What the Tech? Educational toys - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Educational toys

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Every kid loves surprises on Christmas morning. Those gifts under the tree they neither asked for or expected are often the highlights of Christmas morning. If those surprise gifts are educational they can make both the child and their parents happy.

Some of the best tech gifts now are educational that teach youngsters how to create 3 dimensional objects and even learn the basics of creating computer code. I took several of these toys to a STEM class (science, technology, engineering and math) to see how interested kids might be in educational toys.

The 3Doodler is a hand-held pen that allows the student to explore their minds and create 3 dimensional objects by melting plastic that quickly dries and can be shaped and connected. The 3d Doodler is one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time and launched in 2013.

Adrianne Gott, who is 10 years old, was quick to pick up on the system and within minutes had created a house made of plastic. She moved quickly into creating flowers to go around the house.

"It was a little difficult at first because it took a lot of steps and it was a long process but then if you just connect the pieces it works," she said. It's best to go slow she said while you get the hang of it.

Other Doodlers have posted their work to Instagram where they've created sunglasses, replicas of the Eiffel Tower, smartphone stands, Christmas ornaments and hats. It's quite impressive. The 3Doodler Start Essentials kit comes with the Doodler Start Pen, 2 packs of 3Doodler Start
Eco-plastic and an activity guide for $50.

Osmo makes several educational learning toys that over 22,000 schools use in their curriculums. Osmo Monster brings a child's drawing to life on an iPad through a connected whiteboard tablet. A character on screen plays games with the student and asks them to draw objects on the whiteboard. Their drawings are then included in the game playing out on the iPad. It's quite impressive and, to the kids who used it, magical.

The Monster Creative has two activities; a magic show, an adventure and a third the website says it's coming soon.

In the Magic Show, the Monster asks us to draw a magic wand which he takes from the whiteboard and uses it for other tricks.

Osmo makes several other teaching games that engage students in art, math, English and science. Osmo Coding uses games and tiles to teach the basics of computer coding. Tiles with number and arrows can be connected to follow an adventure game on the iPad. As the student connects the tiles, it puts in motion the activity on screen. While they may not realize it, students who complete the simple tasks are learning how to program a computer.

The Osmo Coding game is $50 as is the Osmo Monster game.

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