Computer mechanics and programming are no longer the domain of specialists. The folks at Kano created a build-your-own computer that young children can program themselves.
With inspiration from LEGO and the open source pocket computer Rasberry Pi, Kano is designed to make basic programming and hardware maintenance easy for a child while enabling deeper learning.
The project was started to create a simple, fun way to make and configure technology.
Consisting of the single-board Rasberry Pi, a power and HDMI cable (for connection to a monitor), a keyboard and mouse combo, a Wi-Fi usb router and a self-made speaker, Kano comes in a box ready to be assembled like a model airplane.
The whole kit comes with two manuals that use an image-centric style with less words and more pictures to guide the building and programming process.
Once the Kano kit is built, the basic operating system, Kano OS, that also features a playful user experience, teaches the user basic terminal navigation.
Through active instructions, the user learns how to ping websites and initialize basic Python applications.
After the user interface is setup, the user can configure games like Pong and Minecraft with a drag-and-drop programming application or integrated development environment (IDE).
The IDE is based off of Google’s Blockly editor that makes programming a visual art. But if they’re interested, kids can see the output of their code in text as they’re dragging and dropping functions.
How will tools like Kano alter the future of computer programming? Can we even consider it a tool, or should we call it a toy? In the future, will computer use and manipulation be a completely decentralized activity, like reading?
[youtube responsive=true id=”iNc6NRX2JG4″ align=”left”]
Photo Credit: Kano
Love our content? Join the Serious Wonder Community. It’s free, and we have lots of incentives for readers and contributors!