Triangulation 385: Piper Founder Joel Sadler

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Coming up on triangulation sit down with Joel Sadler of piper. And we've got some really cool stuff to show you stuff. That's going to get kids involved in coding and assembling. Computers. That's up next on triangulation. That casts you love from people you trust. This is. This is triangulation episode three eighty five recorded Friday, February fifteenth twenty nineteen piper founder Joel Sadler. This up triangulation is brought to you by capterra. Find the right software for your business with over seven hundred fifty thousand reviews of products from real software users checkout capterra's free website to find the right tools to make twenty nineteen the year for your business at capterra dot com slash triangulation. Hello, welcome to triangulation the show where we sit down with some people doing amazing crazy. Awesome stuff with technology. I love doing the show. I'm Jason Howell. And I feel like kind of right now, it seems like one of my beats here at twit is taking a look technology and how that's intersecting with the classroom. And specifically how how technology. Products games. Whatever you want whatever you want to say Minecraft kids like the Keno magic magic coating won-. The Harry Potter wand. All these things are coming out right now that are really inspiring children to kind of get familiar with the concepts of stem and steam and programming especially and in in ways that I know when I was a kid. It was a lot harder as less less. Attainable less served up in an easy to learn fashion, which meant that you you either got it or you didn't. And if you didn't it'd be really hard to connect with it throughout, you know, your childhood and throughout your life. Now, it's so easy for kids to get involved with this stuff's on super thrilled to welcome to the show founder of piper. Joel sadler. Welcome. Joel awesome. Thanks jason. Absolutely. It's so great to get you here. I I can't remember when it was sometime in the last couple of months where this idea of the piper computer, kind of flashed flashed in front of me. I can't remember if it was in. An Email or was a news article that I read whatever. But when I saw it I immediately thought this is such a interesting concept, but but has to be an amazing way for kids to really kind of cut their teeth in what computer science is all about in. It's so now it's such a now product, and I love I love what you guys are doing with the piper. Appreciate that. And you probably saw an image of a wooden, computer. Hang up on the screen. You know, we wanted that sparked. It'd be something. That was surprising. Yep. Technology does in an unexpected way. But approachable whenever you ever seen a wooden computer that actually plays a game that your kids love. Well, you know, what it reminded me of? I what was the name of the very early. Apple, computer. Apple ones are in a wooden case they were in a wooden case. And I was kind of as as by daughter who's nine as we were assembling this putting it together that was kind of the image that I had in my mind of like, you know, the these this perfectly crafted would as the case that surrounds this this high. Hi amount of technology on the inside. What a what a cool tangible approach, you know. And I'm sure they the apple founders, you know, they did that probably out of necessity because that's just what they had. But as similar to how we started. This was basic out of necessity knows what we had lying around. We had a laser cutter access to that that we could cut. What we it wasn't plywood. We had this very cheap and the F board and the first prototypes ended up resonating so much with kids that the prototypes ended up being much. Like you see here in the product. Yeah. And that would is really important for our mission because it sort of signifies its material of craft. It's warm it's aligned with things like the maker movement and design, and so we wanted our product to reflect that and, you know, having kids get inspired to dive into technology something that they can modify. Right. They can take a screwdriver hacksaw or laser beam cut through and make the world, you know, the way that they see. It. And so we definitely wanted that first moment that I picture it to be something that drew them in and saw technology as something they can shape. Yeah. And it's also I mean should say because because it's a would case it's also perfect for now. Because there is a lot of attention around green. You know, being green guy using renewable materials, and that sort of stuff if there are so many pieces of technology that I can think of that are absolutely not in any way, shape or form green at all yet. You know, they're everywhere and we rely on them. So so that's also kind of nice lesson to t- to teach children as they're building this too, right? Like, you don't need a big hunk of plastic to be the case and be around forever and ever and some landfill somewhere. It can be something that that feels just a little bit more more neutral more of more renewable renewable and thing. What's exciting is kids can look at the kit an envision where all the parts come from. Yes technology. You look at an iphone today. It's sort of. Sealed in a black box. It's hard to sort of see the parts, and and get a sort of understanding of how the bits and pieces work together. So you know, when you see the wood case, it's an approachable moment to come in. And see, you know, I can see where that would came from. And then get to the next level. You see the circuit board. See the battery pack there's wires. It's all about scaffold and experience in a gentle manner. So we can sort of have everyone have an exciting experience the first time. Yeah. I love it. So we're going to obviously, we're going to spend some time talking about the piper. I thought before we kind of get into the details around this. Awesome, computer? We've had so much fun. I I'm I'm so stoked that you're here. Because my daughter like she basically is like, oh my goodness. You're meeting the guy who created this thing, you know. So she gets that experience. I was like what what question do you have for him? And she was like could you ask him? How he did it. So we're going to talk about that. That'll be her her over Archie question that you'll want to have answered I we're gonna dive deep on that. But I thought we would start off kind of with your your background because you have a really cool story that leads