Kano Computer Kit – If kids can put together Legos, then why not a whole computer?
Confession: I know nothing – NOTHING – about coding. I’m still stuck in the glory days of the “if/thens” of my original Apple IIe, circa 1983. And I barely knew how to do anything past whatever I copied verbatim from Byte. I never got that right either. I don’t think. Ever. I remember staying up all night to do a Thundercats hi-res game. Tried to run it at 4am. Nothing. No Lion-O, no Cheetarah, no Snarf... NOTHING. Thus began a life of failure. BUT. I did not want my kids to suffer that same fate. Especially because it is now a presidential mandate that all kids must learn to code. And code they shall.
Kano is built on a simple idea: If kids can piece together Legos, then why not a whole computer? So they not only have a tactile experience in the building of the thing, but more importantly, they take ownership. Have a hands on experiece with their computer, and know it inside and out. My kids opened the cleverly packaged Kano box and had their machines up and running in about 45 minutes. The directions are sort of similar to Lego directions. Very simple, very easy to understand, and I’ll be damned... these boys, ages 7 and 9, were coding within the hour.
The computer itself comes with a Rasberry Pi brain, all the necessary cables, a keyboard, instructions and stickers to personalize the experience. It comes loaded with a bunch of different apps: Minecraft, Scratch, hack old school Pong, hack Snake, and many other great things, all with an eye towards hacking, coding and exploring. As I’ve said, I’m new to this, but the “come see this, Dada!” echoes that emmanate from their room is pretty incredible, and the stuff they’re coming up with wildly surpasses my expectation (and abilities).
You can use a TV for the monitor, or you can purchase a “Screen Package” which is a small, free-standing display, which they also build. It houses the Rasberry Pi brain. The keyboard and all the cables and odds and ends pack up right into the back for a really convenient and well thought-out piece of equipment. (The screen is especially great if your home has wall-mounted TVs. The provided cable is a little short to reach that high.) All in all, I’m amazed at how quickly they’re picking it all up, but more to the point, how much they’re enjoying themselves. They shall never feel the shame and disappointment of not being able to figure out why the “If A$=“yes” then goto 100” line is not working. It was supposed to work! Byte said it would work!!!!!
Kano Computer Kit
Ages 7 and up
$150 Buy one on Amazon
See more cool things at Wink Fun.
Alien Invasion in My Backyard – From slobbery robots and aliens with briefcases to didgeridoo lessons
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Alien Invasion in My Backyard: An EMU Club Adventure by Ruben Bolling Andrews McMeel Publishing 2015, 112 pages, 5.3 x 8 x 0.4 inches $12 Buy a copy on Amazon TV will tell you the truth is out there. Decades ago folks would warn you to “Keep […]
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad! by Christine McConnell Regan Arts 2016, 288 pages, 8 x 10 x 1 inches $19 Buy a copy on Amazon Take a ripened crafter, mix in a pinch of YouTube lessons on cake decorating, blend that with a humorous […]
My friends Bethany and Daniel, founders of Technology Will Save Us, have developed the “world’s first active wearable that kids, young and old, can make and code themselves.” It’s called the Mover, and it looks like a lot of fun to build, program, and use!
Experienced shutterbugs with DSLR cameras have boatloads of lens options for capturing the moment. Unfortunately, smartphone photographers often get stuck with their one crummy lens, which means limited zoom and focus for their final image.Step up your smartphone’s photographic power with the Acesori 5-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit, now just $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Magnetic rings easily […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]