Meet Botley, the programmable robot. I use Botley to introduce the concept of coding. In the past I have also used an iPad App called Kodable which I would also recommend.
Based on my experience, I am no longer amazed at how quickly 5 and 6 year old students can master coding. This observation has led me to appreciate that the current teaching model tends to act as a ceiling on learning – the teacher as “gatekeeper” rather than “catalyst”.
I approach the introduction of coding technology into the classroom in an indirect way. I introduced Botley briefly to the whole class. I then bring Botley out during the “student-led” time of the day. There is a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm so I find myself having to be the “gatekeeper” in terms of allocation of opportunity. Of course, curiosity and enthusiasm does not always translate into competence. So I persevere until I have found a student who grasps the concept the quickest. I then use this student to be the teacher/model.
Check out the video below to see where we are at so far. And please listen in to the interaction between the “teacher” and the “student” and the self-talk.
Ease Education: Teaching at a human scale.