Ace in tomorrow’s society requires a fundamentally different skillset compared to our time. Instead of focusing on mastering penmanship (it’s still somewhat important), children must now obtain coding knowledge to truly excel.

Code powers our modern world, fueling the insatiable demand for new apps, devices, games and digital experiences to the advent of fintech, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Extended Reality (XR). Moreover, recent years have witnessed the emergence of entirely new roles like information architects, big data analysts and even AI engineers.  

Possessing a solid grasp of these technological underpinnings will yield substantial rewards for your child in the long run, regardless of whether they venture into the STEM-related sector. Proficiency in using software, computers, and other digital tools is also crucial for non-technical roles. Employers actively seek individuals who are adept and confident in leveraging these resources effectively. This applies across the board, from entrepreneurs, teachers, marketers, and designers to analysts and engineers. Those who can code or think like programmers will maintain a competitive edge.

Eager to delve deeper into the advantages of coding and ways to acquire this skill, we engaged in a conversation with Edmund Lee and Eunice Lam, Co-Founders of Presence Pictures. They emphasised that coding has transformed into a “lifelong survival skill” in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.

Start Your Coding Journey Early

Photo: Presence Pictures

Learning coding at a young age has many positive effects.  

Think of coding “as a second or third language”. Kids with exposure and knowledge of more languages can have a better understanding of the world and cultures around them. This bilingual or trilingual advantage also translates to academic advantage and improved social skills. Moreover, children learn how to communicate ideas and think logically, because coding equips them with another set of repertoire to express themselves and create digital wonders in today’s fast-changing world.

Engaging in coding nurtures creativity. When kids embark on the journey of constructing virtual realms, games, and applications, they develop the ability to employ their technical expertise in a manner that is both imaginative and communicative. Presence Pictures Co-Founders share that coding inspires children “to make their own”, rather than relying on pre-established templates. With AR VR, kids can craft immersive content, pushing the boundaries of creative expression.

Coding also trains confident problem-solvers. It imparts computational thinking and problem-solving skills, especially with visual programming languages such as Presence XR coding. Children learn to “break down an animation or command step by step, visualise abstract concepts and apply maths to real-world situations or game worlds”. This knowledge is applicable across academic disciplines like maths and science, and even in future professional settings.

Singapore’s Only AR, VR Coding School

Photo: Presence Pictures

Founded in 2013, Presence Pictures is Singapore’s first and only coding school that leverages AR and VR as a tool. This unique art-meets-tech curriculum overcomes traditional teaching methods that do not engage all students equally and only favour one type of learning over another.

AR VR effectively capture and sustain the attention of children of all ages and learning style. The immersive nature creates a sense of presence for young users, making them feel like they are part of the learning environment, rather than passive observers.

This is made possible with Presence Pictures’ first panel-based programming for extended reality called Presence XR coding, which helps to bring out both the designer and programmer in your child.

Presence XR Coding

Photo: Presence Pictures

Presence XR coding enables kids to code their very own AR and VR games, experiences and worlds. Any sort of imaginative world envisioned in their heads can be realised in a 3D space in which they could fully immerse using a VR headset. They can also use an AR device or our mobile app to see the life-size overlay of their digital world onto our real world too, like a life-size architectural model.

It’s like going into their enclosed Hollywood mega-movie set.

Edmund Lee and Eunice Lam, Co-Founders of Presence Pictures
Photo: Presence Pictures

This coding school also have an AR climbing facility on their second floor to make learning AR into a sporting activity. This space is especially popular amongst active students who need to move to think!

On top of all the cool technology and facilities, the Co-Founders of Presence Pictures wanted to take a step further. They did not want to just teach coding, but to inculcate more life-long values and knowledge in their students.  

More than coding

Photo: Presence Pictures

Presence Pictures selects a student’s AR VR world to be the virtual classroom for the week or competitive environments for Presence XR Games. The school builds a sense of ownership and achievement by frequently showcasing their student’s work in different ways.

3D creativity and design are just as important as the code itself for a digital product to be successful. Students are empowered to explore different critical design elements such as User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) to form a presentable, user-friend product.

Entrepreneurship modules are subsequently introduced when students become senior creators. They learn how to turn “their digital creations into sellable products that have value”. With more youngsters becoming business owners, this is an added advantage for kids who can and want to code for new industries.

From Classroom To Real World

Photo: Presence Pictures

Presence Pictures emphasises heavily on the practical value of coding. Many of their students have translated their learning into diverse achievements, be it for school projects, international competitions or entrepreneurial pursuits.

Three senior creators (aged 10 to 14) hosted a large group of foreign high school learners from Phillips Exeter Academy in the United States, home to past notable alumni like Facebook/Meta founder and VR advocate Mark Zuckerberg.

These senior creators conducted a school tour and presented the use case of AR and VR with live demonstrations of their immersive experiences created using Presence XR coding. Even though Presence Pictures’ creators are young, they inspired teenage visitors to ponder deeper about digital innovation. Even the teachers of Phillips Exeter Academy requested more AR VR tech sharing sessions.

This is just one of the many success stories of their students (aged 8 to 14):  

– Winner of Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award for an invention that helps the blind.

– Inventor of tutorial and quiz worlds in AR VR for their peers to replace boring tuition classes and worksheets.

– The student becomes the teacher to run a Presence branch and teach Presence XR coding to the next generation of coders.

Presence and More

Presence Pictures has Presence XR Games – an ongoing premier competition for kids aged 6 to 12 to showcase their skills in using AR and VR. If your child wants to experience real use cases of cutting-edge technologies that are shaping their future in a fun, competitive mode, this is the ideal event. Presence XR Games is a great progressive alternative to traditional robotics-only competitions like LEGO and VEX robotics leagues.

Presence Card is another product made by the same team. Think of the card as a game cartridge that is loaded with many game levels playable in single, multiplayer, AR and VR modes. The cool thing about Presence cards is that the content is entirely coded by kids who have learnt Presence XR coding, not by any game studio or team of adults. Presence Pictures students are empowered with the tool and ability to code immersive games themselves.

Photo: Unsplash (Christopher Gower)

With coding gaining importance in tomorrow’s world, it is not about whether we should get our child to learn coding, but how to best approach this topic.

Find out which coding school is most suitable for your child in our 5 best coding classes for kids in Singapore.

This is NOT a paid feature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *