Hop into the Year of the Rabbit with our compiled list of #techtivities, where you can enjoy time with your family, have fun and see the wonders that technology can bring! 🐇

Starting with February’s #TechFact, did you know that the chess A.I programme “Deep Blue” defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in a game in 1996? That marked the first time a chess computer had beaten a world champion! (Source)

Image for #TechFact (February 2023 Techtivities)

Now that we’re all warmed up, keep scrolling on to discover techtivities that you and your family can indulge in this month! ✨

Mattel PlayHouse

Experience a throwback to childhood and reminisce with your family at Mattel Playhouse! An all-new experiential pop-up playspace at Let’s Play @ Marina Square, it features 12 various activities for our young ones. Ranging from Hot Wheels, Thomas The Train to Barbie, there is definitely fun and exciting awaiting! 🤩

What tech is here? 🤔
🧑‍💻 Get on the iconic Hot Wheels orange track and control your virtual race car via the controls powered with Sensing Technologies! 🏎️
🧑‍💻 Join Thomas and friends on a train adventure using Augmented Reality! 🚂
🧑‍💻 Explore limitless possibilities with Barbie – gymnast? Pop star? Be whatever you want, with the help of Interactive Technologies! 🤸


When: until 6 April 2023
Where: Let’s Play @ Marina Square
Price: from $28
Learn more here.

Disney100: Experience Wonder at Jewel

Can you believe Disney has been around for a century already? 😮 Celebrate 100 years of Disney at Jewel, where you will see a plethora of everyone’s favourite Disney characters and be mesmerised by the sights and sounds! 🥳

What tech is here? 🤔
🧑‍💻 How can water transform into such beautiful sights? Meet your favourite Disney characters in the water with the help of Projection Technology (and even get the chance to meet them in person!) 😄
🧑‍💻 Immerse in nostalgia as you hear the classic Disney songs such as You’ve Got A Friend In Me and A Whole New World together with the special light show – this perfect combination made possible with carefully planned programming! 🎶


When: until 9 April 2023
Where: Jewel Changi Airport
Price: Free
Learn more here.

Future World: Where Art Meets Science (New exhibitions!)

Ever wanted to fly and experience life from above? Visit Future World: Where Art Meets Science at the ArtScience Museum, where there is a new section, Exploring New Frontiers. Featuring 3 new exhibitions, be amazed as you experience the wonder of flight! ✈️

What tech is here? 🤔
🧑‍💻 See how light and matter interact with you as they disperse, re-organise and change colour at Autonomous Abstraction, Continuous Phenomena from the Universe to the Self with the help of Sensing Technologies! 💡
🧑‍💻 Become part of a bird flock as you move on colourful bars. Navigate carefully though – whatever you do will affect others in your flock due to Sensing Technologies! 🕊️
🧑‍💻 Design and control your aeroplane, hawk or butterfly (or even the universe!) with the smart devices provided and see the world in a different light – all possible due to Augmented and Virtual Reality, as well as Touch Technologies! 🦋


When: Permanent
Where: ArtScience Museum Singapore
Price: from $16
Learn more here.

March Holiday Coding Camps

Be enchanted by the world of code and the endless possibilities it’ll bring you in our March Holiday Coding Camps for Ages 7 to 18! ✨ Become a coding wizard and create an original platformer game or a multi-functional mobile app, or discover your hidden talents as you design a Python project to help solve your math problems. Fun and excitement await at our coding camps! 🤩

Hesitate no more, grab a friend this March Holidays and join us here at Coding Lab! Code your own world and watch the magic unfold. 🪄 ( psst, we’ve warned you, you’ll be captivated by the world of code 😉) Sign up here or feel free to drop us an email, call us or WhatsApp us to get in touch. 😊

When: 13 to 17 March 2023
Where: Online, Parkway Parade, Bukit Timah (KAP Mall)
Price: From $401.52

Sign up for your Coding Lab class now!

