Reply to post: Some parts not as nice as I first thought

Modular edutech PC crew opens fresh Kano beans with expanded kit and accessories

doublelayer Silver badge

Some parts not as nice as I first thought

I was interested to see exactly how flexible a device like this would be. It's always nice to introduce children to hardware and software together. Sadly, I don't think this looks like the way to do it. I had one concern after reading this article, and it was that it didn't look like the memory or storage was replaceable on this machine. I get it with memory (sort of), as the processor in this machine probably can't do all that much with more. However, in my opinion, storage absolutely should be replaceable; not only can it wear out, especially with heavy use, but it is useful for people new to hardware to understand how storage works and experiment with different systems, which can be easily accomplished by swapping out disks.

While I had these concerns, I wasn't sure from the article that they applied. Maybe these parts are replaceable and the article just didn't mention it, so I did my research. Well, I tried to do my research. It seems as if Kano doesn't publish the assembly guides for their products on their site, blog, or help center. They do indicate that a printed and illustrated version comes with the device, but I think it's also important that they publish it online for perspective purchasers or in case someone loses it. I wonder why they haven't done this; it's not as if it's valuable without the hardware.

Since I don't have any of the official documentation, I'm only going off some articles I've seen about the launch, both here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, it isn't painting a picture I like. It seems like the hardware assembly is relatively basic: put in speakers, attach battery, close the case. I'm sorry to have to be so blunt, but an assembly process that can be completed in two minutes doesn't teach people very much. If the hardware, described as teaching children, actually gives them little education and less choice, I have to wonder how good the software education experience is. I don't know, and it may be markedly superior, but my initial confidence has waned.

Meanwhile, there are educational computers and kits that I think are more useful. Unsurprisingly, most of these are based around a Raspberry Pi, which already provides a lot of the facilities of this. I have seen laptops based on the Pi which include batteries and touchscreens but also include things like built-in breadboards for hardware hacking. I also know that, even if the manufacturers of these haven't built educational resources into the product, the Pi Foundation has useful resources and so does the community. I'd have liked another provider of this type of resource for students, but I don't have confidence that Kano is one.

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