up to piper piper is kind of the last three years. I'd say of your life, right? Yeah. But you've done a lot of things prior to this you grew up in Jamaica. And I know that LEGO was really close to your heart while you were in Jamaica, come talk a little bit about kind of building, you know, that that experience being in Jamaica, and the kind of the importance of LEGO to your development. Yes. I mean for me, I spent all I grew up in Jamaica. I just came here for college. And it was for me having access to these toys that were creative Legos and LEGO mind storms and McConnell, which I think is erector set here in the US. Oh, yeah. Remember, those these were constructive toys, you build things out of parts McConnell, especially at had screwdriver nuts and bolts we actually use the. Same screws that and nuts that are in a McConnell set that was a very mechanical way to get exposed to the world. And it's all me that you can dream, and if you wanna make a, you know, an airplane or or spaceship that you could start to build a pieces together to shape them. And then at that time, the Legos and McConnell started to get electrified. So not only could you create the physical forms that you could dream up. You could start to make them come alive. Making them be interactive have them move. And that's the beginnings of early computer revolution as well. So those early days taught me a little bit about how important those early childhood experiences were what's the first experience? You have with a computer building a computer or building electronic set out of Legos. I found that it was really pivotal for me being inspired to go on a career the make things where people and also growing up in Jamaica place with less resources that taught me the mindset of you. Don't need a lot of money. You don't need a lot of resources. This is a universal thing that every challen the planet gets exposed to educational toys in some form. And now is the kernel of surf founding piper. It's like what what are those early childhood experiences that every child that we think every child should have to get them on their way, you know, in life. Yeah. And I know that kind of, you know, a part of the piper experience for me has been as a father working with my daughter throughout the whole experience. Right. Like, she could probably do this all on her own. She's very familiar with LEGO. And following the kind of instruction book to put this piece and kind of rotate things around. So that they match the blueprint and everything, but it was really I know that she enjoyed having me there because that's what kids want right like they want time with their parents kind of shared experiences, and I enjoyed being there. How involved were your parents with this kind of development that that you were? Undergoing as as a child around creating with with LEGO. And I imagine eventually that kind of transitioned more fully into the technology direction. But were they they're working with you in this way? Is that kind of thing that was had savvy parents who understood that, you know, rebellious child that might be you know, like me that might have been a bit bored with traditional school needed needed that stimulation. My dad was was a civil engineer. So I had that bias I could see I could see the world of imagining things and them taking shape bridges and so on. So I think the the the seeds of going from sketches on paper in those days. It was pencil and paper drafting which I had to do in school. I could see how those actually translated to large buildings and bridges and in the community. So that was an important backdrop, and my parents, definitely, you know, took time to find the Legos and mcconnells of the world that Meccano set mentioned was, you know. I I think I was aged seven I saw another guest on this show that even mentioned the same set. There's a pattern here where if you have parents who are thinking about you know, what are the experiences? I want enrich my children's lives with to give them awareness. That was certainly the case for me. And you know, I think would piper we're hoping that that that then becomes the next kind of auction that gets put in sure it certainly makes it obvious to a child's developing line that this is possible. Right. You know, it's it's like the the conversation. We were talking a little bit before the show I had a conversation with with my daughter Lucy while we were putting it together. And there was just that that one moment where she works. She looked at me. And I was like this is really cool. She's like, yeah. Building a computer right now. And before that moment like she had like, obviously, there's a first time for everything. But I never in a million years would have thought my nine year old. You know knows what it's like to build a computer. But that's exactly what you're doing here. Yeah. It's it's we wanna convince not not just the kids that they can build a computer. But also their parents. And they're sure is you know, we we watch kids everyday Bill Bill their own computers. So we know that anyone can do this. Yep. And so it's as much for the kids as it is, you know, for the parents to see the potential in their children. That's that. We're unlocking. Absolutely. So then you, you know. You you get older you go to Stanford MIT, pretty prestigious places and directions. You wrote a thesis called enabling novices to prototype electron IX, which I mean, that's that appears to be maybe there was a foundation prior to piper. But that appears to be directly tied to where where you ended up even though we'll talk a little bit about kind of the the the kind of points that you experienced between then. But would you agree with that Tesis like really the foundation for piper? Yeah. I think, you know, having having built a bunch of products to help people and eventually the main question in my mind is how do we scale is? How do we get more more people involved in creating things for others? I'm more diverse crowd of product, creators. And so at Stanford, I got obsessed with the idea of, you know, how do we enable anyone whether they're they have any technical experience or not how to enable them to create their ideas. And so not just engineers that I had had surround. Did you know in an MIT and other places, you know, I wanted to see you know, biologists jumping in and who were working on the care to cancer, and then creating solutions to what they're seeing in their laboratories, and eventually working with kids seeing that they had