Three teachers share their thoughts and experiences on implementing coding and robotics in early education.
The young children they teach were born with technology as a part of their lives. They don’t know a world without touchscreen phones and computers in every room. In today’s world, saying that subjects like coding and robotics “are for ‘big kids’” is like saying “reading is for ‘big kids.’”
As Robin Ricketts from The Steward School points out, if we wait until students are in middle school to hand them a book, we have not only devalued reading, we’ve also missed out on the opportunity to make reading easy and fun. The same is true of STEM literacy, which can no longer be considered optional. Children need to actually touch, manipulate, and experiment with objects in order to fully understand them.
Robots bring this physical interaction to the potentially intimidating process of understanding engineering and programming. If we add in the social interaction of working with friends, we can deepen the understanding through conversation and the sharing of ideas.