There are a lot of projects designed to bring children to programming, the educational courses that teach the basics of coding, thus leading to create their own software at an early age rather than use games and applications developed by others. And we have seen different: Raspberry Pi (at least in the initial plans, was to have an educational purpose), the Arduino board, Acer Cloudprofessor and BQ Zowi, just to name a few.
Google Project Bloks adopts a different approach from all of these, because it focuses on “tangible programming”. In other words, children learn to program by triggering a series of hardware modules, rather than typing characters on a screen. Developed by Paulo Bilkstein Stanford University and IDEO, Project Bloks is organized into three parts:
Being based Raspberry Pi Zero, Brain Board supports WiFi and Bluetooth for connecting to other devices. Feeds the Base Board, which collects all the instructions from the puck and then convey it to the central brain (Brain Board). Anyone can program the Puck: they can be thought of as buttons, knobs and dials, programmed to provide instructions such as “jump”, “move left” or “turn on” or “off” function. Just slip the puck on a Base Board and this will send messages to a capacitive sensor, which will go to the Brain Board. At least on paper it does not seem very simple, but – you know – the children learn more easily than large especially young children.
Google and IDEO have created a Coding reference design kit, but it is still unclear exactly what the future may reserve for Project Bloks. For now Google is reviewing the idea and is looking for developers, educators, parents and other interesting to participate