Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fun & Discovery Awaits at Camp Google

Summer is definitely in full swing by now with only a little over a month left of it before some of us have to start the school routines again.  In your opinion should these last several weeks off from school be a time for kids to sit back, sleep in and enjoy their time off?  Or should the time off be spent continuing your children’s education but in a MORE FUN approach?

What if I told you that you could do both?  Continue your child’s education via a summer camp … without having to set an alarm or change out of your PJ’s.

A new project called Google Camp, (yes, as in everybody’s best friend, Google) will help teach kids how to utilize their search engine services — starting from the ages of 7-10 years old, specifically. The program seems to focus on online project-based lessons and has weeks dedicated to discovering the ocean, space, nature, and music categories.
I found out about the camp today through a video called “Camp Google – Let’s Find Out” on Google’s YouTube channel, which shows kids playing outside and using technology to learn about the world by exploring the ocean through Google Earth, asking questions about space through Google Search and watching videos of fireflies on YouTube. The end of the video directs interested parents to where they can learn more.  Okay, so maybe you’ll at least have to put on your best pair of hiking boots if you’re gonna go explore with Google. But you get the gist.

The online learning camp will launch on Monday, July 13th.   The Camp Google website doesn’t really provide much of a taste of what families can expect from the camp and the “About Camp” page only provides answers to some basic questions like “We’re going out of town one of the weeks, will that be a problem?” The answer to that question is, of course, no, since the use of the word ‘camp’ here is merely symbolic and everything will take place online.  And while it’s also totally free, the company notes that some of the activities as part of Camp Google will require the use of common household items, so those traveling might be out of reach of said items. Thankfully, though, Google says the activities will remain open indefinitely so your child can just come back to them whenever they’re ready.

The camp is four weeks long and as I stated above, each week is broken up into different themes — ocean, space, nature, and music. Those who participate can earn badges for each week they complete, although these look like they may just be digital items and not real badges — but the webpage isn’t specific about this either.

According to the website, the content for Google Camp was created in collaboration between engineers at Google, educational organizations like Khan Academy and content specialists like National Geographic Kids, NASA and National Parks.  So in my opinion … there may be some cool projects that even we, as parents, can look forward to!

I’ll post more information about Camp Google once it goes live on the 13th. In the meantime, check out the video below:

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