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Document on Subject : "lmm uax000FJ d 2orSp5porJ o hffuJJ hrS lJu fhr 1u olrS h5x001"— Transcript:

1 :lmm ;uaJ d 2orSp5porJ o< hffuJJ
:lmm ;uaJ d 2orSp5porJ o< hffuJJ hrS lJu fhr 1u 8fpJ0 :o/load by: ?;l<5J yrpIuaJp5v] :a : 1/ cu,5u1ua 01:s 5. 1.1 Compu rs  h SchoolsI rdscplary Joural of rac c  h ory ad ppl d 0 s arch ISS1: 0738-0569 (r ) 1528-7033 (,l ) Joural hom pa- : h p:..///. adfol .com.lo./cs20 ro-ramm- / h h KIB, 0obo cs K r school ClassroomsMoll Elk mada Sullva & Mara Umasch B rso c hs ar cl : Commpu m prs hrSh clmmpIhr d Chaprh yhJfp uaJ 01:0 7ao3ahpr38p5 5u 69( )o1o5pfJ 6p5 pr 7auJfoom 2mhJJaooJs 2o,l5uaJ pr 5u cfoomJs --.-s 1:/-1.:sK(9. 10B10.0b0M-.0E:/B01:B11:E1 o lk o hs ar cl : 55,.bbSkBSopBoa3b10B10.0b0M-.0E:/B01:B11:E1 7l1mpJuS ormpru. 1E cu, 01:B cl1p5 vola ha5pfmu 5o 5pJ &olarhm Upu8 aumh5uS ha5pfmuJ Upu8 2aoJJha Sh5h COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS,VOL.,NO.,…http://dx.doi.org/./  ..  ProgrammingwiththeKIBORoboticsKitinPreschoolClassroomsMollieElkin,AmandaSullivan,andMarinaUmaschiBersTuftsUniversity,Medford,Massachusetts,USAKEYWORDSEarlychildhoodeducation;preschool;programming;robotics ABSTRACTKIBOisadevelopmentallyappropriateroboticskitforyoungchil-drenthatisprogrammedusinginterl

2 ockingwoodenblocks;noscreensorkeyboardsa
ockingwoodenblocks;noscreensorkeyboardsarerequired.ThisstudydescribesapilotKIBOroboticscurriculumatanurbanpublicpreschoolinRhodeIslandandpresentsdatacollectedonchildrensknowledgeoffoundationalprogrammingconceptsaftercompletingthecur-riculum.Thecurriculumwasdesignedtointegratemusic,liter-acy,anddesignwithengineeringandrobotics.Children(fromsevenpreschoolclassrooms,ranginginagefromto,par-ticipatedinthestudy.FindingsindicatedthatchildrenasyoungasagecouldcreatesyntacticallycorrectprogramsfortheKIBOrobot,althougholderpreschoolers(closertoage)performedbetterthanyoungerpreschoolersonastandardizedprogram-mingtask.Additionally,allstudentsgenerallyperformedbetterontheprogrammingtasksthatrequiredthemtomanipulatelessprogramminginstructions.Implicationsfordesigningdevelop-mentallyappropriatecurriculumandscaoldingforyoungchil-drenareaddressed.Newtechnologiesareincreasinglyinuencingthewaysyoungchildrenaregrow-ing,learning,andplaying.DigitalactivitiessuchasplayingvideogamesandusinganiPadaregrowinginprevalenceamongyoungchildrenundertheageof8.Forexample,arecentstudybyCommonSenseMedia()foundthattwothirdsofchildrenages0to8haveaccesstoaconsolevideogameplayerathome,and35%haveaccesstoahandheldgameplayersuchasaGameBoy,PSP,orNintendoDS.Additionally,therehasbeenavefoldincreaseinownershipoftabletdevicessuchasiPadsfrom8%ofallfamiliesin2011to40%in2013.Astechnologyhasgrownincreasinglycommoninyoungchildrenshomeenvi-ronmentsinrecentyears,educationaltechnologyinschoolshasalsoexpanded.Thishasoccurredinpartduetofederaleducationprogramsandprivateinitiativesmak-ingcomputerscienceandtechnologicalliteracyapriorityforyoungchildren(OceofEducationalTechnology,).Roboticsandcomputerprogramminginitiatives CONTACTMollieElkin elkin.mollie@gmail.com DevTechResearchGroup,TuftsUniversity, CollegeAvenue,Medford,MA .Colorversionsofoneormoreofthe“guresinthearticlecanbefoundonlineatwww.tandfonline.com/wcis©Taylor&FrancisGroup,LLC  M.ELKINETAL.foryoungchildrenhavegrowninpopularityoverthepast5yearsasnewproductsforyounglearnershaveemergedonthecommercialmarket(i.e.,KIBO,Bee-bot,Dot,andDash).Priorresearchhasshownthatchildrenasyoungasag

