Here are five reasons why coding and robotics for kids can greatly benefit learning and development for children four to seven.
1 Improved Cognitive, fine motor, and Social Development:
Recent research has shown that when Robotics is introduced in pre-K to second-grade classrooms, children’s early development is stimulated in ways that can’t be replicated through other techniques. Working with Robots gets kids moving and off screens, even as they engage with engineering and programming. Movement and play are especially critical for learning in early childhood.
2 New opportunities for Creative Critical Thinking:
When kids, experiment and engage with robotics, they transform from children to engineers and storytellers. By playing with motors and sensors or creating personally meaningful projects that react to their environment, these children are unlocking their imaginations and their problem-solving potential. Through simple commands, young students can see their story come to life through their programming. It’s especially powerful for developing their understanding of if/then principles as well of the complete engineering design process.
3 Introduction to Technology:
We live, in an advanced, digital world, one that can sometimes feel daunting to adults concerned about their young children’s interaction with technology. By presenting the capabilities of coding and programming through approachable and engaging robotics without a PC, tablet or smartphone, educators can feel secure that they’re building a positive connection between their students and the technology of their modern world.
4 Hands-on Lessons with Real World Applications:
Young children interact with robot-like electronics every day, but may not understand behind why and how they work. From automatic doors to public hand dryers, the same technology that kids regularly encounter can be explored through hands-on engagement with robots and sensor technology. By teaching foundation programming concepts, along with robotics, we can introduce our children to important ideas that will inform their understanding of many of the everyday objects they interact with.
In primary grades, students still learn using their eyes and hands, drawing, molding, and manipulating objects. At this age, they are starting the tough transition to learning by reading. Having robots to work through problems visually help many students with complex concepts. Robots are a fun way for students to apply and experiment with concepts that they are learning.
5 Fun and Inspired Learning:
Kids are naturally very curious. They are eager to interact with and understand the world around them. Finding the joy and wonder in their learning is their default inclination, so the most successful educators help their students have fun with their learning. Through natural play and trial-and-error approach to programming, children are more likely to learn and grow and do so in ways that teachers aren’t able to anticipate. Oftentimes, the most joy that a child experiences with their learning is when they figure out something for themselves.
Robots provide another opportunity for creative problem-solving. Students should learn to look at a problem in many ways, rather than applying a formula that they are giving. When programming robotics, there can be many solutions to a single problem, and different students may take different paths to arrive at a solution. Students get to discuss their processes and the logic that they used to understand different methods and solutions. This opens students to the real world of problem-solving.
One way that coding is useful to students is by teaching them to create and use algorithms. An algorithm is a sequence of steps that should be followed in a particular order to achieve a goal. Computer coding helps teach students how to use and explain their logic. Coding involves making choices about the best command to use, the best order of events, or the best structure of the code itself.
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