Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
It’s summertime and the living is easy. But if you’re like us, you want to make sure your children have fun, are occupied and never stop learning! Whether you’ve enrolled them in summer camps, day care, or will be at home with them – KIBO is a perfect fit.
Created after more than fifteen years of child development and learning technologies research, our robot kit is developmentally appropriate and approachable. Its customizable art platform allows for open-ended play and collaboration, while its familiar wooden blocks effortlessly teach sequencing and programming concepts.
If you subscribe to our Child’s Play newsletter, then you know KIBO will be popping up a few summer camps over the next few months including the LEXPLORATION summer program and the DevTech Summer Program at Tufts University. If you’re interested in introducing KIBO to your summer camp or program, get in touch today.
If you’re a parent, grandparent, babysitter or really generous neighbor who wants to help a child code with KIBO this summer, browse our options in the shop.
Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
Debbie Rogers is the Director of Instructional Digital Design at the Riverside Presbyterian Day School in Jacksonville, Florida. She kindly took the time to speak with us about her class and how her students are working with KIBO.
Debbie came across KinderLab Robotics and KIBO following the introduction of Scratch Jr. to her school. After meeting with our team, hearing about the research behind KIBO’s development and seeing KIBO in action, Debbie knew that KIBO would be a great fit.
“To me, what really makes it powerful is that it’s designed developmentally, not just to be a marketable product. The research and the physicality of the wooden blocks are comfortable to a traditional teacher,” said Debbie about her choice to invest in KIBO for her school.
Riverside Presbyterian Day School is dedicated to introducing coding to children. This year more children and teachers are spending time on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and have access to a designated STEAM room at the school. Debbie, her team, and the teachers promote a broader design systems mindset amongst the students without a focus on specifics such as coding fundamentals. From these programs children learn creatively to understand sequences and to solve problems systematically. With KIBO the Riverside Presbyterian Day School cultivates curiosity for the technical world, teaches problem solving and helps students to learn hands-on concepts such as cause-and-effect, sequencing and loops.
Robotics and KIBO were introduced to students by taking students’ previous stories, which had been made using Scratch Jr., and then helping the students make stories and characters come to life in the physical world. Through this method, young students get to experience and compare computer-based memory to reading and scanning a new program.
Debbie and her team have used KIBO with preschoolers, kindergarteners, second and third graders. Debbie feels that this resonates with the developmentally-appropriate nature of KIBO, and proves the importance of open-ended play in early education. The younger children were able to build KIBO and start programming in minutes, while the older children—used to reading and following set instructions—took more time, asked more questions and engaged differently.
“KIBO is certainly very-well designed for the younger mind, the 4-7 year-old age group that the team at KinderLab Robotics wanted to create it for. KIBO allows inductive, constructive learning. I don’t need to give the students instructions first. Instead we’re deriving our own instructions and creating our own definitions. It’s exploratory and a very open way to teach and to bond with students.”
To learn more about incorporating KIBO into your classroom, please get in touch today.
Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2015
A recent edition of Harvard Magazine featured an excellent, in-depth article on computing in the classroom. Our CEO and co-founder Mitch Rosenberg was inspired to respond to their editorial team.
Mitch, just like the rest of the team here at KinderLab Robotics, agrees with the author, Sophia Nguyen, that the classroom ‘should be no less mechanized than the kitchen’. This is the domain of robotics: an outlet for young children to engage in open-ended play, build social skills, connect with arts and culture – and learn programming concepts, simultaneously.
The culture of the classroom is changing rapidly. We believe it’s undoubtedly for the better. For more of Mitch’s insights on the topic, take a look at his letter to the editor – just published here.
For the original article, please click here. In the mood for a game of I Spy? Check out the cover of the March-April 2015 print edition and let us know on Facebook or Twitter when you spot KIBO!
Have questions about incorporating robotics and coding into your early education classroom? Please get in touch with our team.
Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
I don’t just have a personal fascination with robots, I’ve made a career of them. My technical career started at Honeywell Systems working on night vision applications in the late 1970s and eventually I found myself amongst robots with roles at Rethink Robotics and Kiva Systems.
Today, I spend my days with a bug-eyed, two-wheeled, unusual-looking yet cute robot called KIBO.
We say that KIBO teaches children aged four to seven years how to program, but really – it’s much more than that.
First, we have to consider the importance of science, technology, engineering and math. These are core subjects for education, but it’s vital that children learn about this by doing, being active and having fun. It’s also important that children have positive and rich experiences creating and building things at an early age. There’s not much you can control in your life at five years old – we’ve seen hundreds of children gleeful at being able to build and control KIBO.
It’s well understood by researchers, such as my co-founder Marina, that at four to seven years children’s self-images and self-identities begin to take shape. Giving them the means to build, fix and problem solve, and the confidence to do so, gives a life skill. It doesn’t mean that every child who has a KIBO will grow up to become a programmer, it’s about applying a learning approach to technology and logical thinking.
KIBO engages children with familiar wooden blocks and an approachable robot that the children can dress up, decorate and control. It’s all about open-ended play, where children’s creativity can go wherever they want. KIBO reaches kids where they are – no screens, no rules, just good old-fashioned-play meets cute robot.