Repurposed Tech Removes Limits to Learning
Students can benefit from computers others are done using.
It’s common knowledge now that basic technology training is essential for young people entering a digitized job market. Those without computer science skills are at a disadvantage — even more so if they have a learning disability, like the campers at Tech Kids Unlimited in Brooklyn.
TKU is a nonprofit organization offering various workshops on coding, software and other technology skills to children who often struggle in traditional classroom settings. As the name of the program implies, Tech Kids Unlimited are conquering developmental boundaries by learning the basics of coding.
This summer, TKU ran a weeklong workshop teaching kids to make digital games. “Digital games were so popular that we had over-enrollment,” TKU Founder/Director Beth Rosenberg said. Rosenberg only had 16 computers, but wanted every child to be able to participate and work on an individual computer. That’s where Revivn came in: we provided laptops to multiple students in the program, so that every student who signed up could be part of the workshop.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the program and see the kids present their work. Every student was eager to present — each had made two simple games, and the counselors explained that building games help students understand software while remaining entertained. None of the Tech Kids seemed shy or embarrassed demonstrating their games to their fellow students, counselors, parents and me — they were all bursting with pride at their newfound creative abilities.
Beth explained that the benefits of the program go far beyond the self-esteem her students build: “We’re teaching them 21st century skills that they can put on their resume,” she said. “These are all the technology skills that hiring managers look for.”
Photos by Jamique Mascoll.