NEWS$show=/search/label/news

Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.

STEM$show=/search/label/stem

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.

CODING$show=/search/label/coding

Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.

ELECTRONICS$show=/search/label/electronics

We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.

ROBOTICS$show=/search/label/robotics

We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

Ada Lovelace Resources for Kids and Teens


The second Tuesday in October is Ada Lovelace Day. Lovelace was an English computer science visionary in the Victorian era. She's a fascinating character that all Tech Age kids should learn about.

Note that the October date is just one of convenience. Lovelace's birthday is December 10th according to her page on Wikipedia so that's another good date to remember her on.

December 10th 2015 is the 200th anniversary of Countess Lovelace's birth so that's a fantastic date to celebrate.

I've talked to my children aged 7 and nearly 9 about Ada Lovelace this morning before school and I'll share some more resources with them this evening.



Why Should Young People Learn about Ada Lovelace?

The Tech Age is now well and truely established. The Victorian era was a time of discovery and laid the foundations for the modern era. Ada's story is a key part of the history of computing. I think history is important to fully understand today's technology and how we got to here. I also think that sense of connecting to the past is important culturally. It's also cool to be able to make the connection when you come across something named after Ada. 

Ada sadly died at the age of 36. This means that her work was done at a young age. And of course it's good for everyone to understand that women have been contributing to the technology field from the start.

Who Was Countess Lovelace?

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born in England in 1815. She was a collaborator of Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine and Analytical Engine - forerunners of the modern computer. These were theoretical machines, Babbage build prototypes but didn't manage to complete them.

Lovelace showed great insight into understanding the application of the Analytical Engine and what the descendants of such machines would be capable of in a future which is our present.

Lovelace is also famous for being the daughter of the poet Byron.

Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is a celebration of women in STEM intended to encourage more women into the technical professions.

Resources

  • BrainPop: Ada Lovelace animation. We're really big fans of Moby and Tim over at BrainPop. They often tackle technical topics with plenty of humour and a hint of the surreal. We watched their treatment of Ada Lovelace this morning and it fueled a good discussion on the way to school. BrainPop is a subscription service but the Ada Lovelace video is free to watch at time of writing.
  • Ada Lovelace Day Resources for Schools. A set of scenario-based teaching resources for children aged 11-14. I particularly like the Ultrobot scenario in which children investigate gender bias in a toy robot (we've previously considered whether we need different tech toys for girls and boys.) 
  • CodeClub have an Ada's Poetry Generator Scratch project for children which is a fantastic way to celebrate Ada's technical and creative skill. 
  • Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a new picture book for children written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by April Chu. The book tells the story of Ada's life and will be enjoyed by little kids and big kids.
  • For young girls, the Lottie doll website has a downloadable biography of Ada Lovelace. Lottie is designed to be a normal kid-shaped doll that promotes positive play patterns. We like the Robot Girl Lottie doll. 

  • Hank Green has a SciShow video about Ada Lovelace which is well worth watching for teenagers and adults too. (Well I'd watch Hank Green talk about anything to be honest. But I think I'm being objective!)

  • There's a good selection of Ada Lovelace-themed t-shirts and other merchandise at Zazzle including items featuring the fabulous Google Doodle from 2012. 

Happy Ada Lovelace Day


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Ada Lovelace Resources for Kids and Teens
Ada Lovelace Resources for Kids and Teens
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