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Circuit Breaker

Osmo Coding is like Lego if Lego was abstract and app-driven

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I love coding. I love Lego. I think we should teach kids how to code, if they want to learn. I think the only thing you should ever buy for your children is food and Lego. But I don't know about granting "Lego" status to this Osmo Coding experience for children.

Osmo has been around for a couple years. It's based on a little mirror that attaches to the top of an iPad, letting the front-facing camera see what's happening on the surface in front of the iPad, and tying those actions to a kid-friendly app. There's a drawing thing, a math thing, a reading thing, and even a physics thing. But the new thing is called Coding. Your youngster is given little tiles that represent code blocks, just like MIT's Scratch programming language, but IRL. The small human uses the tiles to input control sequences for an adorable character named Awbie who loves strawberries.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, this looks great. I'm just going to reserve Lego-tier for things that aren't mostly apps, okay? Like Littlebits, that's Lego for electronics. To make programming as real as Lego, you need to have the UI and the result be physical. This distinction is very important to me for some reason.

Osmo Coding comes in a $75 kit if you don't already have the mirror, or $49 as a standalone.