Image for #TechNews (February 2023 Techtivities)

Looking for a phone charging station to charge your phone? 📱 Always feeling bored while waiting for buses? You can now charge your phones at the bus stop! But here’s the thing, you will have to work your muscles to get your phone charging! 💪

The newly introduced prototype, Recharge aims to encourage exercising by incentivizing users with phone charging benefits and attractive vouchers! This idea was from students of the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Learn more about the concept and the team behind Recharge here!

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our January #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!

(Written by Thinzar)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Trying to get your work done efficiently but find yourself distracted? We’ve all been there, our attention diverted by social media and other websites instead of focusing on our task at hand.  But don’t worry, we have compiled a list of the 8 best browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that are designed to help you focus and boost your productivity! 👍

Forest for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot of Forest extension
The Forest extension presents you the dilemma of killing your tree when you press “give up” to go onto a “distracting website”

Want to get motivated while doing work? Why not plant a virtual tree?

Forest” is an incredible extension for Google Chrome that allows users to customize certain websites to “blacklist” (restricted from viewing) or “whitelist” (allowed for work). While the “Forest” extension is active, a virtual tree starts growing as long as one is being productive and only doing work by using websites that are whitelisted. Visiting a “blacklisted” website will result in a black-screen popping up with the option to “give up”. If one chooses to give up, the tree that they have been growing will be killed. It’s an amazing way to visualize one’s productivity and to give a second thought before visiting distracting websites. However, the ability to do more with the trees and to get greater feedback is locked behind a premium feature that requires one to pay.

What we think:

“Forest” has a very engaging visual element that tugs at you to stay productive or risk seeing your hard work wither up like the tree when you press “give up”. We feel that the visual tree element from “Forest” does a great job in preventing you from visiting those pesky distracting websites!

SessionBuddy for Google Chrome/ Tab Session Manager for Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot of Session Buddy extension
Session Buddy’s interface with the tabs saved under Productive Websites

Ever found yourself opening up additional tabs to look for more information? Suddenly you have 10-20 tabs open and you can’t remember the specific tab you were looking for! Well, we have a solution for you!

SessionBuddy” helps you to organize all your tabs into one single list! This was a great help to me when researching topics as I had almost 30 tabs open and was able to simply look down the list to find the article I was looking for. Moreover, it incorporates the ability to organize tabs by topics! To illustrate, while you’re researching a topic, you may have tabs open from multiple different backgrounds. “SessionBuddy” allows you to sort these tabs by grouping them under a common tab! For example, you could have a tab that contains all your social media, a tab that contains all your work, and a tab that contains all other miscellaneous websites! An additional feature of this extension is that it gives you the ability to save the tabs that you’ve been using, even in case of a crash! This was a very useful tool that saved me so much time recovering all my tabs when my computer unexpectedly shut down.

Screenshot of Tab Session Manager extension taken from Firefox addon store
Tab Session Manager’s interface allowing you to save tabs within specific folders (Image taken from Firefox add-on store)

For the Mozilla Firefox Browser, check out Tab Session Manager!

Tab Session Manager offers the same features as SessionBuddy and even allows you to import SessionBuddy’s tabs into it, allowing for greater maneuverability between Firefox and Chrome!

What we think:

The ability to organize your tabs under a single topic with SessionBuddy and Tab Session Manager greatly improves your efficiency as it makes it easier to focus on a particular area before moving on.

StayFocusd for Google Chrome / LeechBlock NG (Next Generation) for Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot of Stayfocusd extension for Chrome
The StayFocusd extension on an “unproductive website” before blocking it for the rest of the day

Opened a link on your Whatsapp group and suddenly found yourself roaming through Youtube and Facebook? If only those pesky cute cat videos could wait until you got your work done! Well, introducing “StayFocusd”, a google chrome extension that is designed to solve that issue for you!