their own ideas, as well that, you know, perhaps become the seeds to solve our big problems. So yeah, my my expiration at Stanford, and that was really about going out there talking to everyone that I could find that sort of had ideas, whether there were kids or nurses, playing with the tools that they had whether they're LEGO blocks or the or, you know, things that we've eventually put into piper like really affordable microcomputers and just understanding what's getting in the way here. What can we do about this to make this turn this experience into something that scales that becomes something that perhaps it becomes a standard way that people get exposed to technology? So that that definitely was the early work that lead up. A lot of that that principle is put in piper. Yeah. Well, and also, you know, watched your tax talk about the Jaipur ni. And really kind of what I walked away from that. With is is that it's obvious to me watching that presentation. And and where your work has has led to that you are at at your heart, your a creators advocate. Yeah. I mean, you you have you your it seems like your big mission is to like, you say really kind of make or help people realize that they have the ability to create a lot of people. I think pigeonhole themselves and say, well, I'm not creative. I don't know how to do that sort of stuff. I don't you know. And or, you know, maybe maybe they do they just haven't had some sort of a way to say way into it. Which is exactly what does that early work? You bring up the Jaipur ni that was a low cost prosthetic that myself and some students designed while we were studying at Stanford, and it ends up being. To this day, something that's fit on people with missing limbs every single day. And it's amazing. We started as you know, in our twenties in a dorm room with cardboard and scissors. And prototypes idea saw that it affected people's lives in a really deep way. And these were very formative experiences. I don't think, you know, myself or others were particularly, you know, special in the sense of geniuses. We just worked hard we prototype. We listen to what the users had to say. And that really convinced me that anyone can jump in here and do this. And then I turn my attention to what what do we have to do hair to sort of this up to have creativity that we experienced, you know, be for all that. So would piper. That was our idea not just sort of building mechanical things, we started building in you know, two very important other pillars with prosthetics. That's a pure mechanical object in many ways, but this world of sensing computing. Artificial intelligence programming. This is the world that was emerging at that time in a way that anyone could actually then start afford these things like the raspberry pi at the time, which was thirty five dollar credit card sized computer, which is actually, you know, still in our kit in in such an amazing. Thing in and of itself, what it has done for computing is just remarkable. And yet, and I think I just saw that there's news that that that sometime probably next year. We're going to see the the next big vary. Eagerly-awaited major update to the to the raspberry pi still going to be thirty five dollars expected to be. So it's this low cost highly powerful computing environment. Which again, just just means you bring in more people, you you make it more accessible for everyone to get in on this this crazy kind of maker. He coding, you know, sort of thing that's happening. Right. And I think that's the trend. We're seeing that's a neighboring a lot of this is that the technology is affordable for everyone. You know? What's in your iphone, the individual pieces inside of there? You can go on a website right now. And by almost every single part yourself for an affordable price. So the missing link was actually designing and experienced that. Even a child could go through and have a positive experience. It's a user experience challenge. Not so much a technology bit the technologies hair, and it's just improving more and more. We focus on it. Piper was how we actually leverage that in a way that you know, you package in a box, and you have that magical experience that you mentioned that your daughter said, hey, you know, I can build a computer because that's the spark that years later. You know, kids look back and say, hey, that was at thing that convinced me that I go in that direction. Whether they wanted to go into engineering or medicine or law, whatever their chosen profession is we want that magic spark. And you know, the technology was an enabler of that. Yeah. Absolutely. Now, this is what we have here is the second version of the piper computer kit. So there was a there was a part one. Yeah. This is the sequel and that one you initially launched on. Kickstarter right. How like what was what was your team? Like at this point. How much time? Did you spend on it prior to the Kickstarter? And what was that experience? Like, yeah. Yeah. That was a wild experience. It. Sure, you know, we kept a lot of if you go back and look at the, you know, the original Kickstarter things like a wooden computer that you build, you know, we preserve that all the way through, you know, those days were scrappy we prototype. You know every day we talked a lot of kids actually originally. We'd you know wasn't. It wasn't clear that we should even have kids make the computer. We didn't know if kids could actually come out the other end with a working, computer. So with the daily sort of iteration. It was really fun. We tweaked the kit until you know, we could in a single setting sit down with your average sort of seven to twelve year old, and then have them sort of successfully build it without any help. So we sort of made it easier or harder. You know, we didn't want it too easy. This wasn't about something that you saw. Snap together. And seconds. We wanted kids to feel. Yes, I'm building a real, computer. And so those early design, you know, sessions were really important to tweak the bonds. So that you come up with that positive that confidence building because what you want what we wanted to avoid was when we started hearing things, especially on age ages eleven twelve hey, I'm not good at math or I'm not good at. I'm not creative. You start to hear these things especially those age ranges. We wanted to get in as early as possible convince everyone, you know, every young child that this is something they can do and those early Kickstarter days were, you know, the the