3 e4cansuccessfullybuildandprogramasimpler
e4cansuccessfullybuildandprogramasimplerobot(Bers,Ponte,Juelich,Viera,&Schenker,;Cejka,Rogers,&Portsmore.,;Perlman,;Sullivan&Bers,;Sullivan,Kaza-ko,&Bers,;Wyeth,),butthereisstillverylimitedresearchonwhatchildrenunderage4canlearnwithrobotics.SullivanandBers()foundthatpreschoolstudentswereabletosuccessfullycompletebasicprogrammingtasksuponcompletionofaKidsInventWithImagination(KIWI)roboticscurriculum.Similarly,Sullivanetal.()foundthatwithscaolding,5-year-oldpreschoolchildrenwereabletodesign,build,andprogramaLEGOWeDorobot.Bothofthesestudiesemphasizedtheimportanceofscaoldingandmovingthroughthecurriculumataslowerpacethanwhenworkingwithchildreninkindergartenthroughsecondgrade.Thepresentstudybuildsonpriorresearchwithpreschoolersbylookingatwhatchildrenasyoungasage3canlearnaboutfoundationalprogram-mingconceptsandskillswhencompletingadevelopmentallyappropriatecurricu-lumthatincludesbuilt-inscaoldingandreviewtime.ThisarticlepresentsresultsfromapilotexperienceinapreschoolroboticsprogramatapublicschoolinRhodeIsland.LiteraturereviewRoboticsinearlyeducationFromtabletdevicestonewlydesignedroboticskits,youngchildrenareexploringdierenttypesoftechnologywhileatschool.Whileaccesstonewtechnologiesisgrowing,childrensunderstandingofhowwhythesetoolsworkthewaytheydoisgrowingasanewareaofresearch.Roboticsandcomputerprogrammingoerawaytoplayfullyengagestudentswiththeprocessofhowmotors,sensors,andelectronicswork(muchthewaytheyworkinautomateddoors,sinks,anddigitaltoys)throughhands-onbuildingprojects(Bers,).Youngchildrenarenaturallyinquisitiveabouthowthingsworkandarewillingtotakeriskstouncoversolutions(Peel&Prinsloo,).Roboticsoersanenvironmentforchildrentotesttheirhypotheses,engageinproblemsolving,andmakepersonallymeaningfuldiscoveries.Inrecentyears,therehasbeenarangeofnewrobotickitsonthemarketforyoungchildren.Forexample,Bee-Botcanbeusedtoteachsequencing,estimation,andproblemsolving.Childrenprogramitbypushingonthedirectionalbuttonslocatedontherobotsbody(www.be-bot.us).Morerecently,themakersofBee-Bothavecre-atedBlue-Bot,whichfunctionssimilarlytotheBee-Botbutcanalsobeprogramedfromatabletorcomputer;theprogramissenttotherobotth

4 roughaBluetoothconnection(www.terrapinlo
roughaBluetoothconnection(www.terrapinlogo.com/robots.html).AnotherexampleistheDashandDotrobots,createdbyWonderWorkshop.ChildrenprogramtheserobotsthroughiPadandAndroidapplicationstonavigatearoute,aswellasuselightsandsensors. COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS Someoftheapplicationstargetchildrenofallages,whereasotherstargetchildrenolderthanage8(www.makewonder.com).Fortheresearchpresentedinthisstudy,wehavechosentousetheKIBOroboticskitdescribedinthenextsection.Researchwithroboticsinearlychildhoodsettingshasshownthatbeginninginpreschool,childrencanlearnfundamentalprogrammingconceptsofsequencing,logicalordering,cause-and-eectrelationships,andengineeringdesignskills(Bers,;Fessakis,Gouli,&Mavroudi,;Kazako&Bers,;Kazako,Sullivan,&Bers,).Whenchildrencreateprogramsfortheirrobots,theyaresequenc-ingcommandsfortheirrobottoactout.Theactofsequencingisfoundationalforearlymath,literacy,andplanning(Zelazo,Carter,Reznick,&Frye,).Addition-ally,educationalroboticsprograms,whenbasedinresearch,childdevelopmentthe-ory,anddevelopmentallyappropriatepractices(NationalAssociationfortheEdu-cationofYoungChildren[NAEYC]&FredRogersCenter,),canfosterstudentlearningofengineeringsuchasdesignskillsandmethods(Druin&Hendler,whileengagingincollaborationandothersocialskillsnecessaryforschoolsuccess(Clements,;Lee,Sullivan,&Bers,;Svensson,TheKIBOroboticskitAlthoughtherearenowmanycommerciallyavailablerobotickitsthatteachaboutprogramming,themajoritydescribedintheprevioussectionarepre-builtŽinthesensethatchildrenarenotinvolvedinanyoftheconstructionordesignaspectsofbuildingarobot.Forexample,theBee-Botrobotisdesignedtoresembleabrightandcolorfulbumblebee,withallmotorsanddesignfeaturesreadytouse,muchlikeanychildrenstoy.Incontrast,thisstudyutilizedtheKIBOroboticskit,whichengagesyoungchildreninbothbuildingandprogramming.Thiskitwasdevel-opedbytheDevTechResearchGroupatTuftsUniversityandcommercializedbyKinderLabRobotics.KIBOisdesignedforyoungchildrenages4to7tolearnfoun-dationalengineeringandprogrammingcontent;however,thisstudyexaminedthehypothesisthatitmaybedevelopmentallyappropriatetousewithchildrenasyoungas3yearsold.KIBOwaschosenforthisstudybecauseofthelarg

