An edtech company that runs holiday camps for teenagers has launched ‘remote’ classes to support parents who are home schooling their children.
The government announced school closures on Wednesday 18 March. Although schools are remaining open for the children of key workers, most parents must now keep children at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
With classrooms shut, Fire Tech CEO Jill Hodges says she wants her company to help keep “kids busy and engaged over the holidays”.
Fire Tech runs term-time edtech holiday camps at universities like Imperial College London and Cambridge University for young people between the ages of nine and 17 years.
We understand that these are challenging times for families, and we wanted to make sure that, rather than letting their progress slide, young people still had access to world-class learning experiences
– Jill Hodges, Fire Tech
Ms Hodges launched her company seven years ago when she realised that she couldn’t find a way for her own kids to learn creative tech skills, either in or out of school.
For the past few months, the company has been developing remote classes for students who cannot travel to their summer camps, but has accelerated their plans in light of the pandemic.
Each online Fire Tech class is led by a university tutor, who can help support homeschooling for kids in self-isolation.
“We have, since our early days, had requests from families around the world to bring our camps to their local communities. The current situation is a catalyst to roll out this new format to support families around the UK and beyond, to have access to a brilliant learning opportunity wherever they are,” said Michael Cotter, Fire Tech’s head of learning.
The remote tech camps offer more than 20 hours of live, online classes on technologies including artificial intelligence, video game design, Python, and augmented and virtual reality.
Each class has space for no more than eight students, so tutors can offer plenty of one-to-one support.
The in-depth courses last for four or five days and pupils will spend time creating and making technology under the guidance of their distance tutor.
Ms Hodges said: “We understand that these are challenging times for families, and we wanted to make sure that, rather than letting their progress slide, young people still had access to world-class learning experiences.
“So many young people look forward to coming to Fire Tech because of the fun, inspiring project-based learning. We want to be sure that we bring those same values to our online offer.”
Fire Tech’s remote courses are in English and available internationally. Parents interested in these courses can find out more via their website.