Tech Review: Kano – The computer kids can build

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Kano is a computer that kids can build.  The creator says the inspiration was Lego.  He set out to make a computer kit that was as easy as Legos.

Kano includes easy to follow instructions.  At the heart of Kano is a Raspberry Pi computer board.  The kit also includes a plastic case, a speaker, a wi-fi dongle and a wireless bluetooth keyboard.  It took my 7 year old less than 10 minutes to build the Kano after following the instructions.

Kano runs a modified version of Linux.  The Kano OS is actually free for those who prefer to bypass the kit and use their own Raspberry Pi board.  The Kano OS is not quite as easy to understand as assembling the computer itself.  It's designed for kids to navigate but I think 6 is pushing it.  My 7 year old needed a little guidence.  None the less, it does a great job of applying programming concepts to things like creating music, drawing pictures or playing minecraft.

Kano is awesome.  It's easy enough but complicated enough.  It's a simple way to help spark kids' imaginations into STEM.  The entire kit sells for $150 on the Kano website.

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