In this Edutopia article, Elizabeth Aguila, who runs the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Academy of Education, a high school career academy for future teachers, discusses strategies for having older students teach younger ones.
As part of their preschool curriculum, they added a STEAM initiative this past year. Her high school students created lessons to introduce the preschool children to coding. Initially they started coding using laptops and tablets, but Elizabeth quickly realized that they didn’t hold the attention of the children very long. They needed to work with technology that was concrete and hands-on.
They found KIBO more successful for this initiative rather than laptops. Using the screen-free robot, they taught both high school and preschool students about coding. Although such coding robots are designed for children 4 to 7 years old, the high school students also learned fundamental coding skills by programming them in preparation for teaching the younger kids—for the teens, the robots were the tool and the subject of both learning and teaching.
The article continues, “Coding can be complex and difficult to understand, but after some professional development with the developers of the robot, the high school students were confident about teaching the children how to program the robots to dance, spin, and speak.
Watching the high school and preschool students learning about coding and developing other skills reinforced my thoughts about the benefit of learning by teaching. My students are learning about their own learning and may be becoming better students—and ultimately teachers—because of it. Their education has a purpose, and that purpose motivates them to learn.”
Read the full article here.