the seeds of that they're really fun. And and you could see what persisted all the way through that. Absolutely. And we're hearing from people who were who were getting involved in the Kickstarter at the time features that they all man, you know, this would be really cool. If it did this went into your future Bank. It was very collaborative in a part of our product. You know, the heart has. This raspberry pi edition of Minecraft, which is a really popular at the time. We learned that from kids the idea for you know, the core of quite in the software. It was coming from kids telling us, hey that raspberry pi that's a computer can play mine crafts, and I'd never heard of it. Because let's let's be real Minecraft is is the world for a whole lot of kids. And I had never heard of it before. So they brought a they brought this up time and time again until you know, we finally sat down and started playing playing through Minecraft and found out that it was the perfect environment for representing the three world, which is great. When you need to instruct kids about how the wire things up. So it had that Tien that was really important in the beginning. Yeah. And I and I have to say so so we were talking a little bit before the show about mine craft and my both my daughters five and nine there. They definitely follow more into the roadblocks camp than the Minecraft camp. But I I have a really good feeling. That my older daughter, especially because she's the one that's had more interaction with this. So far she's like right in that sweet spot. I think the age range of this of the piper computer, she's nine is gonna come out of this like with a with a much bigger appreciation of mine craft. And I think what I what I thought was so cool. What what I feel is? So ingenious about this product is that when you're utilizing Minecraft, obviously, you're pulling the children, you know, in to a learning environment that they already like see you've eliminated this like, oh, well now, I have to learn this new thing that super complicated. You know, these coding blocks or whatever. And then the experience itself replicates certain pieces of the hardware, you know, within the within what you call story mode. So for example, there's a there's a part in Minecraft where these pins right here are represented, and you show the colored wires extending off of them and the challenge eventually figure it out. Is to actually in the real world. Grab those colored wires connected to those pins in the second. You do you see the energy kind of pulsing in the Minecraft screen, and you realize that the Microsoft is really walking you through these foundational elements of building a computer once you do that. Of course, then you touch these contacts together once it's plugged in. And now your character magically moves forward, you just created through the experience itself. The ability for your character to navigate it. And it's just it's kind of a weird mine twisting thing because like we were talking about it it really melds or kind of creates a connection between this weird virtual world and the real world in such a unique way. And it's such a great way to learn. Yes, that's a beautiful description part of. Yes. The, you know, having a familiar form that kids, you know, we call this sort of the Trojan horse learning, you know, some taking something kids already obsessed with. Combining that with the foundational ideas, you know, in three d world, whether it's roadblocks blocks or Minecraft or fortnight, we you know, we wanted to do as a line with something that kids would be sort of excited to jump into. And then once they've jumped in us that times expose what we think are the foundations. So what you described there sort of, you know, how do you actually place this wire from point a to point b a any three D environment is a great way to walk kids through, you know, what used to be abstract schematics is now a very sort of, you know, video audio animated guided exploration that's much easier entry point, and then, you know, later on gets more and more complex. We love the the narrative of learn to code, for example. And we see a lot of great coding tools out there. What we find is. When you start with putting wall of code in front of a child. Or ask them, you know, even when they're sort of these visual drag and drop programming environments, which we do have in our kid, we find that it's hard to connect those with ideas kids will sort of care about initially. And so what we've done with piper as building this hands on experiences sort of engaging from the beginning and had had the hook with a three d world. They'd be familiar with the game that they'd be familiar with. And then once you've progress through the story mode, then we expose, hey, if you want to sort of make that LED blink the way you want hairs hair, some coating blocks that you can use to modify. So it's it's coating, but exposing a physical way, and we've found that that's that's been a much more successful journey for us to get kids into the world of what I call creative computing, you know, not just computing, but what you can create with it. Yep. Yep. And the coating blocks like you like you said there is piper code, and then there's the piper story mode. Right. Yeah. There's a few different elements that you can get into within the computer, depending. Oh, and this is this is a good example of well, I think this is the first level, right? Where you have to kind of connect. You can kind of see that. There's the the energy is trying to to kind of pull through. Yeah. Kind of gets. You familiar with this concept that you know, electricity currents travel in a certain way, and you have to kind of build a conduit in order for it to pass through entirely, and you know, as you learn these concepts, you go into another level, you know, you out the right thing and boom great. You've passed the level and piper walks you through and then at some point get to the point to where you're creating these in the physical realm and not just the the virtual realm. I just I love it. And we were having a blast with it. We're gonna talk more about piper kit piper computer kit to in a moment. Because this is what you've basically just announced last couple of weeks. And that's what I've been playing with. If you can't tell I've been having probably as much fun as my daughter playing with it. But first, let's take a break. Thank the sponsor. This episode of triangulation this episode is brought to you by capterra. It's twenty nineteen. 