Bitsbox is a subscription service that gives kids a choice of fun app projects to create each month.
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We’ve already seen platforms such as LittleBits and Sharetribe convert complicated programming projects into accessible tasks that can be completed by budding coders of any level. The benefits of this are clearly huge, but two former Google employees are determined to make such shortcuts obsolete in the future, by teaching the next generation of kids to code properly for themselves.
Bitsbox, created by Scott Lininger and Aidan Chopra, has just completed a Kickstarter campaign, raising four times its USD 45,000 goal. It is a monthly fun box of coding projects, received through the mail, which aims to transform coding from an alien language used by adult programmers into something that kids can actually get their head around.
Members can flick through their physical Bitsbox of goodies and choose an app project they want to create. They can then access a virtual tablet on the Bitsbox website where they type in the code to get their app up and running. Once it’s complete, they scan the QR barcode on the screen and their program will run on a real phone or tablet. After they’ve mastered the basic functional code, kids can begin to design elements such as colors, sounds and graphics to make it their own. This creativity will help to teach kids what the code actually does. As Lininger and Chopra put it — “They end up learning code as a consequence of having fun.”
Each Bitsbox costs USD 40 per month and can be delivered anywhere in the world. Watch the video below to learn more about the idea:
Bitsbox can help kids develop an understanding of the secret language of computers from as young as seven by providing a combination of variety and familiarity. Are there any other projects which could help kids further their understanding of the technology they are interacting with?