“Children should learn to code without realising it”

Home Q&A “Children should learn to code without realising it”

Technology Will Save Us teaches programming using toys in a whole new way.

bethany_koby

The British start-up founded by Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us, designs DIY kits to teach children age 4 to 12 to code. The challenge: capturing their attention.

TECHNOLOGIST What are the main challenges in teaching kids programming?

BETHANY KOBY Children still very rarely have the opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn to code by creating things. In the United Kingdom, eight million children are interested in “digital making”, but only 130,000 have been able to try it, according to a survey by the not-for-profit organisation Nesta. But they shouldn’t feel as though they’re actually learning to code. They have to think they’re playing or building something fun. The code is just a means to an end.

TECHNOLOGIST What is your start-up doing to improve the situation?

BETHANY KOBY We’ve created kits to develop tech products that draw on what they like to do. For example, we’ve deve­loped a dough that lights up, a console used to design your own video game and even a synthesizer to make your own electronic music.

TECHNOLOGIST What are your next projects?

BETHANY KOBY We’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the Mover Kit, a connected object that lights up following specific movements, which children have to code. So far, we have 1,800 people supporting us and have raised €115,000.

Interview of Bethany Koby @bethanykoby / @techwillsaveus by 

Connected readings: Thymio, the teaching robot; School is dead! Long live school

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