Get a Very Early Start on Teaching Coding Skills. Pilot Study Suggests Trying Robotic Toys

From: Education Week |
by: Lauraine Langreo – June 24, 2022

Students work in a group to program a Bee-Bot while in their summer school class at Goliad Elementary School in Odessa, Texas.
Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP

Using age-appropriate coding toys has a significant, positive impact on preschoolers’ math abilities, according to the findings of a pilot study that will be discussed at the 2022 International Society for Technology in Education conference.

Because much of the existing research on the benefits of coding on children’s development were focused on elementary-age kids, Eastern Connecticut State University professor Sudha Swaminathan decided to look into how coding impacts younger children’s development.

The small pilot study was structured as a pre- and post-assessment with coding activities as intervention. Six 4- and 5-year-olds who attend the university’s Center for Early Childhood Education played with a Bee-Bot, a robotic toy shaped like a bumblebee with forward, backward, left, and right arrow buttons, as well as “go” and “clear” buttons, on its back.

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