Additional KUBO article:
Teachers are an essential part of any new
classroom technology. If teachers aren’t
comfortable with it, at best it doesn’t get used
to its full capacity and at worst it ends up on a
shelf. Kim Clark, a learning specialist for South
Dakota’s Technology & Innovation in Education
(TIE) organization, knows the importance of
teacher training and professional development
when integrating new technology as well as the
need for effective elementary coding curriculum.
In April 2018, TIE used a Pitsco Grant to
purchase a KUBO Coding Single Set, and Clark
immediately set about introducing KUBO to
South Dakota teachers. “I was working with K-2
elementary students and looking for a screen-free
way to incorporate and teach computer
science,” she said. “I wanted something that
taught more than just directional commands.”
And KUBO fit that bill.
So far, TIE has used KUBO for several teacher-training
opportunities, including Tech for
Early Learners, Computer Science Overview,
a regional roadshow, and three community
computer science events that had a total of
88 educators experiencing what KUBO can do.
“They loved having the experience to try it out
Clark said teachers appreciate that KUBO
is low-key, yet still a strong coding solution.
“Teachers like that it is ramped up from some of
the other coding robots for younger students
with the loops and functions. It’s quiet, yet
very interactive.” She said KUBO also appeals to
teachers for the following reasons:
- Even with free exploration, kids found it
easy to put the pieces together with just a
few minutes of introduction.
- Teachers are looking for screen-free robots
that complement their curriculum. They like
KUBO because students are learning the
concepts with the curriculum and then trying
out those concepts with hands-on robots.
TIE is currently loaning the KUBO set out to
different schools for testing and events such as
family code nights, and they plan to showcase
it at the TIE Conference in April as well.