StayFocusd, is an easy-to-install website blocker that allows you to spend a certain duration on a website, before blocking it for the rest of the day! The best part of this extension is that it’s highly customizable! You can select specific features to block from certain websites. I found my productivity sky-rocketing after blocking all video content from Facebook that were too effective in distracting me from my work.

Screenshot of Leechblock extension (Best Browser extensions blog)
The LeechBlock extension giving you the ability to lockdown a website for a specified time

For the Mozilla Firefox browser, consider “LeechBlock NG”! “LeechBlock NG (Next Generation)” allows you to set custom limits on how much time you can spend on a website, limiting it to a certain amount, be it an hour or even 30 minutes a day, or even set custom blocks, such as 7-9pm a day!

What we think:

“Stayfocusd” gives you more control over “LeechBlock”, giving you the ability to block off specific features of the website, while “Leechblock” only allows you to block the entire website.

Productive cycles for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Download image of Productive cycles extension from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/productive-cycles/lhcaggipefcoefbijhmdehhloonnlobh?hl=en
Productive cycle’s simple but highly configurable interface

Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique?  Developed to increase productivity, it is a technique that uses a timer to break your work into intervals with short breaks in between.

Productive cycles” uses this Pomodoro technique, based on 25-minute stretches of focused work broken by 3-to-5 minute breaks and 15-to-30 minute breaks following the completion of four work periods. The extension automatically reminds you when to take breaks and when to continue on your work

What we think:

Having the ability to customize your break lengths and the number of cycles in between definitely makes this worthwhile to experiment and find out the setting works for you the best!

Just Read for Google ChromeYouTube™ Productivity Mode for Mozilla FireFox

Screenshot of Just Read extension
Above: Before using the Just Read extension.  Below: After using the Just Read extension to remove all distracting elements!

Ever needed to visit a website but find yourself worried about getting distracted by the elements on the pages? All you want to do is check out the latest news, but you’re completely bombarded with ads and videos. We found a solution! Check out the “Just Read” extension for Google Chrome!

“Just Read” is a great extension for limiting the amount of distracting visuals there are on a webpage. “Just Read” simplifies the article for you so that all you see is the text of the article!  The premium version of this extension gives you the opportunity to go further, where you can highlight and annotate pages or even save the “Just Read” version of the articles! No more getting distracted by unrelated media that lead you down a long road of unrelated and non-productive content!

Screenshot of Youtube productivity mode extension
The Youtube productivity mode extension blurring out thumbnails

For the Mozilla Firefox browser, look out for the “YouTube™ Productivity Mode” extension! 

The YouTube™ Productivity Mode extension exists with the goal to reduce visual triggers on the screen. By switching to “Productivity Mode”, it automatically blurs thumbnails on Youtube that are designed to grab your attention and distract you from work. With this extension, you would be less tempted to click on unrelated videos and instead, stay focused on your work!

What we think:

“Just Read” does an incredible job in abstracting the text to remove all distracting visuals across a wide range of websites. It’s a fantastic way to focus only on the task at hand. While the “YouTube™ Productivity Mode” does what it claims to do very well, “Just Read”’s potential and applicability across a wider range of platforms gives it the edge over the “YouTube™ Productivity Mode”.

RescueTime for Google Chrome / Toggl Track: Productivity & Time Tracker for Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot of RescueTime extension
RescueTime’s interface displaying how productive you’ve been today

Can’t seem to understand where your time keeps disappearing to? Why not let your browser tell you?

“RescueTime” is an intuitive extension for Google Chrome that keeps track of the active time you’ve spent online and on different websites. It then presents you with a round-up to help you visualize the time you’ve spent on these different websites, which you can choose to categorize under “productive websites” or “non-productive” websites. At the end of the day or week too, you’re given a score that calculates whether you’ve been productive in the day/week or not!

Screenshot of Toggl Track Producitvity & Time Tracker extension
Toggl Track Producitvity & Time Tracker extension’s interface displaying the numerous features offered

For the Mozilla Firefox browser, consider “Toggl Track: Productivity & Time Tracker”!

