KANO Computing for kids

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We live in an age where children have access to tablets, smartphones and computers. The devices are powerful and very intuitive, and have web access with an ever growing library of applications to explore. This makes learning information easier than ever before. But children and adults have very little exposure to the internal workings of a computer. But to to truly understand the true workings of a computer you have to understand the internals and how they come together and how they work. Kano wants to be the Lego of computers and coding. The package comes in a colorful kit with bright, safe and parts that click together in a unique transparent case. The "mind" of the computer as the company describes it , is a raspberry pie board, and soon you will be adding an SDCard, WiFi, speaker, and a keyboard along with a power supply and HDMI cables.

Calling it "PC Building" is far from real world experience but it does get you started along the right path of understanding of how computers work. This isn't rocket science or voodoo, but a simple step by step assembly and you will be up and running in no time. The OS is linux based but you should feel right at home if your a Windows or a Mac user. kano-computing-for kids-gadget-grave-3 Everything on the Kano is broken down in baby steps, almost like a game as you are rewarded with experience points. The programs like Minecraft and Pong rely on visual programming. The "Kano Blocks" is the program used in the visual side of programming it is like a jigsaw puzzle that you put together, Kano will then output the code in Python or JavaScript to show what you just did, How COOL is That! Although Kano isn't perfect, there are bugs in the preinstalled apps and some of the graphic elements are kinda primitive. The Raspberry Pie is low powered and will slow down under stressful tasks but it never downgrades the overall experience. Children that use smartphones and tablets might grow impatient quickly though. The Kano does go beyond just the learning side, there is the chromium browser, a video player for YouTube, paint app, and a text editor. Also included is a marketplace to download game and productivity apps like Libre Office. kano-computing-for kids-gadget-grave-2 OK the 150 dollar price tag is a little high considering the Raspberry Pie cost 35 bucks. But the work Kano has done on it's OS , the educational app, games and overall packaging make this pretty good deal. I for one would purchase this for any child. Giving the fact it exposes them to real world programming and the experience of building their own computer is priceless. With the technology advancing more and more every day, children need to keep up with advancing technology or get left behind. I for one pride myself for teaching my children about the advances in technology and keeping them up to date in all aspects. While this is simple by all means it does help with the daunting task of teaching them the many aspects of building a computer. Starting with the basic construction it builds on more and more of the way the computer comes together as a whole. Then it introduces them to simple programming where they can build off of and hopefully kick start them into the world of programming. kano-computing-for kids-gadget-grave-4

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