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Hi I'm Teodor Sandel-Konjevic and today I'll be talking a
bit about the summer Computer Camp for Kids, or
CompCamp for sho...
Problem & Solution
The problem we are currently facing in Serbia, one that
needs to be solved as soon as possible, is the ...
• The computer camp for kids is something completely new In our region, a summer camp in which children and youth learn
us...
• The camp operates in shifts, four sessions during
the summer, from july to august. One shift lasts 14
days gathers up so...
• For the first few years, the IT teachers that worked with us were Computer Science and Technology students.
Later on as w...
• Some of the software we use: Fusion 2.5 by
Clickteam, an upgrade from MMF2D we have
been using for some time now – a pro...
• For the first half of the camp,
children spend their classes
learning how to make games and
how to use the software of th...
• We have the honor of working with world
famous game design companies, Eipix and
Mad Head Games. We are very thankful to
...
Other expers that visit
the camp each year
include Sasa Popovic,
a professor that
started the well-known
“learn freely” pl...
• Where do I come into all of this? I’ve been a
teacher in the camp for six years, teaching all of
our programs at some po...
• The model we made for our camp in Serbia can be applied anywhere
in the world. Our goal is not only to leave the camp fo...
WWW. KOMPKAMP.RS
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Speach by Teodor Sandel-Konjevic: About Komp Kamp (#CEGC2016)

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Speach by Teodor Sandel-Konjevic: About Komp Kamp
CENTRAL EUROPEAN GAMES CONFERENCE

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Speach by Teodor Sandel-Konjevic: About Komp Kamp (#CEGC2016)

  1. 1. Hi I'm Teodor Sandel-Konjevic and today I'll be talking a bit about the summer Computer Camp for Kids, or CompCamp for shorter. As educators, our job is to leave a better future behind us. The future is in the hands of the youngest ones, so teaching them how to tackle the world is the smartest investment we can make. And all of us here are aware of the importance the digital world has on the present – and that importance will only increase as time goes on. So, what we're doing here is really putting 2 and 2 together.
  2. 2. Problem & Solution The problem we are currently facing in Serbia, one that needs to be solved as soon as possible, is the lack of computer literacy in our children and youth. Nowadays, a lot of kids spend their leisure time playing videogames, and everyone uses computers, smartphones and tablets in one way or another. It has become a way of life that sometimes might look scary, because it’s all advancing very fast. Every day new technology is coming out, new apps for various tasks in our lives. Kids today are using technology from a very young age, much before they have a chance to start learning anything about them. They often grow up thinking that the computer serves as little more than a toy. While videogames have been proven to be helpful in developing a child’s creativity and critical thinking, many kids unfortunately just stop there without ever knowing the various things they can make using the computer. Schools are making an effort into educating youth about computers and technology. However, all of us here are completely aware of how fast paced the technology world is. It changes every day. By the time a school can implement programs into the curriculum, those programs become outdated, and you have the unfortunate situation that often, high schoolers are still learning how to code in Pascal simply because it’s hard to keep up with the pace of which technology is coming out. This isn’t the schools fault, but when schools can’t take up the task, and kids today often know more than their parents and teachers about computers, whose role is it to take on the task of solving computer literacy? That’s where the Computer Camp for Kids come into the story.
