Introducing Project Bloks
One of the big things about teaching kids how to program is that they can express ideas that they wouldn't be able to express otherwise. Young kids, you know, they learn by being social, by being collaborative, by playing with things, by exploring with their hands.
I think if one moves away from the screen and keyboard coding it's far easier for young people to work collaboratively and working collaboratively to solve problems is what happens out in the real world.
One of the cool things about tangible programming is accessibility. You've got the little kids who can't read and write yet but then you've also got students who have dyslexia who can access coding without having a thousand syntax errors.
As a first step we've created a system for tangible programming and this system consists of 3 main components. The Brain Board, Base Boards and Pucks. The Base Board works by placing a Puck onto it and Pucks can be programmed with different instructions like turn on or off, move in a direction or increase amount.
The board then simply reads that pucks instruction, the Brain Board provides power and connectivity and when you connect Base Boards to it it can read the instructions and send them to connected objects like a toy or a tablet.
Like a Music Maker, where you use physical code to compose music and send it to a wireless speaker. Or a Sensor Lab, where you use physical code to experiment with sensors around you, like detecting a drop in temperature and then switching on a light.
You are now enabling every maker out there to come up with their solution to what could be tangible computing, so suddenly as a teacher I'm excited because the whole world is going to be developing tools that I could potentially use in my classroom.