In the digital world we rely on technology that not many of us understand. Only one percent of the world knows what goes on inside our computers and most people don’t know the limitations of their phones. Alex Klein, Yonatan Raz-Fridman and Saul Klein aim to educate the world in the art of coding and programming using computer games. Kano is a computer building kit that helps children as well as adults learn basic coding skills whilst assembling their own personal computer from scratch.
The idea was formed when Alex Klein was chatting with his cousins, who were under the age of ten. They wanted to learn to make their own computers but without any adult help and they wanted it be fun ‘like Lego’. Most modern children understand how to use an iPad, however if you show them a chip board they understandably wouldn’t have a clue. So how can you teach someone with no prior experience to build a computer from scratch? You throw them into the deep end and start small like getting them to learn different matching objects.
One of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories, Kano is their third biggest design project and the company’s largest crowd-funded learning device. They raised their original investment in 18 hours and went on to achieve half a million dollars in one month, with so many people interested in the project, Kano has become a worldwide product. The Kano team want to teach people to make the most of technology and to take the time to learn the basics. You can understand programming but not be a stereotypical programmer as programming isn’t hard but getting into it is. So, instead of giving people huge books they gave them the tools to learn programming a different way.
The kit contains a tiny single board computer, a case, stickers to personalise it, a power speaker, a keyboard, cables, a memory card and a booklet. Once assembled, the computer can be plugged into any screen and the user is free to start playing. Kano works like a computer game; once you complete a level you can advance to more complicated options, from this you’re creating code and building programs. However, within the booklet they never use the words ‘coding’ or ‘programming’. They didn’t aim to teach programming as the team believe that forcing children to learn is the same as forcing them to eat their vegetables. With this computer the user dictates its use, giving them self-taught skills and the ability to problem solve.
The reviews that are coming from both adults and children prove what an original product this computer is. One child demanded to send their Kano into space demonstrating that children have the most fertile imaginations of all. As the users dictate the future of the project it seems the possibilities for this the computer has no limitations.