The tech generation: Kids these days are not just learning, they are innovating as well

November 1, 2020 7:00 AM

From developing apps to mastering coding, kids today are giving wings to their curiosity and are coming up with dynamic tech innovations

Manya, an eight-year-old student, developed an interest in coding, which prompted her to create Pickaboo, an app to guide her sister to learn independentlyManya, an eight-year-old student, developed an interest in coding, which prompted her to create Pickaboo, an app to guide her sister to learn independently

By Shriya Roy

Kids these days are not just learning, they are innovating as well. Gone are the days when the learning curve of children was limited to the classroom, passively taking notes of what was being taught to them. Today, they are not only using technology, but also innovating and creating it. It wouldn’t perhaps be wrong to call them the tech generation. Their observant nature and in-built curiosity are fuelling their intellectual and cognitive development.

Helping them are many startups that teach students aged six to 18 years coding and other advanced topics. And many of these students are now coming up with their own tech innovations. Take, for instance, Manya from Suncity School, Gurugram. The eight-year-old developed an interest in coding, which prompted her to create an app to guide her sister to learn independently. The app, Pickaboo, helps children scan real-life objects to hear their name. The application takes a picture of the object and sends it to a Microsoft Image Processing API. Once the API returns the description, it is sent to a Translator API. The result is then sent to a Text to Speech Converter and a translator engine that spells out the scanned object’s name in five different languages—English, Hindi, Spanish, French and German.

Talking about her new app, Manya says, “My sister is always curious to learn about different things that she sees around her. I often see her asking questions to my parents and other family members, and I wanted to create something that would help in making her independent. I worked on developing an application that would help kids in my sister’s age group get information on their own in a fun way.”

Manya isn’t alone, as there are other children as well who have developed apps in the past. Eight-year-old Souradeep Sarkar from Burdwan created the DYSXA app to tackle dyslexia. DYSXA is a learning aid app for dyslexic children that enables them to learn alphabets and numbers. Once logged in, the app aids in learning and forming words. The app has animations for words, helping kids learn their pronunciation. It also has a separate colour and sound for every letter, and quizzes as well to help kids practice and identify the correct word or spellings.

Another example of a kid breaking tech barriers is Shillong-based Mae Mae who has created the Anti-Bullying app for kids to report bullies anonymously and alert parents, teachers and friends about such incidents. The nine-year-old and her sister faced bullying at school and that’s when she decided that she wanted to put an end to it, and started work to develop the app.

Once on the app, a user can anonymously share details of the incident, including the name of the bully, and give a detailed description of how they were mistreated. This will notify their parents and teachers, prompting them to take necessary action.

Yet another student, 16-year-old Jishnu Baruah from Assam’s Dibrugarh, created the Light Bag app, which allows kids to shed off the load from their school bags. The app allows teachers to update the name of the books and notebooks they want students to carry on a specific day.

The app also provides an estimate of the weight of a student’s bag and shows animations to teachers to convey a student’s discomfort regarding the weight of their bag. Based on the calculations, teachers can reduce the number of books, so that students can carry a lighter bag.

Most of these kids learnt coding dynamics from edtech startup WhiteHat Jr, which focuses on teaching coding to children aged between six and 14 years. With cutting-edge curriculum on AI, robotics, machine learning and space tech, the startup aims to harness the natural creativity of kids “Young kids today are very observant, and their curious nature fuels their intellectual and cognitive development. Learning to code is known to increase creativity and problem-solving skills among children,” Karan Bajaj, founder and CEO, WhiteHat Jr, said.

As more and more kids are encouraged to take technology in their hands to deal with important issues critical for their growth, a lot of surprises can be expected in the coming days.

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