“Toggl Track” works similarly to “RescueTime” with a stopwatch inbuilt to help you track the time you spend on your projects online, to capture how productive you’ve been! “Toggle Track” is integrated with over a hundred different apps to allow for more convenient tracking. The premium version for this extension also offers much more services such as reports and insights to visually represent the data.

What we think:

These two options may be preferable to those who may not want to completely block off access to certain websites and would like a bit more control. While both extensions offer much more services in their premium plan, we feel that Toggl’s free plan is superior to Rescue Time’s free plan, with more features such as idle detection and so on. It also has a much more pleasant looking interface.

We recommend “Toggl Track” for their interface and better free plan.

Todoist for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot of Todoist extension
The Todoist interface on your browser

Do you have many tasks and things to complete online? Looking for an easy way to organize and see it with a single click?

Check out “Todoist”, an extension that saves any website you want as a task to complete in your extension tray! The extension personalises settings for depending on whether you are using it work “Work” , “Education” or “Personal”. Set a date and a description and you’re one single click away from your workflow at all times. You can manually input tasks that you have to do as well and prioritize the more important ones by labeling them with colors!

What we think:

Having an easy-to-access task list built-in, made tracking your tasks much easier. However, we were disappointed that the ability to set a reminder was behind a premium paid service as we found ourselves worrying that we could easily forget to check it and hence miss a deadline.

Read Aloud: A Text to Speech Voice Reader for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Tired of squinting over your text and wishing someone could just read it out for you? Check this extension out!

Getting started with the Read Aloud browser extension

“Read Aloud: A Text to Speech Voice Reader” is an extension that uses text to speech technology to read out the current webpage. It increases productivity by giving you an extra dimension to tackle your work by having the extension read out information highlighted to it for any intended purpose.  For example, you could let it read out your presentation and listen for any mistakes rather than rely on spotting any mistakes in text format.

What we think:

We personally enjoyed this extension as it was very useful to have the computer read out certain bits of information while we were cross-referencing it against another source. Having it read out aloud also helped to internalize information much faster and was definitely a great addition.


Check out these other browsers such as Vivaldi! Vivaldi contains certain features like SessionBuddy built into its browser itself that allow you to stack tabs under a common topic! It also has great features such as the ability to view two different tabs on the screen at the same time, so you don’t have to keep swapping between tabs! With a variety of customizable options too, Vivaldi is a great option to improve your productivity if you’re looking for a new browser to check out.

We hope that this list helps you in your work or studies! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comment section below. 👇

(Written by Lech, edited by Thinzar)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

One of our most beloved educators, Stephanie Swee charms her class with her unique personality and background in Cyber Security!

A board game aficionado with past work experience in the IT industry, she aspires to bring the same level of enthusiasm to her classroom and pass on her passion for coding to her students. Travel with us through her journey into becoming a Coding Lab Educator! 😄

Hi Stephanie! It’s great to meet you, can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi everyone! I’m currently a full-time educator at Coding Lab and my passion is teaching and helping others. When I’m not teaching, I spend my time with my family, reading books and playing board games. I’m an avid board gamer. After my Saturday class, it’s usually time for my board games night with my friends. I really love playing logic and deduction games!

Team Photo - Stephanie, Coding Educator
Our always cheery educator, Stephanie!

How did you get started with coding?

As a kid, coding was not something popular in school. I never knew much about coding until I was 16, when I first took my information technology diploma. It was then where I picked up coding. It never crossed my mind that one day coding would be a part of my life, until I entered the workforce and realized that there were a lot of repetitive tasks to be done, that could be automated by putting my coding skills to good use. My inspiration to code is really to save the time on these tasks and spend more time on other tasks.

I see! What was your inspiration for taking up a diploma in the field of technology?