5 eandeasy-to-manipulateparts,open-endedbu
eandeasy-to-manipulateparts,open-endedbuildingandprogrammingpossibilities,andthekitstangibleprogramminglanguage(Sullivan,Elkin,&Bers,).BecauseKIBOisprogrammedbyputtingtogetherwoodenblocks,withoutacomputer,tablet,orotherformofscreen-time,ŽcurriculautilizingtheKIBOkitisalignedwiththeAmericanAcademyofPediatrics()recommendationthatyoungchildrenhavealimitedamountofscreentimeperday.TheKIBOkitcontainseasy-to-connectroboticsmaterialsincludingwheels,motors,lightoutput,andavarietyofsensors(seeFigure1).Inadditiontotheseelectroniccomponents,theKIBOkitalsocontainsartplatformsthatcanbeusedforchildrentodecorateandpersonalize(Sullivanetal.,KIBOisprogrammedbyusinginterlockingwoodenprogrammingblocks.Thesewoodenblockscontainnoembeddedelectronicsordigitalcomponents,buteachonehasauniquebarcode.AscannerembeddedinthefrontoftheKIBOrobotallowsuserstoscanthebarcodesontheprogrammingblocksandsendaprogramto  M.ELKINETAL. Figure.TheKIBOrobotandtheblocks.theirrobotinstantaneously(Sullivanetal.,).Similartootherprogramminglan-guages,KIBOhasspecicsyntaxrulestofollow(seeFigures2and3).Forexample,everyprogrammuststartwithaBeginblockandnishwithanEndblock.Addi-tionally,inordertocreateafunctionalrepeatloop,onemustusetheRepeatblock,aparameter(eitheranumberorsensor),andtheEndRepeatblock.KIBO’sdevelopmentalconsiderationsYoungchildrensworkingmemorychangesdrasticallybetweentheagesof3and5(Shonko,Duncan,Fisher,Magnuson,&Raver,),enablingthemtoeectivelylearnnewcontent.Whenchildrenareenteringpreschoolaroundage3,mostofthemcanorganizethemselvestocompletetasksthatinvolvefollowingtwosteps,suchasthrowingawayanapkinandputtingawaytheirlunchboxaftersnacktime(RhodeIslandDepartmentofEducation[RIDE],;Shonkoetal.,).Bythetime Figure.BasicprogramstartingwithBeginblockand“nishingwithEndblock. COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS Figure.Repeatloopsprogram.Note.Theprogramaboveshowsasyntacticallycorrectrepeatloopsprogramusingthenumberparameter.Thisprogramwilltelltherobottobeepthreetimes.Pic-turedbelowtheprogramarechoicesofothernumberparametersthatcanbeusedforthistypeofprogram.childrenareleavingpreschoolandenteringkindergartenaroundage5,childrencanfollowmulti-stepins

6 tructionsandretellfamiliarstoriesintheco
tructionsandretellfamiliarstoriesinthecorrectsequence(RIDE,).UsingtheKIBOrobot,childrencanstrengthentheirworkingmem-oryskillsbylearningtosequenceincreasinglycomplexprogramsandtomasterallofKIBOssyntaxrules.BybuildingwiththeroboticsmanipulativessuchasKIBOsmotors,sensors,out-puts,andwoodenprogrammingblocks,childrenareabletodevelopnemotorskillsandhand-eyecoordination.Playthatinvolvesthemanipulationofphysi-calobjectswithsymbolicmeaning(i.e.,KIBOsprogrammingblocksthatsymbol-izeroboticactions)letschildrenbegintoexploremorecomplexsymbolicthink-ing(Bers,;Piaget,).Inadditiontothesetechnicalmanipulatives,chil-drenalsoexercisetheirnemotorskillsthroughtheadditionofarts,crafts,andrecyclablematerials.Specically,thetwoartplatformsprovideaspaceforexplor-ingtheengineeringdesignprocesstobuildsturdycreationsthatarepersonallymeaningful(Sullivanetal.,;seeFigures4and5).ThefollowingsectiondescribesthepresentresearchevaluatingtheuseofKIBOroboticsinapreschoolcontext.Roboticsalsoengagesyoungchildrenincollaborationandteamwork(Leeetal.,).Preschoolchildrenareinthedevelopmentalprocessoflearningsocialskillssuchashowtoworkwithothers;thedesignfeaturesofcertaintypesoftechnologycanpromotesocialandprosocialdevelopment(Bers,).Unlikemanyappli-cationsandeducationalsoftwaredesignedforonechildworkingindependently,roboticsactivitieslendthemselvestomorecollaborativemoments.Forexample,theKIBOroboticskitusedinthisstudyisdesignedsothatsmallgroupsofchildrencanworkononerobotwitheachonetakingonaveryspecicrole:theprogrammer,theartist,ortheengineer.  M.ELKINETAL. Figure.KIBOsstaticartplatformforpersonalizingprojects.ResearchoverviewThisstudyexploresthefollowingresearchquestions:1.Whatcanyoungpreschoolchildren,ages3to5,learnaboutfoundationalprogrammingandroboticscontentthroughashort-termeducationalinter-vention?2.WhattypesoferrorsdoyoungpreschoolersmakewhenprogrammingwithKIBO?3.Whatkindsofprogrammingconceptsareeasiestforyoungchildrentomas-ter?Whicharemorechallenging?Toanswerthesequestions,preschoolstudentsparticipatedinanine-hourintro-ductoryroboticsandprogrammingcurriculum.Uponcompletionofthecurricu-lum,studentscompletedaKIBOprogrammingtas

7 k(calledSolve-ItŽ)toassesstheirprogramm
k(calledSolve-ItŽ)toassesstheirprogrammingknowledge. Figure.Themotorizedturntableforpersonalizingprojects. COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS ParticipantsParticipantsinthisstudywere64predominantlylow-income,HispanicchildrendrawnfromsevenclassroomsinanurbanpublicpreschoolinRhodeIsland.Theyrangedinagefrom3to5years(meanage4.83atthetimeofassessment).Whilestudentsinalloftheclassesparticipatedinthecurriculum,theywerenotrequiredtopartakeintheassessmentportionofthestudy;allchildrenwereinvitedtocom-pletetheassessment,butiftheydidnotwantto,theycouldchoosetodosomethingelse.Studentswhoattendthisschoolare81%Hispanic,8%Caucasian,6%AfricanAmerican,5%mixedrace,and1%NativeAmerican.Additionally,91%ofthestu-dentswereeligibleforsubsidizedlunch.ProcedureOverthecourseof3months,sevenpreschoolclassroomscompletedanintroduc-toryroboticsandprogrammingcurriculumtaughtbystudentsfromTuftsUniver-sity.Theseundergraduateandgraduatestudentscamefromavarietyofeducationalbackgroundsrangingfromtheliberalartstoengineering.Whilesomestudentshadnopreviousexperienceteachingrobotics,allstudentshadexperienceworkingwithchildren.Studentvolunteerswererequiredtoattendtwotrainings:one8-hourtrain-ingbeforethestartoftheintervention,andone4-hourtrainingmidwaythroughtheinterventioninordertopracticethecurriculumandprepareforadministeringtheassessments.Eachvolunteerpracticedadministeringtheassessmentonothervol-unteersbeforeadministeringtheassessmentonthechildren.Thechildrensregularpreschoolteacherswereintheclassroomatalltimestofacilitatebehavioralman-agementandassistwithsmallgroupwork.Alargergoalfortheroboticsworksatthissitewastohaveclassroomteacherslearnbyobservingtrainedstudentssotheywouldbeabletoimplementtheirownroboticscurriculuminthefuturewithoutoutsidehelp.CurriculumoverviewTheintroductoryroboticscurriculuminvolvedapproximatelyninehoursofworkoverthecourseof6days.Eachdayslessonwasdividedintotwoparts:45minuteswasspentdoinganactivitywiththeKIBOroboticskit,andtheother45minuteswasspentdoingroboticsandengineering-relatedactivitiesthatdidnotrequiretheuseoftheKIBOroboticskit.Halfoftheclassescompletedtheroboticsportionrstwhiletheothercompletedthenon-roboticsportion,

