Image | Marcus Kwan
The internet, smartphones, tablets and video game consoles form a large part of our daily lives — and our children’s. It’s a reality that explains how kids are naturally and innately able to assimilate to new technology.
Children play on their parents’ iPads, are amazed by their older siblings’ video games and are even beginning to listen to music via applications such as Spotify.They live in an environment where technology is ever present and this, as long as it is always supervised responsibly, can help them become familiar with devices that in the future will surely be a lot of use to them.
But, how can we go further? What more can we offer them? Here’s one option: let them play around with some of the construction kits for devices or robots that are currently on the market. There are many to choose from and all of them serve as valuable didactic resources. We are going to look at five: Kano, Getcodie, Romo, Lego X and Invéntame.
Kano is a kit to assemble a computer designed for small children. It uses a small Raspberry Pi Model B, with which the children learn how to identify the pieces that make up computers.
The other components of the kit are a keyboard, a personalizable chassis, some small speakers, HDMI and USB cables, a SD card that includes the operating system and other systems that the children can put together without difficulty. Of course, once they have built the computer they will have to program it. Quite the challenge!
Codie is a robot that teaches children the basic principles of programming. Using the smartphone app, anyone can program their first robot in a matter of minutes. The game uses a coding language designed with children in mind.
As with other similar projects, the idea behind Codie isn’t to actually teach children to program, but instead introduce them to a world of logic and problem solving through a series of simple games.
Romo is a small robot created by Romotive thanks to financial support obtained from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. To control the robot you have to connect an iPhone or iPad and download the application. Romo acts like a pet. Children can program him and play whichever game that meets their fancy. Does it include hide and seek? You bet!
Lego X is a prototype from the creators of Gravity Sketch. It is the game that does the best job of y marrying the physical world with the digital. All of the physical 3D lego constructions can be automatically transferred to electronic devices. This means that children are on the cusp of becoming genuine 3D designers without needing specialist computer knowledge. It’s truly revolutionary.
These and other games such as Invéntame, created by the Spaniard Jesús Ibáñez, are proving themselves effective ways to introduce children to the world of programming and technology in a fun and educational way.
If children learn best at a young age, why not show them the main aspects of programming these kinds of games? In the future, many will surely be grateful for what they learned.
The mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.
Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.
The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.
Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.
Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.
MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.