Children by nature have the extraordinary tendency to smash open toys to satiate the curiosity of what’s inside. Though most parents consider it destructive and try to teach their kid to control this urge, I think that is the most important part of their initial learning and growth. Being a modern educated woman and aContinue reading »
Very impressive young lady, working her way into dad’s computer. My hat goes off to her parents.
I’m sure they will encourage and guide this child in learning her way around today’s technology. Technological progress in hardware is lowering entry threshold into tech education for young people to new low. “Five buck computer” from Raspberry Pi or Arduino , BeagleBone, PIC and many others combined with vast resources on the web lives parents with no excuses.
Not all kids will express interest in technology, and that’s OK. I would like to challenge parents to find out if your kid can be hooked on coding, robotics, hardware hacking etc. With the right approach, you may discover that they will love to learn how to make computer games more than play them for hours on end. Kids are curious, and most of them will follow you long way into the new and interesting project and learning adventure.
How to go about finding out.
1. Visit Arduino Web Site this will give you idea about Arduino hardware. Find out how other kids play with it having fun at the same time. The simplicity of Arduino board will let them experience computing the way they have not seen before. They will be able to see how small device can sense its environment (input), then using a simple program kid can learn to write, control various devices attached to it (motors, servos, LED lights and the like).
2. Visit Raspberry Pi site Choke full of clues for parents, how to open the door for their kid to the new adventure in learning and fun. Raspberry Pi runs full fledged operating system (RASPIAN) based on Linux. This device is powerful enough to serve as the first computer for your kid. Free software can be downloaded from Raspberry Pi website.
3. If you like to see what else is out there for your child try SCRATCH site on the web. This is a fantastic free resource for parents and teachers. The cool thing about it is that all is needed to play and learn is an ordinary web browser. Go to Scratch website here and explore. This is the place where future Zuckerberg’s should go years before they will enrol in MIT. No need to buy any gadgets to get a taste of coding, creating stories and games, learning and having a good time with your child.
Please share your comments bellow. If you are a teacher you welcome to add your ideas from the educators point of view. I’m sure all parents will value and appreciate your input.
No gramma police in comments. English is my THIRD langue, …. and be nice, this is the family safe website.
Learning by doing at its best.
For those that love working with the Arduino system, or are perhaps starting to look into it for the first time, you may be pleased to know that two new kits have been announced which are designed to make it as simple as possible to tackle those larger projects. Excellent solution for parents looking to a way to propel their kids into Silicone Valley.
The first kit retails for roughly $36 and is known as the ‘Arduino at Heart’ kit. This system requires absolutely no soldering. You simply snap the parts into place and you are good to go. This board is very much focused on the programming side of things. Despite the lack of soldering, you can still tackle some rather hefty jobs. This kit is perfect for those who want to get started by toying with Arduino. Right out of the box you will be able to build some pretty decent systems.
There is an upgrade to the standard kit which retails at $89.00. This is the best route to go down if you have never programmed with Arduino before. It represents absolutely fantastic value as you get a power module, your battery, eight additional segments, and the board included.
As I said, you will be surprised at the amount of projects you will be able to tackle with this piece of kit. At the moment the company behind it are building a moving robot that can actually play ‘rock, paper, and scissors’ with you. Many people may find Arduino at Heart perfect for prototyping robots.
The vast majority of people who go down the ‘Arduino at Heart’ route will be learning the actual system. It has been designed for that. You will learn the basics of hardware and the way in which electronics work. This will provide you with a firm grounding for future projects.
…and something for daddy.
The second kit is the ‘Zero Board’. This board has a VERY powerful micro-controller at the core. Despite the power at your disposal though, it is actually quite easy to build a decent project with it. more info here
The zero board is perfect for developers who want to tackle slightly more complex projects. It is far more sophisticated than Arduino at Heart, although it may be slightly more difficult to get started (although the whole system has of course been designed to be as simple as possible)
Both of these kits have been developed with the assistance of Arduino. This way you can be sure that they meet all of the latest specifications for both programming and hardware.