8 andthentheyswapped(sincekitswerebeingsha
andthentheyswapped(sincekitswerebeingsharedbetweenclassrooms).Duringnon-roboticstime,childrenspentaportionoftheclassparticipatinginafullgroupactivity,andthenspenttheremainderoftimeparticipatinginanactivityoftheirchoice.Accordingtotheschoolsprincipal,RhodeIslandrequirespreschoolchildrentospendatleasthalfoftheirschooldayengagedinself-directedactivities.TheKIBOcurriculumwasthereforedesignedtoincludemultipleactivitychoices  M.ELKINETAL. Figure.KIBOBINGO.relatedtoengineeringandprogramming.Duringthegroupactivitytime,childrenlearnedsongs(suchasonethatteachesaboutthedierentpartsoftheKIBOrobot)andlistenedtopicturebooksbeingreadaloud(reinforcingfundamentalengineer-ingconceptsliketheengineeringdesignprocess).Duringfree-choicetime,childrencouldchooseanactivityrelatedtoKIBO.Forexample,oneactivitychoicewasKIBOBINGO(seeFigure6),whichisplayedlikethetraditionalBINGOgame.Theteachershowedapartoftherobot(suchasawheelorabody),andstudentscoveredupthatpictureontheirgameboard.Thegoalofthisgamewastoteachchildrenthedif-ferentpartsoftherobot.AnotheractivitychoicewasKIBOSays(seeFigure7),an Figure.SimonSayswithprogrammingcommands. COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS  Figure .Smallgroupworkwithrobot.adaptationoftheSimonSaysgame,wherechildrenfollowthedirectionsonalargeprint-outversionoftheKIBOblocksifKIBO(theteacher)toldthemtodoso.Inadditiontogames,childrencouldchoosetocreatedecorationsfortheirrobotsordrawintheirengineeringdesignjournals.Duringroboticstime,childrenweregivenatasktocompleteinvolvingtheirrobot.Eachclassroomhadonerobotforapproximatelythreechildren;thestudentvolunteers,aswellastheclassroomteachers,assistedthedierentgroups.Forexam-ple,duringSession2,childrenwereaskedtoworkinsmallgroupstoprogramtheirrobotstodancetheHokeyPokey(seeFigure8).TheHokeyPokeyinvolveschildrensequencingsevenprogrammingblocksinordertomakethewell-knownsong.Thisactivityfocusesonstrengtheningyoungchildrensworkingmemorythroughtrialanderroranditerativeprogramming(Shonkoetal.,).Italsoworksontheirabilitytounderstandsequenceandorder,whichisafoundationalearlymathandliteracycomponent(Kazako&Bers,).DuringSession5,childrenworkedinsmallgroupsandprogrammedtheirr

9 obotstotravelalongdierentlyshapedpathsu
obotstotravelalongdierentlyshapedpathsusingtheRepeatandEndRepeatblocks.Therepeatlooprequiredchildrentoprac-ticesequencing,order,counting,andestimationtoselectthecorrectnumberparam-eterthatwouldmaketheirrobottravelthecorrectdistance.SeeTable1forabreak-downofthetypesofactivitiescompletedeachday.Onthenaldayofthecurriculum,eachclasswasgivenaKIBOrobotkittobuildandprogramtogether.Priortothissession,childrenhadlearnedaboutdierentdancesfromaroundtheworld,andasaclass,theyselectedonedancethattheywantedtheirrobottoperform.Duringroboticstime,eachclasscreatedadanceprogramfortheirrobot.Forexample,oneclassprogrammedtheirrobottodancetheHula,whichresultedinaprogramwiththerobotrepeatingthemotionsofmovingleftandright.AnotherclasswantedtheirrobottomovelikeaSalsadancer,sotheyincludedmanySpinblocksintheirprogram.Duringnon-roboticstime,studentscreateddecorationsfortherobotitselfaswellasastageŽfortherobottodanceon.Attheendofthecurriculum,studentspresentedtheirdancingrobotstospecial  M.ELKINETAL.Table.Overviewofthecurriculum. SessionFocusRoboticsactivityNon-Roboticsactivity SessionIntroductiontoandroboticsDiscussionaboutwhatisarobot,playagametolearnthedi erencebetweenarobot,learntheKIBORobotPartsŽsongDiscussionaboutwhatisanengineer,learntheEngineeringDesignProcessŽsong,completesturdybuildingactivitywithnon-roboticmaterialsSessionIntroductiontowhatisaprogramIntroductiontoKIBOsprogrammingblocks,programtherobottodancetheHokeyPokeyPlaySimonSayswithKIBOcommands,reviewtheengineeringdesignprocessSessionIntroductiontosensingandReviewpartsofKIBOrobotwiththeKIBORobotPartsŽsong,reviewthedi erentblockswithKIBOBingo,freeexplorationwiththerobotSingEngineeringDesignProcessŽsong,readabookaboutthe“vesenses,goonasensorwalkSession SensingandintroductiontorepeatsReviewwhatisasensor,programarobottodancetoIfYouareHappyandYouKnowitŽTalkaboutthemeaningofthewordrepeat,ŽreviewKIBOscommandswithKIBOBingoSession RepeatloopsReviewsoundsensor,programrobottotravelalongdi erentmapsusingrepeatsLearnaboutdancesfromaroundtheworldthroughwatchingdi erentvideos,createdecorationsfortherobotaswellasastageareaSessionFinalprojectsCreateadanceforth

