We believe that like reading and counting, children should be encouraged to wonder and explore the world of computing from the earliest age.
At its simplest form, children should learn how, from automatic doors to streetlights, we can give computers instructions to help us. The Magic Cloud lets children from as young as four give instructions to a computer in a rather magical way. Read our position statement on Programming in Children’s Earlier Years
The Magic Cloud enables children to create instructions (algorithms) to tell the computer what to show when it detects a particular tag: “If you place this tag, then show this image”. With the Magic Cloud, children are programming but creatively By sticking the tags on any physical object, the effect is powerful: children can link any physical object to any audio, video or image file.
In September 2014, the National Curriculum in England introduces a new curriculum subject: Computing. We believe this is a great opportunity but carries a slight risk. A risk we have not learnt from attempts to teach programming with Logo almost 30 years ago, and risks that we make a subject as exciting as computing into a dull step by step screen-based activity. The Magic Cloud addresses several of the Key Stage One Computing curriculum objectives in a way that inspires children. By bringing computing out into the physical world, it is easy to use the Magic Cloud to create a range of cross-curricula activities through computing.
Communication and Across the Curriculum
The Magic Cloud is an exciting new way for children to express their ideas. They can record and re-record themselves describing real physical objects for others to listen to with ease. They can access pictures, text or images from others by simply placing an object on a cushion. In literacy they can link an object to a poem read out loud, or record a description of a 3D shape in Maths. Whenever it is valuable to capture children’s voices and inspire them to listen to others’, the Magic Cloud is a powerful learning tool. See our examples for other ideas for using the Magic Cloud across the curriculum.