I’ve never been interested in educational toys. As I kid I used to love tv and sparrows. Both are gone now, tv kind of replaced by the internet, sparrows replaced by nothing at all. My uncle would buy my cousin educational toys and I pitied her. Not even her cool Rami Quercetti impressed me. The colours were admittedly nice, but binary numbers were boring school stuff.
But what do I know about education.
I was born in Reggio Emilia in the early Seventies so I went to a Loris Malaguzzi style kindergarten, followed by a Reggio Approach elementary school, only back then we didn’t know. After a few years, when the hype began, the delegations of foreign teachers started to pour in. They would look at us in amazement, especially the Japanese. Now when I meet an elementary teacher from abroad, it happens a lot, I always say I’m from Reggio Emilia and they gape in disbelief. Did you go to school there? Yes, I did!
So here I am, one of the first products of the world-class Reggio Approach, and all I can say about my childhood is that I used to love tv, especially Versailles no Bara, and I miss the sparrows terribly.
Anyway, if you’re into educational toys you should check this out. Hello Ruby is about coding and it’s very cute, especially the robot, the fox and the snow leopard. We need more robots, foxes and snow leopards in our lives, I believe.
Why am I suddenly interested in how coding is presented to children? I was very lucky to be introduced to algorithms and numeral systems at elementary school, in the War Games era followed by the cyberpunk age, when the computational future looked bright, or dark and scary but very fascinating. It turns out that it’s monstrously boring in fact, so people mostly became interface users over time and who can blame them. But it’s probably not a good thing to be born an interface user and to remain one, which is what is happening right now.