As we all grind on through this difficult Winter and pandemic, we at Laptop Upcycle have been exploring other opportunities for local students to become engaged in technology enrichment beyond the twice weekly limited and distanced lab sessions we support.
Today we are excited to announce a partnership with TechConnect, a fellow 501c3 nonprofit based in Summit, NJ, to offer free online coding classes for students locally. TechConnect was founded in early 2020 to help bridge the digital divide for students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their goals are very similar to ours and we encourage you to visit their web site and learn more about them.
For the local Laptop Upcycle community, our partnership with TechConnect will provide access to cutting edge online coding resources, and importantly an existing and vibrant support community for those who wish to enroll in the courses.
Anyone who has explored online courses often encounter roadblocks in the form of lack of community and support which all too often results in waning interest in the class. The TechConnect team has an existing infrastructure in place to remedy this issue and we at Laptop Upcycle will also be ready to help where we can, given the interest level and community meetup guidelines.
The TechConnect team offers three (3) different course categories based upon each of these 3 languages, Scratch, Python, and Java. Scratch can be learned by many young students even in elementary school. Python and Java are a bit more challenging, but many middle schoolers pick those up very quickly. Note that Java is even more complex than Python, but we know there are those in our schools that are ready for it. If parents need assistance in helping to decide where their students should start, feel free to contact us directly.
The process to get started coding is very simple. You visit the TechConnect site and create a free account with them. Then you select the “Classes” link on their site and pick the course you wish to begin. It’s that easy. Note on the Classes page you will also see links for the support resources, an online forum, other resources, and the schedule for weekly Zoom meetups to engage with other students.
We’re excited to offer this resource to our community and we hope you take advantage of it.
The Laptop Upcycle team!
PS - If your kids need a laptop to start coding or you know someone who does, you know we can help with that!