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IIT Madras incubated startup develops Hackerkid for children

India’s first ‘Gamified Coding Platform’ called ‘HackerKID’ was created by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras’ incubated startup ‘GUVI’, which aims to teach children coding using a game-based environment, the institute said on Wednesday.

More than 1,200 children from the Netherlands, the US, Australia and India collaborated with the startup when designing HackerKID ‘s product features and designs.

The ‘drag-and-drop’ of blocks or chunks of coding instructions makes it easier for children to learn the basics of programming flow and computational thought compared to traditional classroom teaching.

The ‘Turtle Module’ beginner’ level is offered free of cost and features points, prizes, badges for each action in block-based programming and displays the ingenuity of the kid through a leader board to fellow learners.

The ‘Turtle’ module is training children for the ‘International Block Coding Olympiad’ expected to take place soon.

Mr. S P Balamurugan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, GUVI, said in a statement, “HackerKID is the first product launched in India as a platform for extensive coding practice utilising block-based programming with a game-based environment specially designed for kids, where coding is fun”.

Unlike the conventional text-based coding classroom approach, according to the team, the gaming style with the ‘play-to-code’ technique will allow kids to master the programming flow.

Together with the children themselves, the drawings, UX design and experience have been created, which makes them love the product.

Mr. Arun Prakash, Founder and Chief Technical Officer, GUVI said, “By practicing in HackerKID, children can understand the coding world in a better way by attaining skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, persistence, communication and collaboration”.

More than 20 new features are in cooking, including languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and will soon be released, the institute said.