The elephant in the room is the cost of computing. Programs like Code.org, Khan Academy, and others provide a useful solution. They are free for educators and parents, provide motivational incentives, and entice students with highly colorful graphics and relative character interfaces, such as zombie attacks or familiar video game characters. Such sites are the first step in implementing coding in the classroom.
Robotics is the next step. In recent years, the market has witnessed the rise of robotic tools – such as Sphero, Wonder Workshop and Lego Mindstorms – that teach students coding. At its core, robotics moves students away from the lone interface of a computer screen to an active social community. Not only is the state of the student world growing, so are the benefits offered by information technology.
Teachers know what students need emotionally, socially, and academically. Therefore, teachers should be properly armed to defend change when needed. Here are five reasons to consider buying robotics for the K-12 classroom.
1. Learning the senses
Children learn with all their senses, and robotics is more naturally suited to the active, practical development of a K-5 student. Studies have shown it a multidisciplinary approach activates a greater number of cognitive connections. Robots like Dash and Dot in Wonder Workshop encourage students to touch, build, measure, track, run, and jump next to Dash as this bright blue bubble on wheels passes over the grid avoiding obstacles or triggering ping pong balls. Students are emotionally and physically engaged, creating increased neural connections that lead to active learning and improve long-term experiential memory.
2. Better socialization
Social learning is nothing new. In the 1970s, Albert Bandura founded the best-known theory of modern social learning that proposed it people learn from each other through observation, imitation, and modeling. This way of thinking is also true today. Communication and collaboration are critical skills to prepare young people for the world outside the classroom. Robotics challenges provide students with opportunities in all forms of socialization, including (and most importantly, developing) growing listening skills, as well as considering and evaluating alternative perspectives.
Now you’re probably wondering, “Why robotics?” While it is possible to integrate hands-on learning and opportunities to increase socialization by other means, the third reason is critical to robotics.
3. Opportunities for Hands-On Innovation
Daniel Pink theorized it The 21st century has seen a change in the way of thinking in the global market. In this new world, an MFA is more than an MBA. While computers can be programmed for logical, linear results, creativity and innovative thinking can never be automated. This has costly consequences for our students. As we prepare them to calculate, refine, and remember the names and locations of states on the map, are we balancing the curriculum with the possibilities for problem-solving and the issues that bring out innovations? The challenges of robotics offer students exciting opportunities to build and express their imagination. The realization of the seeds of the idea involves a characteristic expediency from the brainstorming phase to the construction of objects of real life value.
4. Higher accuracy
The highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy are application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. At these top levels of thinking, students begin to think about real-world information applications. Facts and ideas become building blocks that allow them to build innovative applications, products and inventions. 21st century jobs require our students to complete the highest level of thinking. How often do we offer them these opportunities?
5. Cost effective investment
The cost of robotics programs varies, but one unifying factor is that they are usually not consumable. This means valuable returns for several categories in the coming years. Of course, there are typically upgrades that are needed, but they cost significantly less than those related to the impact of a lone data experience on our students. Chiropractors have witnessed an influx of children suffering from headaches and back, neck and shoulder pain due to an unsettled lifestyle and excessive computer use. In contrast, robotics causes students to get up and move, which reduces health costs and risks.
In my own subclass, I have integrated art, including music and theater, into our robotics program. Third, fourth, and fifth grade students participated Wonder Workshop: Wonder League Robotics Competition. During the seven space-themed missions, they learn block coding, but after that, they learn about problem solving, creation, innovation, and different perspectives while gaining new understanding for themselves and their peers. At a glance their videos, the viewer understands the abundance of learning from the experience of robotics. Their songs for Mission Seven emphasizes this message.
The desire to create is nothing new. The combination of heart, mind and body has always contributed to the healing of our world. Robotics values ingenuity and limitless possibilities for creation.