Tech Week Europe is reporting that Google as created a new hardware platform to help children learn code in a physical way rather than by reading textbooks and looking at computer screens.
The Project Blok system comprises three core components – pucks, the brain board and the base board – and developers can customise, reconfigure and rearrange these to create all sorts of learning tools. By combining all three, children will be able to create a set of ‘instructions’ that can control a connected device, such as a tablet, smartphone or even a toy.
The idea is that because children are ‘inherently’ playful and social, they learn better naturally and by using their hands. By offering them something physical to program with, rather than learning lines from a textbook or a computer screen, Google hopes teaching will become more effective.
Google says Project Bloks is the latest development in a long tradition of physical learning but barriers to the creation of a system have persisted.
“We’re passionate about empowering children to create and explore with technology,” said the company. “We believe that when children learn to code, they’re not just learning how to program a computer—they’re learning a new language for creative expression and are developing computational thinking: a skillset for solving problems of all kinds.”
Do you think it’s important to teach children how to code and do you think it would benefit them in other subjects and areas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on twitter. ~Sophie
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