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Technology opening up to children

Posted Jun 2012

Initiatives to introduce kids to computer technology at an early age are popping up everywhere.

Recently, the Raspberry Pi mini-pc has made quite some waves in the tech croud. The project is aimed at creating a tiny, affordable computer system that any parent can afford for their child. The Raspberry Pi is quite a rugged little computer that works with easily swappable SD-cards as the main storage device, making experimentation really easy.

Now Valve, the creator of epic games like Half-life, have started a project that allows their Portal game to be used in class rooms. Portal is a very succesfull and compelling puzzle game where users need to find their way through a room by creating portals and using basic physics like velocity and gravity. Using the recently released level editor anyone can create fully playable levels. Valve provides lesson plans on various subjects that use both the physics and game aspects of Portal to make learning both fun and engaging.

It's great to see these projects bridge the huge knowledge gap between educators and parents on one side and rapidly evolving technology on the other.
Bridging this gap enabled kids get access to technology and learn that it can be a lot of fun. By learing that, they'll be able to better understand and work with the technology that surounds them. Maybe, in the future they'll even want to use that understanding to help improve our world using technology.

Valve makes Portal available to schools