Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summer Camps--Can my child stay for lunch?

Sure! If a camper is registered for both an AM and PM camp we welcome them to stay for a supervised lunch with our instructors. After eating they will have a bit of supervised free time in the classroom. Some suggested choices are: use approved applications/games on HTL’s computers, read, draw, meditate, or talk with peers.

Summer Camps--Do you offer any coupons or discounts?

When it comes to grocery shopping we are definitely coupon clippers. That’s why we have several ways for you to save some dough when registering for our camps. We offer Early Bird Registration and Multiple Children or Multiple Camps discounts. Two awesome points to note: the discounts are applied automatically when you register and you can qualify for more than one! Find more information at the summer camp registration page.

You have so many different programs. How do I choose what is best for my child?

It is true that we offer several programs that use Minecraft as a tool and a few game design options.  While these programs’ titles may blend together, we’ve actually created very distinct program offerings that provide unique opportunities for learning and fun.  Please view our Choosing a Camp Infographic to help you select the best program for your child.

Summer Camps--I see your camps are half day. Do you offer full day programs?

We would love the chance to work with your child throughout the whole day! We understand that many families need or want a full day solution. To make your child’s experience full day, register for both a morning and afternoon camp on the same week at the same location. They are welcome to stay with us for a supervised lunch each day. We have staff that monitor students during this time. Don’t forget: multiple kids and/or multiple camps qualify you for discounted camp registration fees!

Why doesn't each student work on their own laptop?

Two heads really are better than one! It’s no accident that kids at Hi-Tech Learning students work two to a computer. We strongly believe in the power of pair programming! One to one peer collaboration is extremely powerful and a key component in the value of attending a Hi-Tech Learning program. The kids at code.org do a good job illustrating some of the benefits our students have been experiencing for years in this pair programming video.

Are there any take home products?

Hi-Tech Learning students love to take what they make!  The ability to access their project at home has consistently been a favorite benefit for our families.  The best part is that we use a variety of software applications that are free or low cost and accessible for families to continue to use at home. This can all be found at the Project Central portal.

Can my child benefit from participating in the same program more than once?

While the curriculum will be the same, collaborating with new friends and a deeper exploration of the Hi-Tech Learning achievements can be a very rewarding experience! In the past, passionate students have enjoyed repeating the same program.  However, each summer we add two brand new programs based on research and the survey results from parents and students! Often families see the new offerings as the next step in pleasing and challenging their kids. View current offerings at Our Program page.

How do you ensure my child’s safety in your programs?

Each child’s safety and well being has always been the top priority of Hi-Tech Learning! Our attention to detail and specific safety related procedures will put you at ease when you child is in our care. Our employees have all necessary clearances, receive professional development, and demonstrate top notch responsible supervision practices. As for technology, students will use only Hi-Tech Learning equipment with special security settings and Internet filters. In addition, we use private servers that can only be accessed by approved “whitelisted” Hi-Tech Learning users. This ensures students will only interact with each other during online collaboration sessions at camp. Whether it is a trip to the water fountain or a digital voyage to a far away land, your child will be safe at Hi-Tech Learning Summer Program!

Where do you get the content for your program curriculum?

Hi-Tech Learning curriculum is our pride and joy! Our curriculum creation team devotes countless hours imagining, researching, revising, and refining our camp content to create a superior experience for your child. The content and applications that fuel our curriculum are rooted in family feedback. We want to give you exactly what you want packed with the most fun and learning possible! All of our programs are purposefully engineered to offer content kids crave and learning parents love! Have an idea for the next great program? Contact Hi-Tech Learning.

Is my kid really learning by playing a video game?

Much research has been devoted to this topic, simply search “Video Games and Learning” and you’ll find a surplus of research both for and against this topic.  Many advocate that video games can teach development of strategic thinking, information-gathering, problem solving, planning, adaptation to changing contexts, and flexibility. At Hi-Tech Learning we know that the greatest value doesn’t come from a child doing any one activity exclusively and especially not in isolation. The games and applications we use as learning tools provide opportunity for creativity, innovative thinking, and digital and face to face collaboration! Not all video games out there are good for kids, but Hi-Tech Learning’s curriculum and people (both instructors and campers) make all the difference!

