Kano: Build your computer and code

An exploration day on how to use the Make Art app to introduce a more complex programming language skills.

After the last workshop, my friend Taylor and I gave at Poplar Union we decided to explore more specifically the Kano range of products since they weren’t as performant as expected on a building scenario. These new workshops would focus on how to present the app Make Art (that comes on the KanoOS) in a way we could introduce a more complex language.

The way we ran them to allow children to play freely on the computer kit but requiring them to use at least 2 of the apps inside the OS: Make Minecraft and Make Art. For those who engaged in Make Art we would give design challenges that would either guide towards or propose a few concepts such as coordinates, colors and geometric shapes. Children that would come more than one session would be able to naturally evolve to more complex activities.

On the last session we introduced Pixel Kit with the “turtle programming” environment to a children that was clearly not challenged with Make Art. We presented the basic commands with a question: What can you do with it? After drawing a square, rectangle and a 7, I presented a folder with demos and examples and after a few minutes I was delighted to see the engagement in trying to modify a few characteristics on the games.