10 eKIBOrobotbasedonadancefromaroundtheworl
eKIBOrobotbasedonadancefromaroundtheworld(asawholeclass)Createsturdydecorationsfortherobotandastagearea,plantherobotsdance guestssuchastheprincipalandotheradministratorsinordertocelebratetheendoftheunit.Aftercurriculumimplementationwascomplete,theSolve-Itassessmentwasadmin-isteredtostudentstoassesstheirprogrammingknowledge.Theassessmentcom-binesKIBOsprogramminglanguageandplayfulstoriestoevaluatechildrensmas-teryofdierentprogrammingconcepts.Becausechildrenworkedinsmallgroupsduringthecurricularactivities,itwasimportanttoimplementindividualassess-mentstoseewhattypesoftaskschildrencouldsolveontheirown.TheSolve-Itassessmentwasdevelopedtotargetareasoffoundationalprogram-mingabilityandbasicsequencingskills.Thesetaskscapturestudentmasteryofprogrammingconcepts,frombasicsequencingupthroughrepeatloops.Theassess-mentwasverballyadministeredone-on-onetoeachstudentbyoneofthevolunteerswhotaughttheroboticscurriculum.Theassessmentrequiredchildrentolistentoaseriesofstoriesbeingreadaloudtothemaboutarobot.Then,childrenattemptedtocreatetherobotsprogramusingpaperversionsoftheKIBOprogrammingiconsprovidedforthem(seeFigure9forastudentexampleandTable2forthestoryprompts).FourSolve-Ittaskswereadministeredtoaddressthefollowingconcepts:EasySequencing,HardSequencing,EasyWaitforŽCommand,andEasyRepeatLoopswithNumberParameters.Taskswerecalledeasyorhardbasedonhowmanycommandschildrenneededtosequence(i.e.,easytaskshadfewerblocksforchil-drentosequencethanhardtasks). COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS Table.Solve-Itstorypromptsandcorrectanswers. Solve-ItnumberStorypromptCorrectanswer Solve-It(EasySequencing)Thisstoryisaboutarobotthatisacar.Haveyoueverheardacarhonkitshorn?First,Iwantmycarrobottoturnon.Next,Iwantthecarrobottohonkthehorn„Beep!Beep!„towarnpeoplethatitsabouttomove.ThenIwantmycartodrivestraightahead,andthenstop.Sointhisstory,myrobotturnson,beeps,goesforward,andthenstops.Canyoumakeaprogramthatmatchesthisstory?ŽBegin,Beep,Forward,Solve-It(HardSequencing)Thisstoryisaboutarobotthatdrivesintoapuddle.Iwantyoutomakeaprogramthatletsmyrobotdryitselfo afteritaccidentallymovesintoapuddle.First,myrobotwillturnon,andthenitwillmovestraightahea

11 d„butOOPS!Myrobotisinapuddle!Itsgoingto
d„butOOPS!Myrobotisinapuddle!Itsgoingtomakeanoise„Beep!„asifitissayingOhno!Then,Iwanttherobottoshakeitselfdry„shake!„and“nally,turno !Somyrobotwillturnon,gostraightahead,beep,shake,andthenstop.Canyoumakeaprogramthatmatchesthisstory?ŽBegin,Forward,Beep,Shake,EndSolve-It(EasyWaitforŽCommand)Thisstoryisaboutadancingrobot.Thisrobotisinadancecompetition.Therobothasstagefrightthough,soitisgoingtowaittostartdancinguntilithearsaclapfromtheaudience.Onceithearsaclap,itwillshakeandkeepshakinguntiltheendofthesong.Thenitwillstop.So,forthisstory,myrobotwillturnon,waittohearaclap,thenshake,andthenstop.Canyoumakeaprogramthatmatchesthisstory?ŽBegin,WaitforClap,Shake,EndSolve-It (EasyRepeat)Inthisstory,myrobotisgoingtosleep.Iwantmyrobottosaygoodnighttoeveryoneinthehouse.Ithasabrother,asister,andamommy,soitwillsaygoodnighttothreepeople.First,Iwantmyrobottoturnon.Next,Iwanttherobottomakeanoise„Beep!„whereitistellingusGoodnight!Iwanttherobottosaygoodnighttothreepeople,soithastobeepthreetimes.Then,Iwanttherobottostopbeeping,andlast,toturno .ŽSomyrobotwillturnon,repeatthebeepsoundthreetimes,stopbeeping,andthenstop.Canyoumakeaprogramthatmatchesthisstory?ŽBegin,Repeat(),Beep,EndRepeat, Note.Solve-Ittasksarenumberedbasedonoveralldi cultyofconcept.Forexample,boththeeasyŽandhardŽsequencingtasks(tasksand)aretypicallyeasierforchildrenthantheeasiestrepeatsŽtask(task ).Withineachcategory,theremaybeeasyandhardtasks(forexample,aneasysequencingŽandahardsequencingŽtask).Bothtargetthesameconceptualunderstanding,butthemoredi culttaskhasmoreactionstosequence.EachofthefourSolve-Ittasksdescribedwasscoredona0…6rubricbasedonhowclosethechildrensprogramcametobeingcompletelycorrect(ascoreof6).ThescoringrubricwasdevelopedandpilotedbytheDevTechResearchGroup(Strawhacker&Bers,;Strawhacker,Sullivan,&Bers,;Sullivan&Bers,Eachquestionreceivedtwosub-scoresbasedonseparatecriteria,includingplace-mentofBeginandEndblocks(worthupto3points)andrelativeorderofactionblocks(worthupto3points).Thescoringrubricwasdevelopedafterapilotassess-mentwasadministeredtoidentifyincorrectanswerpatternsthatcoulddemonstratedevelopmentallevelratherthanprogramming