  3. 3. • The computer camp for kids is something completely new In our region, a summer camp in which children and youth learn useful things on the computer. Now if you are like most parents you would be worried – “I don’t need my child to spend even more time in front of the computer, all he does is play games and surfs the Internet”. What we do is the opposite, we not only try to show kids how to make the most of the powerful machines they have at their disposal, and how to navigate the virtual world – we show them the world outside the boundaries of the screen, as well. • In camp, we learn how to make games, not just play them. This has been our motto since 2008, when we started the camp. How the camp started is an interesting story that I’d like to share with you. It started in the summer of 2007 when my mom told me I should spend the summer somewhere away from home, perhaps go to a summer camp. I didn’t want to go to the seaside, I didn’t want to go to any sports camp and me and my PC were inseperable. I wanted a place to spend my summer, but a place where I would also have my videogames. I wanted a place that was somewhere close to nature, but not far from my computer. However, there wasn’t a “computer camp” anywhere in Serbia. I cried on about it for some time and innocently asked my mother, who at the time had been running an IT school – I said “Mom, why can’t we make one? Why don’t we make one of those computer camps?” It started out innocently enough. However, when my mother did some research on the computer camps in the world, she realized it wasn’t such a bad idea. In march 2008, my mother Radoslava founded CompCamp. At the time, I was too young for my name to appear on any legal documents, but to this day, after 8 years, she still claims that I was the one who really helped start the camp, as well.
  4. 4. • The camp operates in shifts, four sessions during the summer, from july to august. One shift lasts 14 days gathers up some 20-25 members, aged 8-16. During the 14 days in camp, members learn how to use a wide set of software we offer teaching, along with many important practical skills, like they would in any summer camp: How to live with 3-4 friends in the same room, how to be independent and adapt to a life outside of their home and away from mom and dad. This is the biggest impact the parents see after 14 days. We have received tons of emails telling us we sent back a completely different child. Everyone finds new talents they didn't know they had, learn about diversity among people, make loads of new friends. The friendships formed in camp are the ones that last for years and years. We always tell the kids to keep in touch with their camp roommates – they might just end up starting a game studio together. It doesn't stop at just computers and hanging out, camp members learn how to enjoy nature and a rural environment. Every year we choose a location close to nature to accommodate the camp. While computers and software are our main priorities, sports, fields trips and outdoor activities take up an equal portion of the day. Every morning we have mandatory wake up excercises. The camp counselors include 3 to 5 IT teachers, a sports teacher, and a teacher who leads the creative workshops.
  5. 5. • For the first few years, the IT teachers that worked with us were Computer Science and Technology students. Later on as we grew, we decided we need a greater quality of content in our camp, so we started cooperating with experts in the fields of game design. This year we are cooperating with Eipix and Mad Head games, and they are sending some of their experts to our camp to teach. These are experts in various fields such as game design, graphic design, various software for film editing, animation, as well as game testers…… Ill talk more about them later • In camp, for the past 8 years we have mostly been focusing on programs that are used to make videogames, simply because videogames are the most interesting thing a gamer can learn how to make. Making videogames is also an interdisciplinary task so kids learn a whole set of skills while learning to design a game – such as graphic design, story writing and sound design. Everyone loves videogames. Sooner or later, someone playing games will stop and ask themselves “Who made this? How did they make this?” A popular belief today is that kids are less creative because of the tons of technology they’re exposed to and that eliminate the need for thinking out of the box. Quite the opposite, however. When you look at the games kids can design and make in 12 days, you get surprised. They already have a large vocabulary, so to speak, they know what makes good games good, and with our help they use the games they have already played as a baseline for making their own. In the camp we give children a chance to see just how it’s all made, in a way, to live out their dreams.
  6. 6. • Some of the software we use: Fusion 2.5 by Clickteam, an upgrade from MMF2D we have been using for some time now – a program used for developing games using an event system – conditions and reactions, without code. It serves as a great intro for new campers as it teaches them how to think like a programmer and makes learning programming languages much easier in the future. On the other hand it is a powerful program, so many camp veterans still use it for making their games. Next, we have Unity 3D, a very important program as you would all know. In past years, Unity has become a prerequisite software for anyone who wants to be in the game industry. In camp they get a strong basis using these powerful tools and we point them to the right resources that can help them later on. We teach C#, Java and Python as programming languages, as well. Along with them, we also offer courses in 3DMax, Photoshop, Web design, film editing, HTML5 coding and so on. As you can see, we try to follow the latest trends in the IT world, and every year we make additions to our camp program. This year the camps program has undergone a redesign and we have classified our courses into 5 program packages for 2D game design, 3D game design, Multimedia, Web Design and a Mini program for the younger campers where they learn how to use software like Scratch and RPG maker, which give them a foundation for more complex designing later on. When they come to camp, kids are asigned to group based on their knowledge and skill level, in order to make the lessons more optimized.
