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Technology knowledge is becoming ever more crucial in the digital age. The advent of coding robots has brought a wave of excitement and potential to the field of education, particularly for young learners. Coding robots and interactive programmable devices offer a tangible and engaging way to introduce the principles of computer science to children (Alimisis, 2013). They provide a hands-on, interactive experience that can make learning fun and stimulating.

Yet integrating these innovative tools into classroom learning is not without challenges. Teachers face a range of hurdles, from technical difficulties to curriculum integration and beyond. The good news is that these challenges are not insurmountable. With the right strategies and support, educators can successfully navigate these obstacles and unlock the full educational potential of coding robots for their students.

In this post, we’ll delve into the world of teaching coding robots to young children. We’ll explore the benefits, the challenges, and, most importantly, how to overcome these challenges. Drawing from a wealth of academic research, we’ll provide practical insights and actionable advice for educators embarking on this exciting journey.

Whether you’re a seasoned educator looking to enhance your teaching methods or you’re just beginning your foray into the world of educational robotics, this post will offer a comprehensive guide to assist you on your journey.

So, let’s take our first step into this fascinating world and discover how we can empower the next generation with the skills they’ll need to thrive in the future.

The Benefits of Teaching Coding Robots to Young Children

Incorporating coding robots into early childhood education offers a myriad of benefits. Let’s explore some of the key advantages as evidenced by recent academic research.

Enhances Computational Thinking

First and foremost, coding robots help develop computational thinking, a critical 21st-century skill. Computational thinking involves problem-solving methods that include logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, and pattern recognition (Bers, Seddighin, & Sullivan, 2013). It’s not just about learning to code—it’s about cultivating a way of thinking that can be applied to a variety of disciplines.

Stimulates Creativity and Innovation

Coding robots offer a hands-on, creative experience. They enable children to bring their imaginative ideas to life, fostering innovation. As children code and control these robots, they become creators of technology, not just consumers (Toh, Causo, Tzuo, Chen, & Yeo, 2016).

Facilitates Collaboration and Communication

Working with coding robots often involves teamwork, which can enhance collaboration skills. Children learn to communicate their ideas, listen to others, and work together to solve problems. These are essential life skills that extend far beyond the classroom (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020).

Boosts Confidence and Persistence

As children learn to code and see their instructions bring a robot to life, it can significantly boost their confidence. Moreover, coding often involves troubleshooting and overcoming failures, which fosters resilience and persistence (Leonard, Buss, & Gamboa, 2016).

Provides a Gateway to STEM Education

Last but not least, early exposure to coding and robotics paves the way for future interest and success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. It can help dispel any intimidation or misconceptions about these subjects and encourage more diverse participation in these often underrepresented areas (Chalmers, 2018).

In essence, teaching coding robots to young children is about more than just technology—it’s about equipping them with a set of comprehensive skills that will be crucial for their future.

The Challenges of Teaching Coding Robots to Young Children

While the benefits of introducing coding robots to young learners are clear, educators often encounter a number of hurdles when integrating these tools into the classroom. Let’s take a look at some of the primary challenges, as identified in recent academic research.

Technical Difficulties

One of the most common challenges is dealing with technical issues. These can range from hardware malfunctions to software glitches. For educators without a strong background in technology, these technical difficulties can be daunting (Benitti & Spolaôr, 2017).

Curriculum Integration

Another challenge lies in integrating coding and robotics into the existing curriculum. Teachers often struggle to find ways to meaningfully connect these activities with other subject areas, or they may feel pressured by time constraints and testing requirements (Leonard, Buss, & Gamboa, 2016).

Lack of Training and Resources

Many educators feel they lack the necessary training to effectively teach coding and robotics. A lack of high-quality resources or support from the school administration exacerbates this problem (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020). 

Student Engagement and Differentiation

Lastly, teachers may struggle with differentiating instruction to meet the diverse needs of their students. Keeping all students engaged and challenged, regardless of their prior experience or skill level, can be a significant challenge (Bers, Seddighin, & Sullivan, 2013).

Overcoming the Challenges

Despite these obstacles, educators are finding ways to successfully incorporate coding robots into their classrooms. Here are some strategies that have proven effective in overcoming these challenges.

Seek Professional Development Opportunities

Continual learning is crucial for any educator. Seek out professional development opportunities that focus on coding and robotics. Many online platforms offer free or low-cost courses designed specifically for teachers (Toh, Causo, Tzuo, Chen, & Yeo, 2016). Sphero offers professional development courses for teachers and parents as well as specific downloadable resources for their robots.

Coding Robots Sphero Indi

Collaborate and Share Resources

Form a learning community with other educators interested in teaching coding and robotics. Sharing experiences, ideas, and resources can be a powerful way to support each other and overcome common challenges (Leonard, Buss, & Gamboa, 2016).