Some people say Minecraft is addictive. Should I be worried?

Many parents are concerned about the time their kids spend on technology. Both of the owners of Hi-Tech Learning have kids of their own and share the concern that misuse of technology can actually be detrimental to a child’s academic and social development. Our camps are designed to transform your child’s obsession with current technology (Minecraft in particular) into a positive learning experience. Read our article to learn more, Minecraft: An Educational Tool.

3D Print and Design With Minecraft--What is 3D printing?

3D printing is an awesome process that continues to impress us each time a new creation is brought to life! Technically, 3D printing is the process of taking digital files and turning them into physical products. It is often referred to as additive manufacturing, as the product is built up layer by layer. Read our article to learn more, Printing 3D Into the Future.

3D Print and Design With Minecraft--Who is actually fabricating my child’s 3D model?

Shapeways: the world's leading 3D Printing marketplace and community. They enable anyone to make, buy, and sell products with 3D Printing. We selected this innovative company because their service is the most cost effective and efficient in the industry, with no waste! They 3D Print our products, inspect their quality, carefully package them, and send them directly to you. Their professional tools and experienced staff are the ideal solution for printing our students’ models!

3D Print and Design--How long will it take to get my child’s 3D Printed model?

At the conclusion of your program we will send your child’s digital model to Shapeways’ Factory of the Future in Long Island City, N.Y. That’s where the magic happens! Using the most advanced 3D Printing technology on the market, they bring your custom design to life through a complex and time consuming process. They do their best to get your model to you as quickly as possible. Each product is made on demand and can be expected 2-3 weeks from the last day of the program.

Do I need to provide any kind of technology devices for my child?

Your child needs only to bring their imagination, sense of wonder, a positive spirit, and of course their thinking cap! Hi-Tech Learning supplies and carefully configures all of the technology devices needed for our programs.

Should I be concerned about the age difference between students in a program?

Absolutely not. Each program is developed to be completely appropriate for all campers within the age range. Our curricular activities are complex and provide an engaging challenge for kids at different developmental levels. Campers are supervised at all times and organized into pairs with the closest match to their peer group. In reality, a lot of the best learning stems from whole group collaboration with contributions from the youngest to the oldest!

I’d like to know more about Hi-Tech Learning’s instructors.

The Hi-Tech Learning team is carefully selected from hundreds of applicants. Our instructors are only the most passionate, knowledgeable, and caring individuals. All of our instructors are adults with experience in the education or technology fields (often both!). Our lead instructors are certified teachers and come to our team eager to expand their professional experience working in our unique camps and with your amazing kids.

My child doesn’t quite meet the age range for a program. Is that a deal breaker?

The age range for each program is a general guideline we assign based on the content and activities for that particular topic. Our professional experience as educators helps us to prepare the best and most developmentally appropriate activities that balance fun and learning! Individual children vary greatly in their maturity, technical, academic, and social skills. We realize that some students close to the suggested age (within a year) may be ready to benefit from that program. Parents know their children best and have the final decision during registration.

Summer Camps--Can my child bring a snack or a water bottle to camp?

Due to the half day nature of our camps and the prevalence of food allergies, we discourage families from sending in snacks. We completely understand snacks or a drink may be necessary for health reasons. Remember, your kids can chow down on a packed lunch with their peers and our supervisors when registered for a morning and afternoon session!

Summer Camps--Do you have early pick up or drop off options?

Prior to each camp’s starting time, our instructors are busy feverishly setting up the best learning environment possible for the boys and girls. Hi-Tech Learning supplies, transports, sets up, and breaks down the equipment at each location every day. Due to these considerations we do not offer early drop off or late pick ups. We respectfully request families are punctual when dropping off and picking up their children.

Social skills are important to us. Do you do anything to promote them?

Our camps are designed to transform your child’s obsession with current technology into a positive learning and social experience. Students work in partners, small groups, and with the whole group in our camps.  We help them learn how to effectively work with another person to create something amazing with technology.  We know that technology can create isolation.  Hi-Tech Learning believes we can combat that problem and show kids that human interaction and technology aren’t mutually exclusive. Read more about How to Collaborate the Hi-Tech Learning Way.

