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EdTech Digest: A Closer Look at Learning with A Great STEAM Tool

Posted By christina On May 12, 2020 in Media Coverage

In this EdTech Digest, Mark Gura discusses his recent meeting with Jason Innes, our Curriculum and Training Manger, where Jason visited Mark’s graduate level, EdTech Leadership students at Touro College in New York City. The course is ‘Technology Integration for School Leaders’, where his students and in-service teachers are preparing to become certified as school technology specialists.

Jason shared the history behind the KIBO robot and what is offers young learners.

The article reads in part:
“A few days back, using Zoom, my class welcomed guest, Jason Innes of KinderLab Robotics, the producer of KIBO robotics resources for early childhood education. And, at once, my students were catapulted from the realm of theory to that of actual and inspiring practice that reflects some of the best of 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

As my students are already immersed in the world of edtech, the concept of student robotics wasn’t a shocking revelation. However, the ways in which KIBO robotics resources have been developed and the ways that student users learn powerful lessons with them grabbed my class’ attention strongly. We were given a glimpse into a very special variety of learning experience for kids.

…how sophisticated Student Robotics has become in a variety of ways: the resources themselves, the emergence of highly appropriate curriculum with which to implement them, and the body of understanding about how this remarkable approach fits into the overall picture of instructional programs and their goals.

Taking a fresh look at KIBO through this class guest conversation though, left me somewhat blown away at how sophisticated Student Robotics has become in a variety of ways: the resources themselves, the emergence of highly appropriate curriculum with which to implement them, and the body of understanding about how this remarkable approach fits into the overall picture of instructional programs and their goals.

As we spoke, here are some of the things that emerged that are truly eye opening, even for a group of edtech sophisticates –

  1. Screen-free Robotics – “It’s an ingenious, hyper kid-friendly, approach; one that teaches kids important concepts as they play and experiment collaboratively.”
  2. Establishing an Appropriate Context for Learning Coding – “KIBO makes offering it practical and effective in an age appropriate way.”
  3. The Expressive Potential of Student Robotics – Putting the A (Arts) in STEAM – “Like other aspects of this tool, this encourages and supports kids in expressing their ideas and feelings… robotically.”
  4. Literacy Loves Robotics – “The natural flow of play children engage in with KIBO has kids writing and telling stories with their robots. A great deal of literacy instruction for students at this age and level centers around stories and storytelling.”

See the full article.