As a follow-up to our recent post on teaching your kids some intro programming, I thought I’d also put out some notes on introducing the kiddos to computers in general. A while back I put out a call on the NoVAHackers distro list for Linux OSs that kids could learn on. They two most popular recommendations were:
(Note: As part of a campaign to bring forward some of our older posts that we feel still benefit the community, we’ve added this article to our Best Of category that will periodically get tweeted out. Please mention it to me on Twitter or contact us if there are any other posts you feel we should include in this category. This post was previously categorized under Securing Mom. -@grecs)
Both of these distros have tons of learning-to-program games as well. The big difference between them is that Qimo was designed for stand-alone computers while Edubuntu was designed for networked computers in a classroom environment.
In my experiences with Qimo, there were many exercises focusing on typing, moving the mouse, clicking, and other computer basics. It also included many advanced learning games and even some later programming languages. Although it would freeze up every once in a while, Qimo seemed very stable overall.
I was equally impressed with Edubuntu. Unfortunately, I tried to do some updates and it croaked on me for some reason. I could have tried reinstalling but my laziness snuck in and I just stuck with Qimo as it met my basic needs. Additionally, Qimo did seem somewhat better for kids under 6 (pre-school purposes with the youngest) and was slightly more kid-friendly in my opinion.
What other “kid” OSs do you use? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments below. See ya!