12 comprehension.Inter-scorerreliabil-ityte
comprehension.Inter-scorerreliabil-itytestsduringthedevelopmentoftheassessmentshowedpreciseagreement(twoitems;0.001;Strawhacker&Bers,  M.ELKINETAL. Figure .SampleSolve-Ittask.ForalltasksontheSolve-Itassessment,basicdescriptivestatisticswerecalculated.Onaverage,thechildreninthisstudywerehighlysuccessfulatmasteringbasicpro-grammingconceptsaftercompletingthecurriculum.AfterchildrensSolve-Itdatawereexaminedforgeneraltrendsandcodedforthetypesofmistakes,thedataweredividedintotwogroupsinordertocompareprogrammingperformancebetweenyoungerandolderpreschoolers.Detailedanalysisispresentedinthefollowingsec-tions.Solve-IterrorsSolve-IttaskswereanalyzedtolookatstudentsknowledgeofvariousKIBOpro-grammingconceptsandthetypesoferrorsstudentsmade.Bylookingatthetypesofmistakes,wecanbetterunderstandhowtocreatedevelopmentallyappropriatecurriculathatprovidechildrentheopportunitytomastersequencingandotherpro-grammingconcepts.Sixty-four(64)studentselectedtoparticipateintheSolve-Ittasks(ifastudentwasaskedtoparticipateandheorsheansweredno,therewasnoforcetocompletetheactivity),butonly61studentscompletedallfourtasks.EachSolve-Itwasscoredonascalefrom0…6,with3pointsawardedfortheplacementoftheBeginandEndblocks,andanother3pointsawardedfortherelativeorderoftheactionblocks.Forthisanalysis,overallscoresaswellassub-scoreswereanalyzedtolookatthetypesofmistakesthatstudentsmadeoneachoftheSolve-Its.ChildrenmadeavarietyofdierenttypesofmistakesontheSolve-Its„someofwhichweresyntactical(i.e.,theprogramhadalogicalprogrammingerrorandwouldnotworkonarealrobot)andsomeofwhichwerestoryrelated(i.e.,thepro-grammadesyntacticalsensebutdidnotmatchthesequenceofthestory).AsidefromSolve-It4,moststudentswereabletocreatesyntacticallycorrectprograms, COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS Figure .PercentagecorrectoneachSolve-Ittask.eveniftheydidnotmatchthestorythattheyheard(SeeFigure10).OnthreeofthefourSolve-Its,morethan65%ofthechildrencorrectlyplacedBeginandEndblocks.ForSolve-It1(EasySequencing),70.4%ofstudentsmadeasyntacticallycorrectprogram(with51.6%ofstudentscreatingasyntacticallycorrectprogramthatalsomatchedthestory).Interestingly,14%ofstudentssequencedtheactioninstruc

13 tionscorrectlybutmisplacedtheBeginand/or
tionscorrectlybutmisplacedtheBeginand/orEndblock.Theaveragescore,onascalefrom0…6,was4.67(1.653),withstudentsmostfrequentlyscoring6.Thesec-ondmostfrequentscorewas4(26.6%),andonlyonestudentreceivedascoreof0,whichindicatesthatheorshenotonlymisplacedtheBeginandEndblocks,butalsodidnotordertheactioninstructionscorrectly.ForSolve-It2(HardSequencing),aslightlylowerpercentageofstudents(67.8%)createdasyntacticallycorrectprogram,with40.3%alsomakingaprogramthatmatchedthestory.Theaveragetotalscorewas4.08(2.043),withstudentsmostfrequentlyscoring6.Sevenstudents(11.3%)receivedascoreof0.Solve-It3(EasyWaitforŽCommand)hadthehighestpercentage(80.3%)ofstu-dentswhocreatedasyntacticallycorrectprogram,aswellasthehighestpercentage(67.2%)ofstudentswhoseprogramsalsomatchedthestory.Thepercentageofstu-dentswhomisplacedtheBeginand/orEndblockswas13.1;also13.1%ofstudentsswappedtheWaitforClapandShakeinstructions.Theaveragetotalscorewas4.841.827),withstudentsmostfrequentlyscoringaperfectscoreof6.Threestu-dentsreceivedatotalscoreof0.ThelowestscoreswereseenonSolve-It4(EasyRepeat).Only24.6%ofstudentscreatedafunctionalprogramthatalsomatchedthestory.Themostfrequentmis-take(16.4%)observedwasanemptyrepeatloop,wherenoactionblockwasplacedbetweentheRepeatandEndRepeatblocks.OthermistakesincludedswappingtheEndandEndRepeatblocks,aswellasplacingtheincorrectactionblockinsidethe  M.ELKINETAL.Table.PerformanceonSolve-Itprogrammingtasks. Solve-ItnumberConceptaddressedMeanscore(outofamaximumof) Easysequencing . (Hardsequencing .(Easywait-forŽcommand . ( Easyrepeatswithnumbers. ( repeatloop.Theaveragetotalscorewas3.72(1.845),with3beingthemostcommonscore.Sixstudentsreceivedascoreof0.Overall,thepreschoolstudentsweresuccessfulintheirperformanceontheSolve-Ittasks,particularlythesequencingtasksthatdidnotinvolverepeatloops.EachSolve-Itwasscoredonascalefrom0to6,andtheaveragescoreforSolve-Its1…3wasabove4(SeeTable3).OnallSolve-Its,studentsscoredonaveragehigherontheirBegin/Endsub-scorethantheirSequence/Repeatsub-score.Ofthefourtasks,studentsperformedbestonSolve-Its1and3,whichrequiredstudentstosequencefourinstructions.TheyperformedworseonSolve-It2(

