Computer Science, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-5, Parenting, Teaching Tools


A young girl reacts to solving a challenge on cloudBoard

I’m a big fan of crowd-funding campaigns. I’ve already backed a few, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these products (2 of which should appear on my doorstep in December!!!!):


Robot Turtles Game


I recently found out about a new Kickstarter project from Digital Dream Labs that looks very promising to use at school and at home.  It’s called cloudBoard, and it combines the physical and digital worlds in a unique way that could dispel some of the criticisms many have about the prevalence of technology in today’s world.

cloudBoard’s Kickstarter site explains the product best, but I will try to summarize. Basically, cloudBoard is a platform that includes a piece of hardware that interacts with digital games through the use of plastic puzzle pieces that can be inserted into a board as commands for the game.  It’s compatible with different types of mobile devices (Android and iOS) as well as Mac and Windows computers.  (Be sure to check out the “Compatible Devices” heading on their Kickstarter page to verify compatibility with your device.)

What sets cloudBoard apart from many other products currently available is not only its combination of the physical and digital worlds, but also the way that it fosters collaboration. When you watch cloudBoard‘s Kickstarter video, you will see the joy the kids experience as they work together to problem solve while they play.

I got the opportunity to talk to Justin Sabo, one of the co-founders of Digital Dream Labs, and was very impressed with his philosophy.  All you have to do is read this sentence from their Kickstarter page to know how Digital Dream Labs feels about education, “We founded Digital Dream Labs because we know that curiosity thrives when learning is intuitive and playful, but too many children have to resort to memorizing rules to get by (and who can say that memorizing is fun). ”

Justin also acknowledged the need for more girls to get involved in computer science, and mentioned that this was in the minds of the team as they worked on designing a gaming platform that would appeal to both genders.

The first cloudBoard game is “Cork the Volcano”, which teaches the basics of programming.  Some other games they have in the works are: a music game, an engineering game, and a chemistry game.  Even more exciting is that Digital Dream Labs is designing cloudBoard to be open platform, and wants other people to contribute their own games.

The deadline to back this project is December 10, 2013.  As with all Kickstarter projects, there are various levels for backing the project.  $129 gets you cloudBoard and the “Cork the Volcano” game, with an estimated delivery of August, 2014.

I urge you to check out cloudBoard.  It has great potential!

“Cork the Volcano”, the first cloudBoard game
cloudBoard with puzzle pieces and interactive game

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