A Parent’s Perspective on EdTech – The Kano build-it-yourself Raspberry Pi kit
Our 6 year old is obsessed with tech! In an effort to create a balance between recreational use and educational use, we bought him the Kano Computer Kit for Christmas.
I have to be honest, the purchase wasn’t made entirely with my son in mind, I also thought it would be a good intro to Raspberry Pi and coding for his 40 something Mum. It didn’t disappoint!
I hear statistics such as 65% of the jobs for the next generation don’t exist today and 92% of all current vacancies are in STEM.
Additionally, the fourth industrial revolution is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are changing the way we live and work.
We are in no way pushy parents but also want to ensure our son has the best guidance and opportunities to learn skills and interests that may be beneficial to him in his future career and have fun while learning!
We purchased the kit on Black Friday which did make it a bit more affordable but even at the full price it’s way cheaper than a gaming console, which IMHO doesn’t provide a great deal of conventional learning. The kit is beautifully packaged and comes with a storybook that is very easy to follow to assemble the computer.
We only had one issue during the assembly when it turned out Ethan hadn’t correctly installed the light ring (mum was distracted working out what hashtags to add to her tweet!).
It’s an excellent way to introduce our child to tech vocabulary such as micro card, LED, HDMI cable etc.
Once the computer is assembled, it asks you to connect to a screen and gives a sequence of commands to enter (accompanied with cool graphics), to get fully up and running. It has only been a week but Ethan loves it and is very proud that he built it. He has hacked Minecraft, used code to start building a campsite and watched tutorials on YouTube.
He tells me there may be a bug in the YouTube app as it can freeze and doesn’t shut down properly. I will take a look, in case this is user error. Either way, Ethan assures me this will most likely be fixed in the next feature update!
We’re still very much in the discovery phase of Kano. Looking on their site, there is a great deal of additional support such as with their Hour of Code project. It amazes me how easily children understand technology and fantastic that kits like Kano can build knowledge and confidence whilst offering a brilliant user experience.
This piece was contributed by Catherine Boland (with help from Ethan!)