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One thing that I saw what were the big requests in. What were you able to fulfil going to the really exciting? You know, one of the things we started seeing was a lot of schools are reaching out and saying, hey, can this be part of our stem solution? Can this be part of our maker space can be part of our after school coding program, and as we started going in and working with more districts and more teachers that they had certain requests. And so for learning to code, you know, screen size is very important. You know, one of the big things is we've expanded the screen size. So that it better it allows more real estate when you're learning to code. We have piper code in there, which is our visual programming language, but you know, you could put python or any other programming language that you're already working with larger screen size. It's robustness came up quite often in the classroom. So a teacher has to do is at the end of the semester. And we have a curriculum that we ship for educators. So they have lesson plans. We offer training in addition to the kit. Those big learning was that for meeting the needs of educators. You know, it had to be more than just handing hardware, so training and curriculum or an important part in that curriculum at the end the last thing that's done. Is you disassemble the kit the children, they work two to one? They they usually sort of collaborate. We love them to work together in at least in pairs, and you take apart the kit, and then you can hand that kit to the next group of students. So it's much more rebuildable every screw nut. That's in the in the kit. You can disassemble reassemble over and over that's important for us to increase access. Yeah. Yeah. None of the screws are screwing into would itself. It's alright it's all going into some sort of a metal receiver exile. Which makes it very easy to disassemble and not like ruined. The the the the rivets or whatever all all reversible redesigned the kit to support that better. And then also for. Extended playtime, you know, we've made it. So that you could plug the piper into the wall. That was something we hadn't thought of initially, but was important in a setting where you wanted to run the kit for maybe three or four hours. So the these things all sort of add up to much more robust solution for educators. And and then for the creative aspects, you know, having a larger screen real estate is very important for us to to enable more design, right? Yeah. Mine crops a great tool for three d modeling. But piper is also great for learning about circuits, and then connecting that with physical programming. Yeah. So we're really building that ecosystem of creation across physical electrical software and the new kit supports that beautifully. Yeah. There's that's my daughter on the screen right now building trying to capture it as we were going along. And she was just having such a blast. Like it really the comparison to Lego's is. So so apt because now when I think about it like how m- how many things has my daughter Lucy Bill. And and what like how how has she created those and by and large I would say in the in the real world, it's largely it's it's LEGO. It's following an instruction manual of some sort. And actually the piper does ship with a really cool put it on the overhead a really cool kind of blueprint approach. And I mean, you know, it makes it makes perfect sense. I was able to kind of kind of help help my daughter Lucy in the kind of the flow of the directions. All right. This is the next page is the next page. But really, I just kind of challenged her to to kind of look at these things and be like, all right? Well, is that facing the right way should that notch be up there down there and kind of follow the instructions on the blueprint? And you know, like like, you also said, and I think this was important to our experience. It wasn't the kind of thing that you could just throw together in twenty minutes. It took a little while it took some time. But what I thought was so wonderful is that she never got bored. You know, what I mean, she? Really wanted to see this thing created, and so she stuck with it and made it happen. And she was able to and I love that you show the the blueprint there. I mean, we wanted to show a little bit the real process of solving problems building a computer is complex. And so we wanted that experience to reflect that and we know, you know, you could see from your daughter she was able to do it. And and and we know that any sort of child is able to do this. So we wanted to just help but not too much because real world is about solving and biggest problems and blueprint reflects those hints and everyone's able to get through it. And then feels really proud at the end if it's too easy. It doesn't it doesn't feel like you're doing the real thing. Totally and that that's not just physical building. It's the same for electronics and the same for programming. You know, everything in here is is there's no sugar coating the wires LED's the buttons. They are the same buttons that you would go into from the manufacturer. And and by the same tools that we? Engineers, they are the real tools, and so that's a part of our authentic core values expose the real world as much as possible down to its core. And then create those experiences like that guided blueprint that just gently nudge, nudge people along in a way, maybe they didn't realize the beginning that they they had it in them. And I believe I saw I've found somewhere read an interview where you had mentioned kid of some someone had created like like when I think of like modulate around the system, I I automatically go to the technology aspect because it is a raspberry pi. And there's so much creativity happening around the raspberry pi. But I think I read that the that you mentioned that there was somebody who had created like a carrying handle. So it could be carried like a laptop case like all kinds of ideas about how they you know, we we wanted it to feel open like, oh, I could go in and modify that, you know, one child fell very strong h should have a handle and. Yeah. Carrying case and three D printed a handle and screwed it in. So we love that. That's exactly how we know where we're kind of moving in the right direction when we invite that sort of, you know, direct creativity, and sort of solving problems in a way that you know, they felt that that's that. That's what they wanted