Integrate Coding Robots into Existing Subjects

Look for creative ways to integrate coding robots into other subject areas. For example, a robot could be used to act out a scene from a story in language arts or to model a mathematical concept in a tangible way (Benitti & Spolaôr, 2017).

Start Small and Scale Gradually

You don’t have to transform your entire curriculum overnight. Start with a single project or activity, and gradually integrate more coding and robotics as you and your students become more comfortable (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020).

Case Studies and Examples

To further illustrate the potential of coding robots in the classroom, let’s look at a couple of examples where these tools have been successfully implemented, as detailed in recent academic studies.

Case Study 1: A Robotics Club Sparks Interest in STEM

In one elementary school, a robotics club was introduced as an after-school activity. Despite initial challenges, such as a lack of resources and technical expertise, the club saw remarkable success. Through collaborative problem-solving and hands-on learning, students developed a keen interest in STEM subjects. The club even competed in a regional robotics competition, where they won an award for teamwork (Chalmers, 2018).

Case Study 2: Integrating Coding Robots into a Language Arts Curriculum

In another example, a middle school language arts teacher incorporated coding robots into her curriculum. Students programmed robots to act out scenes from a novel they were studying. This innovative approach not only made the literature more engaging but also provided a unique way to develop computational thinking skills (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020).


Teaching coding robots to young children may be a daunting task, but as we’ve explored in this post, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. With the right strategies and mindset, educators can successfully integrate these innovative tools into their classrooms, offering students a fun, engaging, and educational experience.

The journey may not be easy but remember—you’re not alone. The world of education is filled with teachers who are navigating these same challenges, and their successes serve as a beacon of what’s possible. So, take the first step, learn from others, and embrace the adventure of teaching coding robots to young children.

By doing so, you’re not just teaching a skill. You’re igniting curiosity, fostering creativity, and equipping your students with the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving digital world. And that, in the end, is one of the greatest rewards of education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the challenges of robotics in education?

The challenges of integrating robotics into education can include technical difficulties, curriculum integration issues, a lack of necessary teacher training and resources, and the need to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of students (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020).

What are the challenges that schools experience when integrating technology?

Schools often face issues such as a lack of adequate funding for technology, outdated infrastructure that can’t support new technology, a lack of teacher training in technology use, and concerns about data privacy and internet safety (Leonard, Buss, & Gamboa, 2016).

What are the disadvantages of having robots in the classroom?

Potential disadvantages can include an over-reliance on technology, possible distractions from learning, technical difficulties, and concerns about the replacement of human interaction with machines (Benitti & Spolaôr, 2017).

What are the challenges and barriers of integrating technology?

Challenges and barriers can include a lack of professional development opportunities for teachers, resistance from teachers or parents, the cost of purchasing and maintaining technology, and issues related to internet access and digital equity (Toh, Causo, Tzuo, Chen, & Yeo, 2016).

How can we overcome the challenges of teaching coding robots to young children?

Effective strategies include seeking professional development opportunities, collaborating and sharing resources with other educators, integrating coding robots into existing subjects, and starting small and scaling up gradually (Elkin, Sullivan, & Bers, 2020).

Are coding robots beneficial for young children’s learning?

Yes, coding robots can offer a hands-on, interactive way to develop computational thinking skills, foster creativity, enhance problem-solving abilities, and make learning more engaging and fun (Bers, Seddighin, & Sullivan, 2013).


Alimisis, D. (2013). Educational robotics: Open questions and new challenges. Themes in Science and Technology Education, 6(1), 63-71. Retrieved from

Benitti, F. B. V., & Spolaôr, N. (2017). The challenges and benefits of using robots in higher education. Journal of Information Systems Engineering & Management, 2(4), 30.

Bers, M. U., Seddighin, S., & Sullivan, A. (2013). Ready for robotics: Bringing together the T and E of STEM in early childhood teacher education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 21(3), 355-377.

Chalmers, C. (2018). Robotics and computational thinking in primary school. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 17, 93-100.

Elkin, M., Sullivan, A., & Bers, M. U. (2020). Implementing a robotics curriculum in an early childhood Montessori classroom. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 19, 033-053.

Leonard, J., Buss, A., & Gamboa, R. (2016). Robotics in the early childhood classroom: learning outcomes from an 8-week robotics curriculum in pre-kindergarten through second grade. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 26(1), 3-20.

Toh, L. P. E., Causo, A., Tzuo, P. W., Chen, I. M., & Yeo, S. H. (2016). A review on the use of robots in education and young children. Educational Technology & Society, 19(2), 148–163.

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.

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