This week’s column is going to be a journey into the past and then a leap to some possible futures. Since I started at MAKE, and later teamed up with Ladyada at Adafruit, I’ve always wondered what the future of education might be like, and what the future of traditional organizations for kids, like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, will be like in a very modern, tech-savy world (with more and more people living in cities). To me, social networks and the maker movement are the perfect intersection of where the kids of today are. But I don’t see “leaderboards” for skills yet, I only see them for video games. I don’t see kids adding skills they’ve earned to their social networking profiles, I mostly see check-ins, bands, movies, and status updates. While historic groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for many, are sometimes associated with camping and selling cookies, I think there might be something new ahead: a peer-to-peer way of sharing and celebrating skills using the internet (think Khan Academy). I think the scouts will ultimately go this way too, becoming “Scouts 2.0″.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.