  7. 7. • For the first half of the camp, children spend their classes learning how to make games and how to use the software of their choice. The next half is spent in making their own games. Some people form teams, others prefer to work alone. We offer help, i n s p i r a t i o n , i d e a s a n d suggestions in developing their own projects. On the final day of camp, kids present their games to other campers and get awards for their work. • It doesn't end there, however. We have built a close-knit network of comp-campers online, and we provide year-round support, advice and resources for education. So kids who are members of the camp have the opportunity to keep in touch with all the camps experts, all year, between two summers.
  8. 8. • We have the honor of working with world famous game design companies, Eipix and Mad Head Games. We are very thankful to Mirko Topalski and Uros Banjesevic for all their help, we wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them. For several years now, representatives of both companies have been coming to camp in order to teach children what it’s like working in a company making videogames together with many other people, what it’s like being specialized in certain areas and what jobs there are in such a company. They teach kids about the pipeline process of making a game from scratch – the ways of coming up wih an idea, fleshing it out in a storyboard and making a game design document. Kids learn what it’s like actually selling their games once they make them. At the end of each session, we announce the winners – the ones who made the best games get a chance to go to Eipix and Mad Head Headquarters and see the companies from the inside. For kids this can be compared to winning a golden ticket and touring the chocolate factory. This year, these experts will be staying in camp for a while, giving kids a full course in their area of expertise. Other expers that visit the camp each year include Sasa Popovic, a professor that started the well- known “learn freely” platform for learning, and designed a way of recording and structuring online lessons that is now applied on lynda.com. There's also Dr. Tijana Prodanovic, a renowned scientist in fields of Astronomy and organizer of our major local scientific conventions.
  9. 9. Other expers that visit the camp each year include Sasa Popovic, a professor that started the well-known “learn freely” platform for learning, and designed a way of recording and structuring online lessons that is now applied on lynda.com. There's also Dr. Tijana Prodanovic, a renowned scientist in fields of Astronomy and organizer of our major local scientific conventions.Also, prof. Mirjana Nikolic from the Adjunct Faculty at Cogswell college, San Francisko, who worked on several big projects in Pixar animation Studios and Disney Feature Animations, who shows our campers some python features in Maya
  10. 10. • Where do I come into all of this? I’ve been a teacher in the camp for six years, teaching all of our programs at some point. I started of as an assistant for the older teachers, and began providing more and more help to campers in classes as I gained more experience. It turned into me leading my own classes and now, I have my own assistants. When kids have a teacher close to their age transferring knowledge about something, it’s much easier to absorb that knowledge. Children also use this as a model, now they can help their friends learn something. This happens all the time. After a few classes, I’m nearly left jobless because almost all the questions get answered between the campers. They learn how to find solutions for their problems and help each other in doing so. How to use google. Their independence and teamwork begins showing instantly. Some kids are coming to camp this year and it will be their sixth time coming back. We call them veterans. After they gain enough experience and get too old to be in camp, we invite them back as volunteers to help out the others in learning software and having a good time in camp. The goal is to make a camp that will stand the test of time – and by leaving it to future generations, we’re assuring just that.
  11. 11. • The model we made for our camp in Serbia can be applied anywhere in the world. Our goal is not only to leave the camp for future generations, but to expand it around the world. the Computer Camp is something that can be made with nothing more than a location, some computers and teachers willing to transfer their knowledge. The camp we hav enow can be created in every part of Serbia and every part of the world. It can happen and tomorrow we aim to make as many kids from Serbia and the world to be able to learn what the present and the future require them to know.
  12. 12. WWW. KOMPKAMP.RS

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