Technology and innovation is increasingly important in education. Our world is increasingly immersed in, and controlled by technology, and children need to understand what it is and how it works – and there are significant benefits to them doing so at a young age.
Despite the immense need and opportunity, the curriculum is slow to change. We work with teachers and educators that have gained funding for tech in their classrooms in order to introduce KIBO, but knowing there are so many more educators that want to secure funding, we wanted to share some of the insights into successes of our education partners.
There are a number of different ways to raise funds, including:
We’re passionate about bringing STEAM education to students of all ages and ensure educators have the right tools to do so. If you’d like to take the first step towards getting KIBO in your classrooms, get in touch today – we’re happy to help.
Got any advice to fellow educators or teachers on how to best secure funds? Please share them with our community!
It’s National Robotics Week and to get everybody in the spirit, we thought we’d share a fun video about how our own robot kit – KIBO – has been used in the Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School in Cambridge MA.
Sue Cusack is an assistant professor at Lesley University and has been working with Cambridge-area schools to embed learning technologies to early education classrooms.
KIBO has been used in grades K-2 in a variety of different ways. What’s so beneficial about KIBO is that it is easily integrated into existing curricula – and Kennedy-Longfellow took full advantage.
Click play below to see how kindergarteners brought the famous book, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ to life; how first-graders recreated the lifecycles of frogs and butterflies; and how second graders learned about different ways worms move through various environments.
KIBO strengthened students’ knowledge of social studies, science and language arts – and gave new valuable technical skills while having fun and working with their classmates.
It may seem hard to believe for us here in Boston, but the snow is melting and spring is just around the corner. Will you be using the season’s sunnier days to indulge in some spring cleaning? If so, don’t forget the toy box.
Our chief-scientist Marina has studied child development for well over 15 years, and the importance of developmentally appropriate technology for young children pushed her to create KIBO: our robot kit which uses wooden blocks — and no screens — to teach children between the ages of 4 and 7 to code.
Why is it so important that technology is developmentally appropriate for young children? At this age, the fundamentals are still forming: motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills and more. We believe that coding and technology should be considered one of these fundamental skills, however treating it as its own study is potentially harmful and unnecessary.
Stereotypes begin to form at a very early age, and treating technology as a special subject may alienate girls or those who don’t identify as technical. When incorporated into music, social studies or at home, it is disguised as open-ended play. Play that anybody can participate and succeed in. It helps children to think logically, reasonably, and work together to bring something to life without even realizing it.
It’s important to teach young kids about the abstract through something tangible. Young kids learn by doing — by playing with physical objects. To effectively learn programming and engineering without limits, they need materials modeled after traditional learning manipulatives and toys, such as wooden blocks and customizable platforms, as opposed to on-screen activities.
There are thousands of studies and opinions on the harmful effects of screen-time for children, but when it comes learning about technology and the way it works: tangible, customizable, open-ended play is best. So if your child is under seven, take a good hard look at your toy box. Throw away the complicated electronics and iPads (for now) and help them develop in the best way possible. Make way for a summer full of coding! And parents, trust us, KIBO will keep them occupied for hours — so you can enjoy more of that hard-earned sunshine.
If you’re a parent in the Boston area seeking summer camp options, take a look at the summer programs by DevTech Research Group at Tufts University here.
Robotics brings together atoms and bits – the physical world and computational world. This merging of worlds is relevant to each of us, including young children who grow up surrounded by technology like automatic faucets and doors, their parents’ smartphones, and a never-ending range of screens.
Technology has become pervasive and this has driven the ‘coding is the new literacy’ movement. It’s vital that children embrace technology and have an understanding of how it is created, controlled and its role in our lives. Just as they should learn to read and write.
They should also learn that technology is fun and that it’s a human creation: we control it. That’s where robotics comes in. When given the proper tools, children as young as four years old can learn programming, logic and engineering.
Developmentally-appropriate toys, such as our KIBO robot kit, encourage open-ended play and integrate technology with existing core curricula including arts, math and literature. Children of all genders feel comfortable playing with KIBO, which is important as stereotypes are formed at very early stages.
In short, young children learn by doing and robotics presents a simple and age-appropriate way to make, test and learn new things.
Got questions about robotics and early childhood education? Get in touch today. If you want to find out more about how to introduce KIBO in your K-2 classroom, register for our in-person training and build your curriculum with us.