The Osmo Coding Kit is a gaming system designed for children between the ages of 5 to 12 to use with the iPad. Another addition to the line of products which brings physical and digital together, it is comprised of 3 games – Coding, Masterpiece and Newton. Each of these is designed to help children develop their understanding of programming, drawing and physics.
The Osmo Coding Kit involves physical blocks, which children place in code combinations to control character actions on a screen. Like many other games, the blocks, which act like the inputs, are accessible but the actual output is in visual form on the iPad screen. This differs from other products like Cubelets.
What Is In The Osmo Coding Kit?
Each kit includes a white iPad stand and a red reflector for the iPad camera. The reflector enables the iPad to read the environment which has been assembled in front of it. The Osmo Starter Kit includes two sets of game pieces in the form of 2 complete alphabet sets and tangram pieces. The Masterpiece and Newton games don’t require any pieces for play. It’s worthy to note that the apps are free to download but obviously you won’t be able to play them without the physical game system.
Will It Work On Any iPad?
For the most part yes. Almost all versions are supported. This includes iPad 2, iPad (3rd Generation), iPad (4th Generation), iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Osmo is not compatible with the 12.9 incluch Pro although this is being looked at, according to the developers. Also remember that that you will need to remove any protective casing around your tablet in order to be able to slot it into the stand.
Yes, I believe it does have a place in education. The various games in the starter pack have many applications for learning. Coding games foster logic and problem-solving, while the tangram games help the player to hone their spatial reasoning skills. The Newton game also helps with creative problem-solving whereas Masterpiece does a great job of encouraging drawing and creative confidence.
Is It Worth The Money
Honestly, and it pains me to say this – no….. 5 years ago perhaps but I just don’t see anything that makes it stand out from the crowd in 2017. At times we have noted that the camera has difficulty at times picking up the location of the pieces in front of it. There were constant notifications to move the pieces into the it’s line of sight to continue with play.
Secondly, the word game uses capital letters. As any parent of young kids knows, capitals are introduced to children’s reading vocabulary gradually after initial lower-case letters have been practiced. This really is one that got to me. We are at the ‘learning to read’ stage in our house and visual recognition of capitals can take some time to master. Their omission in the Osmo is unfortunate. Also, you will see that the product is vastly overpriced if you live in my part of the world (Ireland) when compared with the US sales price . Unfortunately, it just doesn’t do it for me in terms of value for money. I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Let me know your thoughts! Dan