This free OS turns the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero into a kids coding class

The Raspberry Pi Zero has, with its $5 price tag, made prototype computing even more affordable, but what if you want to turn it to education? Enter Kano, best known for its kid-friendly DIY computer, but which now offers a version of its OS intended for young coders for the stick form-factor computer.

Kano already offered a version of its OS for the regular Raspberry Pi, but this new release is the first such platform for the even cheaper model.

Although specifications of the Raspberry Pi Zero are relatively cut-down compared to its more expensive siblings, that's still enough to run a variety of Kano features.

Coding skills are the domain of Kano Blocks, for instance, that supports creating apps with a drag-and-drop interface that automatically generates the correct Python or Javascript code.

Kano World, meanwhile, allows for homegrown software to be shared with other Kano users. Various challenges – such as tweaking games like Pong and Minecraft – are also built in.

In short, even if you're not picking up one of Kano's own kits, which include things like modular displays and keyboards, for $5 and a handful of peripherals you could get much the same experience.

Kano for Raspberry Pi Zero is a free, 1.41 GB download available now.