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Introduction

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, it is more important than ever to prepare students for the future. However, this can be a daunting task for educators, who must navigate the constantly changing demands of the job market and the skills required to succeed in it. In response, many educators are turning to coding robots as a tool for helping students develop the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Coding robots provide students with hands-on experience in programming and robotics, allowing them to develop computational thinking skills and digital competence. By engaging with coding robots, students can learn to problem-solve, think critically, and work collaboratively, all while having fun and exploring their creativity.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using coding robots in education and how they can help prepare students for the future.

Benefit #1: Coding teaches the literacy of the 21st century.

As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in society, coding has emerged as a new form of literacy. Teaching children to code gives them fluency in a new set of tools for self-expression, much like learning to read and write.

According to a study on the development of computational thinking and 21st-century skills in K-9 education, learning programming can have a positive impact on the development of computational thinking skills among students. It can also help them develop digital competence, which is the ability to use digital technologies effectively and efficiently.

In addition, coding can benefit students in the future by providing them with a valuable skillset that is increasingly in demand in the workforce. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

By teaching children to code, we are not only preparing them for future employment opportunities but also equipping them with the skills they need to be successful and engaged members of society.

coding robots
Source: The Lerner Blog

Benefit #2: Coding Robots develop computational thinking skills

Computational thinking is a set of problem-solving skills that involve breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. According to a study on the development of computational thinking and 21st-century skills in K-9 education, learning programming can have a positive impact on the development of computational thinking skills among students. But what is the connection between computational thinking and cognitive skills developed in early childhood?

Research shows that computational thinking is closely related to other cognitive skills that are developed in early childhood, such as spatial reasoning, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. By learning to code, students can strengthen these skills and develop new ones that are essential for success in the 21st century.

For example, coding requires students to think logically and systematically, breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. This can help students develop critical thinking skills that are valuable in a variety of contexts, such as academic and professional settings.

Additionally, coding can help students develop spatial reasoning skills by requiring them to visualize and manipulate objects in a digital space. This can be particularly helpful for students who struggle with traditional spatial reasoning tasks, such as geometry.

Overall, the development of computational thinking skills is essential for success in the 21st-century job market, which increasingly requires digital competence and problem-solving skills. By learning to code, students can develop these skills in a fun and engaging way that promotes their overall development and success.

Benefit #3: Technology becomes the playground

In today’s digital age, it is important to provide children with technology-rich experiences that can help them develop digital competence and 21st-century skills. According to a study on “Computational Participation: Understanding Coding as an Extension of Literacy Instruction,” coding can be seen as an extension of literacy instruction, providing children with new tools for self-expression and communication. But how can we make technology-rich experiences engaging and accessible for young children?

This is where coding robots come in. Coding robots, such as Dash and Dot, Ozobot, and LEGO Mindstorms, provide a fun and engaging way for students to explore and learn about technology. By programming and controlling these robots, students can experiment with different coding concepts and see the results of their actions in real time. This hands-on approach to learning can be particularly effective for young children, who think and learn best when moving, playing, building, and engaging with concrete objects.

Additionally, coding robots can be a playground for students to explore and learn, promoting creativity and imagination. By providing students with the tools and resources to create and program their own robots, teachers can encourage them to think outside the box and develop their own unique solutions to problems. This can promote the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for success in the 21st century.

Overall, the use of coding robots in education can provide children with technology-rich experiences that are engaging, and accessible, and promote the development of digital competence and 21st-century skills. By serving as a playground for students to explore and learn, coding robots can promote creativity, imagination, and the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Benefit #4: Robotics makes coding tangible and concrete

One of the key benefits of using coding robots in programming education is that they make coding tangible and concrete. This provides young children with an opportunity to engage with concrete objects, which can enhance their understanding of programming concepts.

Studies have shown that young children learn best through hands-on, experiential learning, where they can move, play, build, and engage with concrete objects. For example, in the study by Kelleher and Pausch, it was found that the use of tangible user interfaces, such as those provided by coding robots, can be particularly effective for younger children, as they provide a physical, hands-on learning experience that can help them better understand complex programming concepts.

Moreover, the hands-on, experiential approach to learning with robots can help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As noted by Resnick et al. (2009), the use of robots as a platform for programming education can help bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.

In addition, the use of robots as a platform for programming education can increase student engagement and motivation, leading to improved learning outcomes. As noted by Domínguez et al. (2018), students are more likely to be interested and engaged in programming education when they have the opportunity to work with robots, as they find it exciting and enjoyable.

Overall, the use of coding robots in programming education can provide an effective and engaging way for young children to learn programming by making coding more tangible and concrete, and by providing a hands-on, experiential learning experience.

Benefit #5: Using technology breaks down engineering stereotypes.

Using technology to break down engineering stereotypes is an important aspect of promoting gender equality and diversity in STEM fields. According to the book Breaking the STEM Stereotypes: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood, girls often face societal pressures and biases that discourage them from pursuing careers in engineering and technology. Therefore, it is important to provide opportunities for girls to engage in hands-on, experiential learning with technology in order to encourage them to explore these fields.

One way to achieve this is through the use of coding robots in the classroom. By engaging in coding activities with robots, girls can develop an interest in technology and engineering, while also gaining important skills in coding and problem-solving. As the book Tangible Programming in Early Childhood explains, tangible objects such as robots can help make programming and engineering concepts more concrete and accessible to young learners.

Moreover, research, such as the study “Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Investigating the Use of Robotics to Change Young Children’s Gender Stereotypes About Technology and Engineering” by Libby Simpson and Susan Jones, has shown that using robotics to create a fun and inclusive learning environment can help challenge and change young children’s gender stereotypes.

By using robots that can code in the classroom, educators can help break down gender stereotypes and provide girls with the skills and confidence needed to pursue careers in engineering and technology.

In conclusion, using technology such as coding robots in early childhood education can be a powerful tool for breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting diversity in STEM fields. By providing girls with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities and creating inclusive learning environments, educators can help encourage girls to explore these fields and pursue careers in engineering and technology.

Conclusion

In conclusion, coding robots enhance learning, providing students with a fun and engaging way to develop the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. By teaching children to code, we are preparing them for future employment opportunities and equipping them with the digital competence they need to be successful members of society.

Additionally, coding robots can promote the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, making them an excellent tool for teaching computational thinking skills. Moreover, the use of coding robots can help break down gender stereotypes and promote diversity in STEM fields, creating a more inclusive learning environment for all.

As we look to the future of education, it is clear that coding robots will continue to play a vital role in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities ahead. So, if you’re looking for an exciting and innovative way to engage your students, give coding robots a try!

Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell is an experienced English professor in South Korea with over 20 years of teaching experience across all levels of education. With a doctorate in education, Richard is passionate about promoting language learning and using innovative approaches, including AI writing tools, to inspire his students.