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Media Coverage

Posted By christina On January 22, 2020

Slice of MIT: Can a Screen-Free Robot Teach Coding—and Build Character?

In this MIT Alumni Association Publication, our Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. Marina Bers talks to her alma mater about her career in developing innovative educational technologies for young learners.

The article reads in part:
“Technology is advancing, but human problems—how to live together in a multicultural, diverse, multiethnic society—have been around forever. Technology may change the way we address some of those issues,” she says, “because it involves problem solving, an open mind, trial and error.”

Through KinderLab Robotics, a startup she cofounded in 2013, Bers is working to make another of her inventions for early childhood learners available worldwide. An expansion of ideas she worked on at MIT with [Seymour] Papert, KIBO is a robot that uses wooden blocks (rather than a screen) to teach a basic, tactile programming language. Children queue up a set of actions by lining up individual blocks, each of which has a bar code, and using the robot to scan them. Then they press a button and KIBO enacts their program—performing a dance, telling a story, and so on.

Students learn not only how to engage with KIBO most effectively but also how they can use it to interact positively with others.

Her work with KIBO and ScratchJr, as well as the multiple books she has authored, frames technology-based learning in a fun, communal way that convinces young children they can master these skills no matter their background or style of learning. “If we don’t start early, we have to deal with stereotypes,” she says. “By eight years old, many kids already think they’re not good at STEM, and it’s usually the girls and minorities.”

“I’m not focused on developing the next generation of programmers,” she explains. “I just want to impact the next generation of citizens—and they need to learn new skills and think in new ways.”

Read the full article.

Posted By christina On January 17, 2020

District Administration: Why These FETC Session Attendees Got Ahead in their Planning to Purchase Digital Tools

Steven Blackburn, from District Administration, came by the Elementary Digital Tools Sandbox while at the FETC 2020 Conference to see the solutions available for young learners all in one place. He was introduced to the KIBO robot while there and wrote about his experience. Read on to learn his full experience meeting KIBO.

Posted By christina On December 26, 2019

Java John Z’s: Learn to Program with the KinderLab Robotics KIBO Robot Kit

In this review, the KIBO robot kit is reviewed by the team of Java John Z’s. The reviewer found “KIBO easy to work with. So easy… a 4 to 7-year old could use it. Of course, it is fun for the parent to play with, too.” More from the review: KIBO from KinderLab Robotics is Read More

Posted By christina On December 25, 2019

TechHive: KinderLabs Robotics KIBO robot kit can help teach younger kids to code, no screens required

In this TechHive article, the writer reviews KIBO and shares his experience watching his daughter and her friends using KIBO. The article reads in part: Enter KinderLab and its nifty STEAM-oriented KIBO robot kits, which use motors, sensors, modules, scanners, and (most intriguing) building blocks to introduce young ones to coding, no screens required. My Read More

Posted By christina On December 16, 2019 Talking About Computer Science for Good in Your Classroom

In this article, they discuss that while computer science is a foundational subject in today’s world that will benefit students in any career path, it also equips them with the tools to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. The article reads in part: “How computer science is used and applied in the Read More