By: Meghan Thoreau
Living in a technology-driven society puts added pressure on parents. Parents have to make decisions about the role technology plays in our kids’ recreation and education, all the while building enthusiasm towards the sciences and creative technologies that appear to be dominating the 21st century job market. And yes, I still want my children to grow, laugh, run, create, travel, and enjoy their life. I also believe there are a good deal of parents that may feel lacking in skills or confidence to be the technological role models they want to be for their kids.
I’ve decided to introduce coding into my children’s life without ever writing a line of code my myself. We bought a Kano, a new DIY computer kit designed to help young kids and adults learn to code by assembling a computer and learning code through interactive activities like making music, art, streaming HD video, reprogramming games like Pong and Minecraft, composing music, word processing and web browsing. Kano collaborated with Raspberry Pi and Codecademy and is designed for educators to adopt student-led learning in the classroom or empower parents to support computer science learning at home.
And its so easy a six-year-old can do it. Last month, my six-year-old daughter (with just a little guidance) put together her Kano and started coding within the hour; impressive. She now takes pride in sitting at her work station and codes with the interactive games that visually build and support her learning and attention. She sees it more as a game and is therefore almost unintentionally learning basic coding skills through play. I’ve also enjoyed watching how her Kano is helping increase her reading, typing, and computer skills as she moves around the computer programs and familiarizes herself with its capabilities and decides what to do on the system. Kano is a great tool to introduce responsible technology and basic coding skills in your child’s life.