The Kano Computer Complete Kit is a “laptop” kids build along with learning how to program popular games. Kano gives you everything you need to start programming. (Photo via Kano)


Adding to the saturated market of devices, games, and sites devoted to teaching kids how to program comes the Computer Kit Complete, from Kano. The company’s latest device is similar to a portable computer with the screen and keyboard separated from each other. The components are housed inside the display unit and come equipped with a Raspberry Pi 3 board, which runs on custom Kano OS software. The device is also packed with kid-friendly activities and apps like Youtube and WhatsApp.


Unlike Kano’s previous computer, this one comes with just about everything you need to get started: battery, 8GB memory card, build-it-yourself speaker, three USB ports, and a Sound Sensor that connects via USB. Similar to Kano’s Motion Sensor, this can be used to manipulate and set off code.


Once the computer is actually built, kids can learn how to make games like Snake and Pong. They can even manipulate code for the popular game Minecraft along with program their own music. Kids are taught via a block-based programming language that’s meant to be easy to understand and will even reward progress through all the tutorials.


Some of the other teaching tools Kano includes are a Story Mode teaching how computers word, a drag and drop coding app and step-by-step coding challenges. The latter tool can be used to teach kids JavaScript, Python, and Unix commands. If you have something you want to share, your projects and code can be shared with others via the Kano World community.


So does Kano offer something different from the countless other kid-friendly devices? Doesn’t seem like it. It’s another computer that promises to make coding easy and fun for kids. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging this skill and making it accessible, but it feels like similar devices are released every month. It’s safe to say there will be more programming devices to choose from once the holidays roll around.


The Computer Kit Complete costs $250 and will be available to purchase November 1, just in time for the holiday season.


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