Kano

13 Questions: Kano co-founder and CEO wants kids to see coding as magic

We asked Alex Klein 13 questions about technology, and his favorite device

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Kano is a tech company that disguises the tinkering of computer coding by getting children to control a magic wand, fly a space craft or build an ice castle. Coding itself, after all, is a bit like writing a spell. You need to know the secret words, or lingo, to operate the magic, but once you have the language down, there's a lot of power to wield. Alex Klein, the CEO and co-founder of Kano, wants to teach that ability to as many children as possible.

The company's first product was an actual build-your-own computer. Using Raspberry Pi's and brightly colored parts, Kano gets children to peel back the layers of computing devices and learn that they too can be tech wizards as well. To Klein, technology should be something that is engaging, creative, and crucially, fun.

Alex Klein and his 13 questions:

1. Snap your fingers, and any device — past or present — could appear. It would be……Charles Babbage's Difference Engine. The first working computer. Made of metal, levers and gears.

A photo of the Difference Engine constructed by the Science Museum based on the plans for Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 A photo of the Difference Engine constructed by the Science Museum based on the plans for Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2Photo Credit: Geni

2. My perfect smart and intelligent home would be able to fold up into my pocket, wherever life takes me or dissolve into sand and sprout trees, after my death.

3. Python or Ruby? (And why?) Python. It's more open-saucey. We have an open source OS that runs on every Raspberry Pi. You can use Python on it to Make Snake and LED animations.

4. My favorite app is….YouTube.

5. A toy for children should always be able to challenge them but it doesn't need to bore them.

6. What I'd never give up……never giving up.

7. Three things we did better as children than we do now are...... Improvising, Limbo, not looking back.

8. Flip phone or smartphone? A flippin' smart phone.

9. All smart devices should be able to open up and integrate with one another.

10. I wish they'd bring back.........nostalgia.

11. My favorite way to get to work is on foot but if I could use a catapult I would.

12. The tech device I wish I could give up is Facebook.

13. I wish they had named the Internet of Things.....Hardware.


Kano Computer Kit - A Computer Anyone Can Make


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