My inspiration stemmed from an encounter with my lecturer during my Polytechnic days who shared with me her previous work experience in Cybersecurity which got me intrigued. Hence, I decided to pursue a specialisation in information security. I remember in one of my classes, my lecturer actually set up a scene similar to that seen in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) for us to get into the mood and everything. It was the most fun and memorable class that I had ever attended. The exposure and experience that I gained then really piqued my interest in pursuing a career in the Cybersecurity industry as a Forensic Analyst.

That’s interesting! How was the start of your coding journey?

It was tough at first. During my time, I think the resources were not as extensive as now. I remember how my best companions at that time were always the documentations and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which allowed different platforms to interact with each other. I had to be independent and learn to figure out everything by myself and search for information on my own.

Times certainly have changed. Can you elaborate more on that and also tell us what your experience in Cybersecurity has taught you about coding?

I think pursing a technology related degree and diploma at a time where it was not popular, gave me this serendipity that really changed my life goals. Nowadays, I feel that coding is becoming more popular at a young age and the mindset of people pursuing technology for higher education has changed greatly. There are so many programming languages available. Moreover, learning coding has also been made more simplified and fun for everyone to pick up, and the resources online are so extensive that it’s easier to find solutions.

I’m glad that I took this route as I feel that coding will always be the most useful and in-demand skill that I can provide through teaching.

That’s great to hear. When did you decide to become an educator?

Photo of Stephanie assisting her student in class
Stephanie is always ready to lend her students a hand!

I have always liked to share my knowledge with others and the other half of my life has also revolved around teaching. During my school vacation, I was doing relief teaching in a preschool. After I graduated, I did relief teaching at an MOE based school for about 4 months and afterwards, I volunteered at a non-profit organisation to give free English reading classes to underprivileged kids for about 2 years while i was working. To be honest, teaching was my retirement plan but I have decided to “retire” earlier instead since I already had plans to do this, why not now as I really do love to interact with people more than computers!

What is your main source of motivation for teaching?

Personally I love kids and being with them sometimes has taught me to always live in the moment. I love to see the smiles on their faces when they have fun. I also find myself learning a lot from them as well. Being able to share my knowledge with everyone and seeing the students learn new concepts really gives me satisfaction.

“The students are really heart-warming and sweet. They really make me look forward to going to classes.”

Tell us more about your experience here in Coding Lab!

Photo of Stephanie and her student
Stephanie’s student proudly showcasing his work to her!

The learning environment at Coding Lab is very conducive and everyone is really nice and passionate about teaching. I think they ignite the drive in me to be a better educator every day. Seeing the students be able to make a project on their own really makes me go the extra mile to do something different for them. I think the most satisfying moment that I had was my first App Inventor class. Seeing the students start out with no background but remain so invested in developing the application made me feel good knowing that they enjoy coding!

How do you conduct your classes here?

I would try to project my voice to gain their attention. I give them plenty of encouragement and I would also share interesting stories with them. Patience and having an attitude to constantly learn really helps me a lot. I always share with my students that I also learn alongside with them and I’m not afraid of letting them know that. Even if I make mistakes, I would correct it and find solutions for it. 

Why do you think it’s important to teach coding to the next generation?

Learning the syntax is easy. The logical thinking behind the program is the most challenging part of coding. Behind a good program is a good coder who implements the brains. The most beneficial part of coding is definitely the process of conditioning the brain for logical thinking. Logical thinking can be applied everywhere, not just in coding. For example, we can look at cooking! The recipes are all steps that are well thought out so that the cook can whip out the dishes easily and likewise, coding follows a similar path!

“Even if one day my students decided to pursue other interests, this logical thinking would be the best gift for them in their life.”

Do you have any advice for others who may be looking to transition into being an Educator?

Besides having passion for teaching, having a nurturing attitude and creativity is important.

Thank you for your time, Stephanie! We hope that you continue to learn from your students as they excel under you. We appreciate your enthusiasm for your classes!

(Written by Lech, edited by Thinzar)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger