dodge said.

The unique part of this program is that “kids get to learn iterative design, work with colleagues, get feedback from colleagues, and design and build based on feedback. They are essentially designing [games] for others,” Dodge said.

If your kid is bored every Friday and Saturday night, CodaKid has evening code-a-thons for the Modding for Minecraft class where instructors prepare coding challenges and kids have an opportunity to strengthen their programming skills and gaming concepts.

They also offer a kids tech camp with personalized instruction for game design, modeling and animation.

Check out their schedule now.