I too feel learning should be made a bit more enjoyable. Then definitely the children will focus on it a bit more. At present most of the teenagers are glued into different types of games which too are a category of toys. If we can link these 2 games or toys with education, definitely there will be a rise in the levels of education plus more and more will be involved in learning new things even in class rooms.
Anything tha makes learning fun will likely make kids more willing to learn, not to mention make it a positive experience for them. This actually even looks like fun for adults, especially some of us who aren't technically versed in circuits and electronics. :) It's also in line with a mission by President Obama to get kids interested at an earlier age in math and science to help the U.S. compete workforce-wise on a worldwide level, as students in other countries in Asia especially are performing better than American students. Nice coverage.
Even though Lego's last patent expired in 1989, kids still prefer it by name. The Lego craze has not quieted. No other competitor has been able to effectlively enter the building block market. Kids won't allow it. Lego has briliantly added pneumatic components in the 80's and co-branding in the 90's to expand the brand's influence and fun factor.
Little Bits is more complex than Legos. It's great for the advanced student. I wonder if teachers would allow it to be used for science projects. Or, would using it be considered cheating by some?
Ever since learning about littleBits I thought the exposed circuit boards were an interesting choice. It makes the kids, or whoever, realize that inside electronics is a complex and delicate place. If the company cover the boards, which they could, the "how it works" will be behind the magic curtain. Glad it's open.
On the LEGO note: yes they are more popular, but the others are catching up. Like Kre-O, they have licensed "Transformers" and many other popular properties. I was almost tempted to buy a set. But, I think it comes down to the "minifig," the little LEGO guy. The original is more appealing to me than the knock-offs. And, I think the minifig contributes to the success. Plus LEGO has Mindstorm and NXT.
I applaud Bdeir for creating this product. Students seldom make a committment to study things that they dislike or are intimidated by. It's essential to make technology fun at the lower levels. Nice story, Cabe.
I heartily agree, Liz. Fun is essential. I blieve a whole generation of mechanical engineers were inspired by toys of the '50s and '60s: Legos; erector sets; Mister Machine, Kener's Girder & Panel building sets. When those toys went away in the '70s and '80s, engineering enrollments started to decline. See the YouTube '60s video of Mister Machine here:
KreO is interesting, but I will say that the KreO manual is much more difficult to understand than Lego. As a kid, I had a Capsella set that had clear bubbles with viewable gears, so you could see the motion transfer. It was cool to watch working. Hopefully, the viewable circuit boards on these new toys will show the internal engineering
In the future all will depend on the technology with the everyday increasing need gaps of the people. Traditional ways will remain on the museums. So it's good to start learning with the technology in the early stage.
So defanaitly Electronic Learning Toys will Help Educate the World.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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