14 HardSequencing),whichrequiredthesequenci
HardSequencing),whichrequiredthesequencingofveinstructions,andevenloweronSolve-It4(EasyRepeat),whichrequiredthesequencingofseveninstructions.Solve-ItsbyageAone-wayindependentsamplestestwasperformedtodetermineifthereweresignicantdierencesbetweenolderandyoungerchildrensmeanscoresoneachoftheSolve-Ittasks.Groupplacementwasdeterminedbyamediansplit(median4.91).Forthisanalysis,wehad59(59)studentsbecausevestudentsdidnotprovidetheirbirthdaysontheconsentforms;29studentswereplacedintheyoungerŽgroupand30studentswereplacedintheolderŽgroup.Onaverage,theolderchildrenperformedbetteronallSolve-Ittasks.Statisticallysignicantdier-encesbetweenthetwogroupswerefoundontheeasy(Cohenseectsizevalue(0.54)suggestedamoderatelevelofpracticalsignif-icance.Statisticallysignicantdierencesbetweenthetwogroupswerealsofoundonthehardsequencingtasks(.05).Further,Cohenseectsizevalue(0.76)suggestedamoderatetohighpracticalsignicance.TherewerenosignicantdierencesfoundbetweenthegroupsontheRepeatandWaitforŽcommandtasks(SeeTable4)indicatingthatbothgroupsdemonstratedthesamemasteryofRepeatsandWaitforŽprogrammingconcepts.Table.Di erencesbetweenyoungerandolderpreschoolersSolve-Itscores. Solve-ItTaskMeanyoungerMeanoldertdfpValue Solve-It(EasySequencing) . () .(. Solve-It(HardSequencing).() . (.  Solve-It(EasyWait-forŽCommand) . () . .  Solve-It (EasyRepeatLoops).(. ) . (. . valuelessthan. . COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS TheresultsfromthisstudysuggestthattheKIBOrobotandsomeaspectsoftheKIBOprogramminglanguageareappropriateforchildrenasyoungasage3,despitethefactthatitwasdesignedforchildrenages4andolder.TheintroductoryroboticscurriculumusedinthisstudyfocusedonrudimentaryprogrammingskillsforKIBO,includingsequencingandanintroductiontorepeatloops.Preschoolchil-dreninthestudy,ages3to5,wereabletosuccessfullymastersequencingasyn-tacticallycorrectprogram.However,themoreinstructionsthestudentswereaskedtosequence,themoredicultitwasforthemtocorrectlycreateaprogram.ThisisconsistentwiththendingsofSullivanandBers(),whofoundthatpre-kindergartenstudentsweremoresuccessfulonaneasy-sequencingSolve-Ittask(orderingfou

15 rblocks)thanahard-sequencingSolve-Ittask
rblocks)thanahard-sequencingSolve-Ittask(orderingveblocks).Thisisalsoconsistentwiththeliteratureshowingthatyoungerchildrendonothaveenoughworkingmemorytoholdveinstructionssimultaneouslyintheirmindsuntiltheyareseveralyearsolder(Shonkoetal.,Thestudentssuccessonsequencingshorterprogramsmaybeduetotheirwork-ingmemoryandthecapacitytorememberallthepartsofalongerstoryatagiventime.Workingmemoryisdescribedastheabilitytosimultaneouslyholdandmanip-ulateinformationinternallyoverashortperiodoftime(Shonkoetal.,).Dur-ingtheSolve-Ittasks,studentshadtosimultaneouslyprocessthestorybeingtold,remembertheprogramminginstructionstheyhadlearned,andconnecttheinstruc-tionstothestory.Alloftheseelementsintheirmindmayhavebeentooheavyofacognitiveloadfortheyoungchildreninthisstudy,eveniftheprogrammingcon-ceptsweremanageable.Regardlessofage,studentsinthisstudyscoredmuchloweronSolve-It4.Thissuggeststhatprogrammingrepeatloopsmaybeachallengingconceptforveryyoungchildren,eitherduetothenumberofblocksneededortheirconceptualunderstandingoftherepeatloop.ThetypesofmistakesthatstudentsmadeonthisSolve-Itsuggestthatmostchildrenmisunderstoodthesyntacticalrulesofcreatingrepeatloops.Additionally,manystudentsswappedthepositionsoftheEndandEndRepeatblocks,suggestingthatstudentshadtroubledistinguishingbetweentheEndblock(whichendsthewholeprogram)andEndRepeatblock(whichendstherepeatloop).Physically,bothblocksincludethewordendŽandusethecolorred.However,whenmanipulatingtheblocks,theEndandEndRepeatblockshavedierentphys-icalfeatures(suchastheabsenceofapegontheEndblock);thesefeatureswerenotpresentwhenusingthepaperversionoftheblocksfortheSolve-Itassessment.Thismayhaveaddedtothedicultyforstudentstofullydierentiatebetweentheblockswhentheyneededtobeusedinoneprogram.Futureworkmaywanttoincludeablock-identicationtasktobetterunderstandiftheseyoungpreschoolerscaniden-tifydierentblocks,andthenusingtheSolve-Itassessmenttoseeiftheycanapplywhattheyknowabouttheblockstocreateasyntacticallycorrectprogram.Giventhatlessthanaquarterofthechildrenwereabletocreateafunctionalprogramthatincludedrepeats,itmaybeworthwhilewhenintroducingsuchyoungchildrentoprogrammingtofocuso