Is my kid learning academic skills?

Each program relates to a specific set of theme related skills. For example, in 3D Design and Print with Minecraft students will gain an introduction to math and science vocabulary and techniques used by real engineers (eg. the Golden Ratio).  In addition to the topic specific skills, all students will partake in activities designed specifically to develop their 21st century skills essential to success in academics, career, and life!  Hi-Tech learning curriculum is also closely rooted in ISTE standards. Read more about our curriculum’s connection to the ISTEs.

It looks like you use Minecraft in a lot of your programs. Why is that?

The creative and collaborative potential of what kids can do with Minecraft is unmatched. There is no mistaking why Minecraft has sold almost 50 million copies across all gaming platforms! We know that people of all ages love this game for the way it has changed what is possible in a fun digital environment. Minecraft is often called a sandbox game because you can create without restriction. However, Minecraft can be so much more: a CAD software, a movie set, or even an introduction to learning computer programming!

What is STEM, STEAM?  Do you guys do that?

The United States has once again turned to Innovation as a key differentiator to its place in the global economy and society as a whole. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are the STEM subjects that many schools and organizations have moved to focus on. There has also been a powerful upward trend in adding the Arts and Design to this key formula. At Hi-Tech Learning, all of our programs support these initiatives. Afterall our mission is to empower the next best generation of Innovators and Collaborators! Read more about STEM’s transition to STEAM.

I’ve heard 21st Century Skills mentioned a lot. What exactly are these skills?

21st Century skills include all the skills necessary for success with academics, careers, and life. This cluster of skills is a bit broad and an umbrella, but clearly hugely powerful if introduced to and practiced by young people!  At Hi-Tech Learning we focus in particular on The 4Cs including: critical thinking and problem solving; communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation. The glossary of education reform does a nice job with a summary of what we mean by this phrase.

What are Hi-Tech Learning’s behavioral expectations ?

Although our programs provide experiences not often found in traditional schools, we do share some similar expectations for our participants. Students will demonstrate respect for peers, instructors, and equipment while at camp. Your kids will have a blast at with us, but will not have fun just for fun’s sake!

Do you offer a refund if our plans change or if we change our minds?

We understand that life happens and plans change. While we’d love to help you reschedule to ensure your child’s participation, to receive a full refund, you must cancel your child's registration at least 7 days before the start of a class, camp, or event. If you cancel less than 7 days before the start of the class, camp, or event, you can still receive a refund, but you will be charged a 15% processing fee. There will be no refunds given if you cancel after the class has started.

Summer Camps--What does the typical day/week look like at camp?

While each camp we provide offers a different theme and unique learning activities, there are some staple activities and a common schedule that all camps will follow. To find more details about each specific camp visit our camp descriptions page. Check out our sample week infographic to see how your child’s week at our camps will be structured.

Can parents visit the classroom to see what the kids are up to?

We welcome families into the classroom at the conclusion of a program for a Family Open House. This is a great opportunity for your kids to proudly display their body of work. They will be eager to introduce you to their new friends, caring instructors, and show off their completed final project! We feel our challenging and rewarding environment can provide a wonderful occasion for your children to grow and function safely and independently from family.

How is Hi-Tech Learning different?

Many parents are concerned about the time their kids spend on technology. Both of the owners of Hi-Tech Learning have kids of their own and share the concern that misuse of technology can actually be detrimental to a child’s academic and social development. Our camps are designed to transform your child’s obsession with current technology into a positive learning experience. To give just one example, students work in partners in our camps. We help them learn how to effectively work with another person to create something amazing with technology. We know that technology can create isolation. Hi-Tech Learning believes we can combat that problem and show kids that human interaction and technology aren’t mutually exclusive.

Does my child need to have their own Minecraft account to participate?

You do not need to already have Minecraft to register for a program. We’ve purchased accounts for every HTL computer and have the software installed and ready for your child’s use while at camp.  We love to use the Minecraft application as a learning platform and creation tool. Although your child might not have their own when they begin, by the conclusion they’ll be eager to earn a copy with chores, schoolwork, and random acts of kindness. If you just can’t wait, immediately buy and download Minecraft.

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