Kickstarter Project cloudBoard Brings Tactile Learning To The iPad

cloudboard huge

If you have an iPad or use one in a classroom, then listen up. There’s a new Kickstarter project that, as of this writing, is still in need of some funding. It’s a fascinating take on the classic video game controller.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Jeff I don’t want to bring video games into my classroom. They’re a distraction and not actually educational. Also, you look quite handsome today.”

Oh, why thank you! Compliments aside, the new project being called cloudBoard (lower case ‘c’ apparently) lets students create sequences to try and solve problems. They do this by playing adorably educational video games that require critical thinking and careful planning. It’s like learning to play chess but, you know, with iPads and video games. So, win-win.

cloudBoard is a new gaming system that brings together the play patterns of real-world toys, like Lego and Lincoln Logs, and modern videogames, such as Angry Birds or Super Mario Bros. This connection of real and digital play is achieved by using toy puzzle blocks to play videogames. – The Kickstarter page

The controller is fabulous and still in an evolutionary stage it seems. However, I like the direction the cloudBoard is taking and think they’re onto something really wonderful.

jumpThe above video details a bit about the project and the impetus for why it’s happening. Personally, I think this is the kind of hardware that is needed in the education technology industry. We have the tablet that everyone wants. We have awesome apps. Time for some innovative hardware like cloudBoard to take interactive learning to the next level.

I had a quick email chat with Peter, one of the guys behind this project, and he listed out a few of his favorite things about the project:

  1. The puzzle blocks can mean anything you want them to, so cloudBoard can introduce many different concepts
  2. Anyone can develop their own games for cloudBoard, I’ll be waiting to be blown away by someone else’s cloudBoard game.
  3. The real world element of the games pulls the child’s focus away from the screen, which makes it a more social type of videogame.
  4. It’s just cool.

There’s an API that means the hardware can be extended and used for a variety of other purposes. In other words, a company like Nintendo could build out a few games for the cloudBoard controller. That is not out of the realm of possibility considering the rumors that the video game giant is working on playing a bigger role in education in the form of an education-focused Android tablet.

Click here to check out the Kickstarter page for cloudBoard