to modify. Once he more of that. And the raspberry pi as a, you know, one of the most successful computers of all time is also a great place where there's lots of projects that people pull the raspberry pi out of the kit, and then are then able to sort of build their own smart device. And you know, instead of having this whole shell of a computer were really excited about is what what people do next after that. Now that they feel confident they can remove the raspberry pi plug it into, you know, their own monitor or we're making this thing works plugged into this monitor just swap out that SD card with a an ST. Mike rusty card that has a different image on it. I just saw news a couple of days ago that now like windows ten can be installed on a raspberry pi. Yeah. Watch this tank, computer. It's crazy. Yeah. And we just want to show people like what the potential was. And so it's really the steps afterwards. That are really the things. We're proud of. Yeah. Kids sort of going beyond and inventing an open ended ways. So obviously Minecraft pie. Addition software running on the inside. I guess what? When thinking of is like open source versus not as open source like what about that? What about creative? You know, how how kids or anyone really can can working kind of with the open source aspects of this. What what kind of are they going to run into? If they go down that road. What I love about the like the community. That's come up around here things like the Minecraft raspberry. Pi addition are creative Commons, and that's you know, a very much in our line. We we wanna make sure that the standard tools, especially for these educational purposes are available to everyone without sort of barriers. So I think round the rasberry. By a lot of the content. That is out. There is all under creative Commons license. And so our philosophy is definitely let's do whatever we can to make sure that we're maximizing access does many people as possible. And so, you know as much as possible we like things to be fully open and fair at the same time right on can kids can create. I mean, I I know that within the the Minecraft story mode. There are elements of it that are more open world sort of things like why don't you come up with something on your own and create something is it possible for for kids who are creating with these to share their experiences. With other piper users any any plans for some sort of like a a sharing community of sorts of that. You know, I it is what it is out of the box. But then it can be opened up and expanded to a whole host of what everybody else is doing with it. Yeah. We we love when when you see our social media, if you go on Twitter there, for example. Think our handle is start with piper. We love to see people sharing what they've built whether it's physically or inside the game, you know, using something like rasberry pie. Minecraft kids can do what they're used to which is creating their you know, ideas and three D little blocks. And so that's that's always been a core. Part of that software. What's really exciting is when they start to envision three combined with some circuit a good exercise. If you have children that are playing Minecraft frequently is to ask them to show, you what they're creating in their houses. You know? I was really surprised to see, you know, one nine year old had this elaborate treasure chest that detected when her friends came in and the virtual world and the floor would kind of drop out that'd be some lava. It was booby-trapped, but that's showing real fluency of of computational fluency, this is conditional logic. This is you know. You know, definitely the level that we we wanted to embody for our kids. And so this kind of guests to this whole language of creative computing that we we see that, you know, instead of math and just math and English, which we all agree is really important in schools. You know, the new language of of the future is is is imbued computing. And so we think that, you know, creative computing technology sort of the next second language, let's say, and so I think these tools are like I mentioned with this story of the nine year old and demonstrating the booby-trapped charter chefs that fluency is what we're trying to amplify. Yeah. The development of their their attention to logic. Yes. And yeah, these are all skills that will only increase in necessity in in the in just the real world the workplace when as they grow up. It's going to be more and more important, obviously, they're going to see a whole lot of. This proliferation of AI were at the beginning of that right now. I don't know how or if or win that that comes into play with the piper. But I mean that's another skill that that could potentially. Yes. Something to learn from as well, I think what we're seeing is, you know, the the jobs of the future. We don't we don't even know exactly what they're going to be. We just know that those jobs are going to be very different from what they are right now. So I think the education system is trying to adopt at the moment. And so our our part in this is sort of make make our statements about what we think are important AI, robotics automation are important trends that we know are going to be part of the future workforce. So we're trying to do is to just expose the fundamentals right now at the earliest age possible. So that those I those ideas aren't so obstruct the robots are not coming to get us. We need the program them as much as we keep thinking that they're going to. Yeah. Yeah. We're not not quite. There yet. And we certainly need folks program them who have that fluency that I'm talking about. Sure. So so we'll bring about that future faster. If we have more more kids having experiences like piper and things like that. And and in that process, I think we'll have a deeper understanding about you know, what does a I mean for for the future really excited about that as the future of, you know, if you think about the economy, and what we need, you know, we we need innovators who understand technology. Whether it's in the medical domain, for example, where where I did things like prosthetics. That's a great example. If you have more diverse creators thinking about those problems and having that fluency from an early age, we're going to see much more creative solutions to problems faster. And I think that's important for just as us as a society. Absolutely, absolutely. How do you think? Schools are doing with computer science. I know, you know, I it's come a