Thursday, 17 August 2017

We see a lot of programmable robots for children and beginners at Tech Age Kids. It's an exciting time for educational STEM and STEAM products. But we can't help but spot that most of the robots are blue and lots of them have male names. The majority are not very appealing to girls.

Now you can argue that blue doesn't have to be a girl's colour, it's an arbitrary cultural code, and anyway, lots of girls like blue and lots don't. But it's clear that blue is a marketing shorthand to indicate that 'this product is suitable for boys.'

We have found some robots that appeal to girls, but nowhere near as many as we would like to see given the number of programmable robots that are available.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The micro:bit is a small computer that is fantastic for introducing beginners to coding, electronics and digital making. All that STEAM stuff that we love here on Tech Age Kids.

We've chosen the micro:bit as the platform for our new book micro:bit in Wonderland. The book contains 12 projects, inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, that mix craft, coding and electronics as well as introducing opportunities for using a craft cutter, laser cutter and 3D printer for those who have access.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tracy and I attended a TOMY event a couple weeks ago and our kids got the chance to check out a new toys-to-life game, Lightseekers. If you like Skylanders you'll love Lightseekers which offer a similar physical and digital play experience.  There are many differences, so check out the Parent's Guide to Lightseekers to learn more.

In this post, we'll explore the Smart Figures, which work with the Lightseekers mobile game, in more detail.

Monday, 7 August 2017

The issue of the lack of women in technology is constantly in the news. I've spent my whole career working in technology as an academic, a software engineer and architect and more recently as an educational content writer to encourage the next generation to get into tech.

I love computing. I can't imagine doing anything else. It feels more like a vocation than a job. I've always had the feeling that girls and women didn't really know what computing was or they would be more interested.

The computing that I know and love doesn't conform to male stereotypes at all. I don't feel like I'm doing something unfeminine!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

We've had the chance to review the new LEGO Boost robotics kit and try it out with a group of children from age 6 to 10.

LEGO Boost is new for 2017 and is a long-awaited product. There are lots of other construction-based robotics kits for this age range, but this is a new product for LEGO.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

We've received our Marty the walking robot kit from Robotical. Marty came to life through a successful crowdfunding campaign. We've been following along and got to meet Marty and his inventor at the Bett ed-tech conference earlier this year.

It's crowdfunding Christmas for us at the moment. We've recently received and reviewed Brixo (LEGO-compatible electronics bricks) and KANO's Pixel Kit (a programmable microprocessor with a coloured pixel display and sensors.)

Thursday, 27 July 2017

My kids (9 and 10) had the chance to learn the new Lightseekers Card Game from one of the inventors of the game and the team at PlayFusion, the UK company behind the new gaming phenomena.

My kids played the game on the train home and then insisted on teaching me how to play before breakfast the next morning!

Lightseekers is much more than a card game (see What is Lightseekers?) but in this post, we're going to focus on the game. 

Disclosure: We attended a promotional event for Lightseekers and the kids received some Lightseekers goodies to take home. As always, our opinions are our own.