IIT Madras-incubated start-up develops ‘gamified coding platform’ for schoolchildren


PTI, Oct 14, 2020, 9:17 PM IST

New Delhi: A start-up incubated at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has developed a ‘gamified coding platform’ called ‘HackerKID,’ which aims to teach children coding using a game-based environment, according to officials.

The start-up, called “GUVI,” has already worked with more than 1,200 kids from the Netherlands, the US, Australia and India while developing the product features and designs for HackerKID.

“Although learning to code has its amazing advantages among young minds, it is not easy for kids to assimilate the concepts of computer science. Also, there exists a real tussle to draw their attention and to develop an interest in them with conventional text-based coding. For this very reason, HackerKID will serve as a platform for kids to start their journey in coding,” said S P Balamurugan, who co-founded GUVI.

“The platform offers extensive coding practice, utilising block-based programming with a game-based environment specially designed for kids where coding is fun. The current players in the market who teach coding are failing in the practice part, which is essential to learn to code,” he said.

According to the new National Education Policy (NEP), coding will be taught as a subject in schools from Class 6 onwards.

“The children are introduced to ‘Block-Based Programming’ in HackerKID and provided with a virtual playground to practise challenges. Block-based Programming is an easy and powerful way to develop software. The ‘drag and drop’ of blocks or chunks of coding instructions make it simpler for kids when compared to conventional classroom teaching, to learn the foundations of programming flow and computational thinking. The beginner level of ‘Turtle Module’ is being offered free of cost and features points, rewards, badges for each activity in block-based programming and showcases the kid’s creativity to fellow learners through a leaderboard,” Balamurugan added.

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