Teach kids how to code, they say. Awesome. But that is only scratching the surface.
As technology is permeating every aspect of our lives, we realize how important it is to equip the next generation with the right tools to interact with it; DIY communities are booming, the Maker movement has never been this large, and coding classes are increasingly included in school curricula. Geek is the new cool, and kids are picking up faster than we can teach them.
One of the reasons for learning coding is because it is the art of sculpting technology; of knowing how to perform complex tasks. Once you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds within the computer where the only limit on what is possible is your imagination. However, a crucial component is often left out: electronics, the art of translating that virtual reality into the tangible world. It is the last piece of the puzzle that allows kids to unleash their imagination, and directly see its impact on the world.
LittleBits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone are all lowering the knowledge barriers required to play with electronics. The movement has been set in motion, and we think that this is exactly where Squink belongs.
Because we believe that the best way to learn anything is to play with it, fail, and try again - as when you play with clay - we see iteration as the key. Combine it with customization, and you have the recipe to foster the geniuses of tomorrow.
Squink is a desktop electronics factory; it allows anyone to play, make mistakes, and learn electronics anytime, anywhere. There is no age limit. High schools can teach their students computational thinking, combining mathematics, logic and algorithms; teaching them a new way to think about the world and solve problems. Tech Art schools can enjoy the freedom to create electronics on any material they feel like. Engineering schools can use Squink as a practical exercise to teach their students how to create a new device, from design to product.
How are you using technology in the classroom? Do you think electronics can give more tools for children to face the future?
Visit www.botfactory.co and leave us a comment. We are also discussing this issue on @botfactoryNYC and www.facebook.com/botfactory