Ex-Googlers Make Coding a Hands-On Activity With the Launch of Osmo Coding, Where Kids Learn Computational Thinking With Physical Blocks of Code
Beautifully crafted blocks snap together to create physical lines of code that
interacts with a digital experience
Learning to code has been called the most important 21st-century skill. Tangibles, or physical objects designed to embody mathematical concepts, have been proven as crucial to development and approachable for kids. That’s why today, Osmo, the award-winning platform revolutionizing the way kids play and learn on the iPad, is launching Osmo Coding, the first iPad game that teaches kids to code in the most intuitive way possible: with their hands.
Designed to teach coding to kids aged 5-12, Osmo Coding starts at $49 and can be used with the existing Osmo game system. The game pairs Osmo’s first character, Awbie™, with the company’s Reflective AI technology to unleash coding from a digital environment and put computer science in children’s hands.
The game taps the knowledge and experience of Osmo’s team of former Google software engineers who were responsible for writing more than 10 million lines of code for products like Google Search, Docs and Chrome. The physical design of the coding blocks in Osmo Coding is the work of a 23-year-old, female industrial engineer who might just be the youngest person to ever launch a physical product in the Apple Retail Stores.
Check out a video of Osmo Coding here: https://youtu.be/I9Qm18it47A
Osmo’s proprietary Reflective AI technology allows an iPad to “see” objects in front of it, so kids can play in the real world while still benefiting from the power of technology. Osmo Coding uses beautifully crafted blocks that snap together in front of an iPad and are interpreted as instructions that guide AwbieTM on a journey to finding yummy strawberries in her magical world.
Here’s how the game works:
Each physical code block contains a unique command that can be sequenced with other commands. Combined with parameter, loop, and boolean (if-then) blocks, kids can easily make complex sequences for AwbieTM to follow.
By arranging physical pieces of code, kids can guide AwbieTM on a delightful open-ended world.
Whether it’s shaking trees, munching on strawberries, or planting flowers, kids can use computational thinking to progress and master the world of Awbie™.
Fifty years of research from MIT has found that for kids, tangible programming like Osmo Coding, is easy to understand and conducive to free-form play, allowing kids to personalize their learning and progress. Osmo Coding builds on such research and is an intuitive way for kids to learn to code. Because the coding happens with children manipulating physical objects, the game promotes the development of social, cognitive and motor skills along with computer science fundamentals.
“Since physical blocks have a natural and timeless feel, when they snap together it’s magical.” said Pramod Sharma, CEO and cofounder of Osmo. “Every parent knows the intuition with which kids naturally build, and I’m thrilled to connect that instinctual activity to the most fundamental component of modern technology: coding.”
Previous Osmo games include Words, Newton Tangram, Masterpiece and Numbers, which reinvigorated spelling, physics spatial reasoning, drawing and math, respectively. The company’s dedication to creating educational, elegant and fun activities that bridge physical and digital worlds made it one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2014 and it continues to be a favorite of teachers, parents and kids alike.
Founded in 2013 by Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler, Osmo, an educational gaming company, is using its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence, to fuse physical play with digital engagement. It allows any object - tiles, pen & paper, blocks, toys, you name it, to interact with the iPad. This hands-on play promotes creativity, problem solving and social interaction. Osmo is using the screen to create a new healthy, hands-on learning experience. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.
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