16 nbasicsequencing,ortoprovidemore   M.E
nbasicsequencing,ortoprovidemore   M.ELKINETAL.scaoldingwhenteachingrepeatloops.Repeatloopsinvolvemorethanjustnewblocks;theyalsointroduceanewpieceofKIBOsyntax(i.e.,creatingaparenthe-sisŽwiththeRepeatandEndRepeatblocktoseparateaseriesofcommandsfromtherestoftheprogram).Inadditiontoholdingthisnewpieceofsyntaxintheirworkingmemory,repeatloopsalsorequirechildrentoestimateandmathematicallyreasonwithnumberparameters.Thismaybetoomuchofacognitivestrainforchildrenbeginningtoprogram.Thisconnectswithpreviousndingsthatpreschoolstudentsspendmoretimethankindergartenthroughsecond-gradestudentsonbasicroboticsconcepts,andmovethroughanintroductoryroboticscurriculumataslowerpace(Sullivan&Bers,;Sullivanetal.Resultsalsoindicatethatolderpreschoolers(around5yearsold)demonstratedahighermeanlevelofmasteryonallprogrammingconceptsassessedthanyoungerpreschoolers(under5years).Thismaybeduetoavarietyoffactorsincludingincreasedworkingmemory,attentionspan,andabilitytoplan(Shonkoetal.,).Theseresultssuggestthat,eveninapreschoolsetting,teachersshouldcon-sideroeringdierentiatedlearningopportunitiesforstudentsbasedoncognitiveandsocialdevelopment.Additionally,whengivenmoretime,teachersmayndthatpreschoolers,particularlytheolderstudents,maybeabletomastermoreprogram-mingconceptsbeyondthoseintroducedinthisstudy.BecauseKIBOprogrammingconceptsbuildononeanother,childrencaneasilycontinuetoexploreandmas-termorecomplicatedprogrammingconceptsincludingrepeatloopswithsensorparametersandconditionalbranching.Thismakesthekitidealforpreschoolset-tingswitharangeofstudentabilities.LimitationsandrecommendationsforfutureresearchTheprimarylimitationofthisstudywastheavailabilityofroboticmaterialsattheschool.Inordertokeeptheratioofthreechildrentoonerobot,roboticskitsneededtobesharedbetweenclassrooms.Asaresult,ofthe9hoursinwhichstudentspartic-ipatedintheroboticscurriculum,onlyhalfthetimewasspentwiththerobotitself.Whilethenon-roboticstimewasagreatopportunityforstudentstoplaygamesandreadstoriesreinforcingwhattheylearnedduringroboticstime,studentsdidnothavealotoftimetoengageinhands-onprogramming.Giventhattheassessmentmeasuredprogrammingability,studentsmayhave

17 donebetteriftheyhadreceivedmorepracticew
donebetteriftheyhadreceivedmorepracticewiththecurriculum.Anotherlimitationofthisstudycorrelateswiththeschedulingandlogisticsofworkingwithstudentsofallages.DuetotheschedulesofboththepreschoolersandthestudentvolunteersfromTuftsUniversity,thesixsessionswerespreadoutwithlengthygapsbetweeneachone.Eachlessonbuiltooftheprevioussessions,sostudentswereaskedtorecallinformationthattheyhadbeentaughtawhileago.Ifimplementedagain,alongerinterventionwithmoreconsistenttimingmaybehelpful.Furthermore,thewayinwhichtheSolve-Itassessmentswereadministeredmayhavehinderedstudentperformance.Thecurriculumallowedtimeforstudentstocreateprogramsfortheirrobotusingtangibleblocks,scantheprogramontothe COMPUTERSINTHESCHOOLS robot,andthenseetherobotmove.Inthisway,studentswereabletodirectlycheckiftheprogramtheyhadcreatedmadetherobotmoveliketheyhadintendeditto.Additionally,thecurriculumwasdesignedtobeopen-ended,sochildrencouldchoosewhicheverinstructionstheywantedfortheirrobottoactout.Conversely,ontheSolve-Itassessment,studentsweregivenaspecicstorythattheyneededtorecreateusingpaperrepresentationsoftheblocks.Studentsdidnothavetheopportunitytoseetherobotactouttheprogramanddecidewhethertheyneededtochangeanyinstructions.Futurestudiesmaywanttodevelopanassessmentthatgivesstudentstheopportunitytousethetangibleblocksandchecktheirrobotspro-gramforeachstory.ConclusionRoboticsoerspreschoolchildrenandteachersaplayfulnewwaytolearnfounda-tionalengineeringandprogrammingconcepts.Thisstudydemonstratedthatitispossibletoteachpreschoolchildrenasyoungas3yearsofagefundamentalpro-grammingconceptssuchassequencingandrepeatloops.Asresultsfromthisstudyshow,withproperscaoldingandtimetoexploreengineeringconceptsthroughroboticandnon-roboticactivities,studentsasyoungas3cansuccessfullybuildandprogramaKIBOrobot.ReferencesAmericanAcademyofPediatrics.(2003).Preventionofpediatricoverweightandobesity:Policystatement.Pediatrics,424…430.Bers,M.(2008).Blockstorobots:Learningwithtechnologyintheearlychildhoodclassroom.NewYork,NY:TeachersCollegePress.Bers,M.U.(2012).Designingdigitalexperiencesforpositiveyouthdevelopment:Fromplaypentoplayground.Cary,NC:Oxford.Bers,M.U.,Ponte,

18 I.,Juelich,K.,Viera,A.,&Schenker,J.(2002
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