Google Project Bloks

by GDP Venture
Project Bloks

Realized that the world needs regeneration of IT practitioners, Google create tangible programming experiences for kids to learn computational thinking. Hopefully, the project named Bloks could bring a solid platform for developers, designers, and educators, to provide programming closer to children.

Project Bloks is a modular system made up of three main components: the brain board, base boards, and pucks. The pucks are programmed with different instructions (such as “turn on/off,” “move a direction,” or “increase an amount.”) The function of the puck is represented by a simple design, such as an arrow for direction. The puck itself contains no actual electronics, just a capitative ID that can be read and identified by the base board once the puck is placed on it. The base boards can then be connected to a brain board, which provides all connected boards with power and allows the boards to communicate each other and send the pucks’ instructions to an output device (such as a toy, tablet, or speaker) via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

The Google Project Bloks boards can be arranged in any way the user wants, just like building blocks. The application can perform many other tasks such as become a remote control, speakers or light switch.

Cited from TechCrunch, there has been a big interest in tangible programming among educators, though research has been slow. The Bloks team said they has hard time experimenting with tangible programming because it takes a lot of engineering work — and hence money — to build one of these platforms from scratch. And the Director of the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University say that is what this Google Project Bloks will enable: make it easy to think outside of the box, without all the technical obstacles.

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