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TECH TIME | Apps, Macs & More, St. Charles Teens Share



Because of the rise in the use of technology, coding has become very popular among teens, according to Nikki Agarwal of St. Charles North High School. “Coding is basically what makes it possible to create websites, apps, and computer software,” she says. “We are constantly using our phones, tablets, computers, etc. for our everyday tasks, and coding our own programs allows us to further customize our user experience.”

Nikki is an active member of the Fox Valley Girls Coding Club in Geneva, along with fellow St. Charles North student, Isabella Maki. They also have the opportunity to take various technology courses at school, such as AP Computer Science, Engineering CAD, and Aerospace; as well as participate in the school’s Computer Science Club.

Students with a passion for technology may pursue careers such as Computer Programming, Data Analysis, Web Developing, Cybersecurity, Engineering, etc., and can get a taste of these types of jobs by participating in camps such as the Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES): Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that Nikki participated in last summer.

With all these camps and courses, the computer you own becomes an important tool. “The biggest difference between a Mac and PC is the operating system,” Nikki says. “Mac's run on Mac OS whereas PC's use Windows; both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but personally, I own and enjoy my Mac.”

Isabella also is biased and loves her MacBook Pro for writing papers and creating apps and websites; but knows many people happy with Microsoft Surfaces as well. For traditional school purposes, like writing papers, she doesn’t believe the type of computer is really that important. On the other hand, if you doing lots of coding and/or gaming, then she believes your computer should be well-equipped. She says most current college students in Computer Science use Macs and PCs equally, but many have a preference for Macs.

In the end of course, Isabella says teens still love their apps. They still use popular social apps like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Twitter; but she says LinkedIn is a necessity if you are seeking a future internship. Other hot apps include Netflix for movies, HQ for quick money and VSCO for artsy pics. Beyond the fun apps, teens are also using them for homework. Isabella loves Photomath, Mathway, Slader, Duolingo, and Quizlet. –Kristen Kucharski