We don’t think there’s a right or wrong way for kids to play. For this kid-oriented gift guide, we focused on learning toys—open-ended games, kits, toys and crafts that promote lifelong skills like critical thinking, problem solving, logic, and even coding. To choose from the hundreds of toys available, we spent more than 30 hours trying 35 recommendations from experts, educators, and parents… READ MORE: Learning Toys and STEM Toys We Love | The Wirecutter
A robotics company that teaches kids how to code, Codie Labs, took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London to show off their fast, rolling and programmable robot, Codie, which is controlled via a mobile application for iOS or Android. The Budapest-based startup earned the opportunity to present on the big stage by winning the Wild Card position, which pulls a promising company out of Disrupt’s Startup Alley. READ MORE: Codie Is A Fast, Rolling Robot Toy That Teaches Kids Progamming Concepts | TechCrunch
To look at the state of many libraries after the recession, facing cuts and closures and fundamental questions about “relevance,” you could be forgiven for being gloomy about their future. But gloomy is not the predominant tone of a terrific new report from Arup, the well-regarded design consultancy. It shows that some libraries, at least, are undergoing a “renaissance,” and that the future could be good for others. Arup organized workshops in four cities, bringing together a range of people interested in libraries. The report collects ideas from existing projects, as well as ideas for future spaces. There are four main themes…READ MORE: The Future Of Libraries Is Collaborative, Robotic, And Participatory | FastCompany
In less than two decades, Bob Brown has donated more than 5 million books to Africa. Through his International BookSmart Foundation, Brown, an 86-year-old civil rights activist, friend of Martin Luther King Jr., advisor to the Mandela family and former White House Cabinet member, hopes to contribute many, many more to the continent.
The Rapael Smart Glove looks a lot like the Nintendo Power Glove, but it’s not exactly a video game controller. It’s a smart rehabilitation glove for recovering stroke patients. Gaming was definitely a huge part of it, however. The glove, created by Korean health tech company Neofect, incorporates motion-based games to help stroke patients relearn how to use their arm and hand.
Neofect founder Ban Ho Young told Tech In Asia that everything they have now was made with collaboration between rehabilitation experts and game designers.
With Rapael, users can play games depending on which movements they want to work on. Want to improve your forearm supination and pronation (facing your palm upward and downward)? Strap on the glove and virtually pretend to pour yourself a glass of wine. Want to improve your finger flexion and extension? Bend and unbend your fingers to decorate cupcakes with icing. READ MORE: This gaming-inspired glove helps stroke patients relearn vital skills | Mashable
French startup CodinGame just raised $1.6 million from Isai for its innovative code learning platform. As the name suggests, CodinGame is all about games — not game development, not gamification, just plain games. The logic behind each exercise is tied to an actual game so that you get visual feedback and an actual reward when you solve an exercise.
“This is not just a gimmick as we have metrics to back our vision. If you mix games with learning, you get a very motivating experience,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric Desmoulins told me. “Playing and learning at the same time is a virtuous circle.”
For each exercise, you can pick a programming language among more than 20, such as Python, Ruby, Java, Scala and more. The company targets people who already know the basics when it comes to programming and also has tough challenges for expert developers. In particular, a multiplayer mode is getting quite popular among developers. In this mode, you learn the basics of artificial intelligence and clash with others to see if your code is more efficient.
THE CENTERS FOR Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 68 children in the US are on the autism spectrum, a number that stands in staggering contrast to a 1970 study that put the figure at one in 14,200. Some people believe we’re in the middle of an autism epidemic. But autism has always been part of the human experience, as journalist (and WIRED contributor) Steve Silberman shows in his new book, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. It’s only recently, he argues, that we have become properly aware of it. We spoke to Silberman about how the modern world came to recognize autistic people and how autistic people helped shape the modern world. READ MORE: How Autistic People Helped Shape the Modern World | WIRED.
We’re all about do-it-yourself here at Lifehacker. But just because you don’t have the skills to do something doesn’t mean you can’t learn them. In the next installment of Lifehacker’s 10th anniversary celebration, we’re revisiting some guides we’ve written on learning some highly-desired skills. Guides listed:
Repair Just About Anything
Pick Up an Artistic Skill Like Illustration, Painting, or Photography
Learn to Defend Yourself
Improve Your Design Skills (or At Least Acquire a Sense of Style)
Pick Up Just About Any Subject You Missed In College
Build and Hack Electronic Hardware
Play a (New) Instrument
Cook Like a Pro
Become Fluent in a New Language
Make a Web Site, Create an App, or Just Learn to Code
IF YOU WANT to teach your kid about ecology, sustainability, or the future of interactive education, take them to the New York Hall of Science and head for the giant virtual waterfall.
The massive digital faucet feeds the ecosystems of Connected Worlds, a cutting-edge installation that aims to teach youngsters about environmental science by immersing them in it. It’s an interactive simulation big enough to walk around inside—virtual reality that’s not piped into a headset but projected onto a real physical space.