long way is vastly different from when I was a kid, and, you know, had had some, you know, computer in the classroom, and all it really did was play Oregon trailers. Yeah. Really think of very many instructive and definitely not in this sense ways that that teachers back then were were trying to educate us around. You know, what the computer could be and everything have has schools kind of caught up. Do you think there are some places where they're falling behind her? They're not paying enough attention to it. What do you think? Yeah. I think I think the US schools are. Catching up in that. I think we all agree that this is an important thing to have kids exposed to computer science. I think we're we're still have a lot of work to do is how that actually gets put in the fabric of the dailies or school system. It's still somewhat optional at least in the US other countries. It's not optional. So I think you know, what what's really important is actually the teachers is what we found was one of the limiting factors is that you have a workforce of teachers right now, maybe don't have any background in programming. They also maybe aren't as confident to dive in and so part of the piper too. And and the classroom piper classroom. We call it, which is the hardware. Plus, all the other things we think educators need part of what we're doing. There is a dressing the r- the root cause of what we think is blocking say computer science in schools, which is let's go. in there. Let's make this turn key. So that a teacher, regardless of what background they're coming from. We already know, you know, any kid can build their own computer and program. And so why not bring it up to the next level and have any teacher be able to teach confidently skills like computer science. And so, you know, part of our approach hair is, you know, give teachers that same experience, but not just computer science. Give them the whole picture of creative computing, physical electrical programming in context. It's not obstruct. And then we're we're seeing great results now in US schools, you know, worrying about six hundred pilots right now with the classroom kits. And I think this is a kind of approach we encourage others to jump into. Yeah. That's awesome. I know that I know that you've also been involved in hack Athans with with piper. How how has that kind of material is what was locally what great is once you've gone through? What I consider. The you know the boot camp we have piper. This the building the story mode. Teachers who who wanted to give these open ended, you know problem solving sessions. You know, how haka thoughts or whatever. Whatever they you know, you wanna call. It was basically session where we come up with a problem and get in a room, and then make solutions to those problems. So what's great about piper? Is that the same parts that you use in that kit, for example, the raspberry pi can be removed, and then, you know, put into you know, solution that sense is your air quality, right or senses, the temperature and humidity for scientific problem that that someone's facing? So so these are things we're seeing pop up more and more and they're good reflection. That we're getting to that creative fluency that that's all part of our mission empire kids. Yeah. Right on one thing just occurred to me when we were talking a little bit about, you know, going in the classroom and technique. And how that you know, how how schools are doing around this. I realized that a lot of times they're the hurdle to overcome kind of lies in the hands of parents who may be to some degrees are thinking of computer science in terms of that tablet screen or that very passive kind of experience, you know, screen devices, the kind of silo silo the user away from from learning, it becomes kind of passive thing. And I and I do think that something like piper helps helps to bridge that divide. But how how do you think parents can can be better involved or better better understand kind of the I don't know the the complicated scenario that we're in right now, where technology isn't one thing. It can be many things yet parents will be resistant to it because it is technology. You know what? I mean, we see we see a lot a lot of parents who engage with us. You know, they're they're coming from a world of let's say, ipods, and the home that are primarily being used to consume content. For example, you know, classic thing is what you know, my kids watching YouTube videos of Minecraft when they're not playing Minecraft, they're watching hours of YouTube there. So I think this was a reality that we were seeing as we went into homes and talk of the parents, you know, we we didn't think solution of no screens is the right one. I think coexisting. Thing you know, and piper was meant to be sort of. Let's take the screen time, but make it valuable make educational and so for parents, I think you you sat down with your nine year old Lucienne and built a kit together. Those are the kind of experiences I would like to encourage for the parents to get familiar themselves with the, you know, with the foundations pipers as much for the the parents around the kids as they are for the kids themselves. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's an important next step is, you know, parent parents could by today, and and build it, and I think that becomes an important attitude change for how technology can be for their kids, which is it's about creation in addition to consumption. Sure. Yeah. Although they will always also enjoy sitting down with YouTube and watch something else. But giving them the opportunity to get excited about being interacting as well. So that that isn't always just the Veneto kind of go to place when it comes to technology creating more options, and I know that having the piper in in our house has definitely created that they want they want to turn to that thing instead of maybe asking for a tablet, or or whatever to watch something passably, and you also advocate for creative computing, which is kind of kind of what we're talking about here. Right. Like, creative computing is really just all these pieces coming together. So that someone can feel empowered to take take charge and create you've done a lot of work in this field. And I know that you've done, you know, some of your talks have kind of focused on this. But just to kind of like route us outland talked about the importance of that and kind of what you envision that turning like the piper kind of turning