Technology is just a tool

March 7, 2017

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Greetings, Earthlings

Welcome to this week’s Codecraft update. Please enjoy reading what we’ve been up to this past week and send us your comments, suggestions, or tech tips for inclusion in next weeks update! This weekly newsletter started just for our Codecraft Works family, but we feel its info valuable to a wider audience of customers, clients, and friends. So, welcome! If you have any student highlights, cool events, inspiring quotes, tech tips, or anything else that happens to be particularly awesome, please email us at to be included in the next newsletter.

Server Outage Leads to Teachable Moments

[caption id=“attachment_4188” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Students learn about data centers.[/caption]

Remember when the Internet basically shut down last week? When Amazon’s S3 web-based storage service had issues, widespread outages occurred for several hours on many websites and apps – including Scratch. Our creative instructors, however, were not deterred by the unavailability of Scratch during after school club time. Instead, they utilized creative workarounds and created teachable moments. Dustin took the opportunity to teach students about servers and data centers. Dustin drew a diagram illustrating how servers work, how they interact with computers, what lags mean, and how Internet speed, distance from servers, and traffic affect server speed. Some classes went with an offline install of Scratch. Other classes relied on, which is not backed by the S3 server, for tutorials and coding projects. Thanks to our instructors for embracing the moment by not letting an unavailable website stop the learning. This was also a reminder to the Codecraft Team to bulk up on “rainy day” activities that don’t require the Internet. Because life, and coding classes, are unpredictable - servers crash, wi-fi goes down, content is blocked by firewalls. If anybody has any awesome unplugged activity suggestions, send them our way at

Codecraft US CyberPatriots Middle School and High School Take First Place

Congratulations, again, to the first place Codecraft Lab US CyberPatriot teams! We posted the results last week, but you can read more about the teams, the competition, and what’s next here: And don’t forget to mark your calendars for April 28. We will have a big party celebrating the CyberPatriots’ success and more! Codecraft CyberPatriot Champions!

Celebrating Women’s History Month

This month, Codecraft Works is taking a moment to recognize some amazing women in computer science. Today we’re highlighting Kelly Ward, senior software engineer for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Her job – digital hair! Watch the video below to learn more about awesome women with a really cool computer science job:  Untangling the Hairy Physics of Rapunzel.

Today in Tech History: March 6, 1992

Concerns over the Michelangelo virus sparked a scare among everyone from personal computer users to world governments. As many as 5 million computers reportedly were in danger of contracting the virus, set to erase data on the March 6 anniversary of the artist’s birth. In fact, Michelangelo spread to only a few thousand machines. [Source: Michelangelo Virus Strikes]

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