into without a mind. I think you know, computation computer science, we talked a bit about electronics the physical world, you know, the these are all ideas that fall under an umbrella. I call creative computing, which is about not just the individual pieces, but all of them together being put forward in a way that you're solving. You're creating things rather than consuming. And so what we're trying to do with piper. And all of our products expose all of the elements. And now to me of you know, what we think is foundational. So that anyone who has an idea for a problem? They wanna solve can can eventually build it themselves. And so that starts with things like, you know, being exposed to the raspberry pi. And and being able to be comfortable wiring sensors up directly and being comfortable would adding in programming. So you know, I think the future of creating competing is exactly what we're doing. Now is showing that you know, kids can do it. And probably if a kid can do anyone. Can do it. So we're really excited about that for sort of exposing, you know, the whole world this. Yeah. I love it. I love what you're doing play piper dot com. Production people should go to to kind of take more. We didn't even talk about the excess series. You guys had an announcement a couple of months ago new accessory kind of kits that follow the same aesthetic. Right. Like one of them is a game controller, and it's totally game controller that you build made made out of wood. But it's a game controller nonetheless. Yeah. Yeah. All our all our things. Follow the same DNA. Great hands on you got to build it. You'll understand the foundation, and that's going to be things that your kids are really excited to jump in and do on their own. Yeah. I know that my kids will will enjoy at some point getting the game controller even though my five year old. Maybe we didn't talk about this during the episode, but we talked about it prior to the show her, and I had some really great a like a really great time collaboratively controlling a character begins in the early stages of piper. Your. You're left with these wires that you've wired up in order to go forward. You got the touch the two colors together. And that moves your character Ford. So it's a very interactive. But in a very different sort of way than I think we're all used to having a controller move character dead. She's she's telling me touch the blue wire. So that it moves forward while I touch these wires. So that it jumps. So that we can get through this part. You know, and it was like, wow, we're both working together to to control this character. I know at some point they're going to be like give me a control the control. I love that collaborative. And that was definitely intentional on our part, making sure that the experience was, you know, something not actually tall you a little bit about you know, solving problems is all about t- more goal. Two million. They're not going to invent the future without working together. You know, great as the team. And absolutely those are those early early sparks of that. Yeah. And and you know, it taught her the lesson that on a on the technology side of things when you press up you're essentially touching these two contacts together. I mean, and so that that understanding of how it works under the hood is is invaluable and something that I never would have imagined. I would have approached with my five year old, you know. But yet this is a concept that she gets now touch the contacts, the circuit is complete the character moves forward and she's five and she gets. Yeah. Oh, that's incredible. Yeah. Well, you know, my daughter is incredible. But the piper also allows this for all. All children. And that's why I'm so excited that I got the chance to to bring you here today. And thank you for us. Well, just have a lot of fun. And and I I love this where we're at right now with technology, and how impounding that is four children really for me. If I can do something to help my daughter's realized that they have the ability to choose who they want to be and to spark create a spark in something like technology. They they know their dad goes to work and his on YouTube. That's the thing they care about most as far as my job is concerned. But they know that I work with technology. But this allows them to have some ownership in it. And and to really understand. And like you said this is kind of the the beginnings of when they look back. They can be like, well, I remember when I created a computer when I was nine and maybe that led to this. Maybe it didn't. But it was still a great experience. You know what? I mean, they have the ability to make that decision. Yeah. I'm really excited to to see how it turns out your daughters. And now, we have many more stories, exactly. Like that right on Joel Sadler of founder of piper. Of course. Play piper dot com. How much does the kid is at two ninety nine for kind of the starting point. Yeah. Yeah. And then for educators, it's you know, you can go on our website piper classroom bundles different pricing. Yeah. Okay. And okay. Well, then I'm going to have to throw my through my school towards the website and had them had them take a look because this this fits in. It's a Montessori school, and it's like all hands on's on. Yeah. Percent in line with with their mission. So Joel thank you so much for coming up in you, drove up from San Francisco, and all the rain and everything thank you for my pleasure. Battling the elements anytime for piper parents right on cool. There's been a lot of fun talking with Joel we talk with a lot of really amazing people on the show each and every week, and you can check it out. Go into twit dot TV slash T, R Y for triangulation go there, and you will find all of our episodes more than three hundred eighty four of them. We've got quite a few interviews. So if you haven't gone through the list, you can find so many awesome names and get caught up. A we do record live every Friday at eleven thirty AM Pacific two thirty PM eastern nineteen thirty UT. See you can always watch us live. If you like twit dot TV slash live. But you probably just want be subscribe to the podcast, and again, that's dot TV slash TRI. For all the information to subscribe. I'm Jason Howell. Thanks to our producer, Anthony for setting this all up and have the making this go so seamlessly and thanks to you for watching. We'll see next week on triangulation. By everybody.

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