Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom / Edition 1

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Research shows that attitudes about science, math, and technology start to form during the early schooling years. This pioneering book shows how to successfully use technology in the early childhood classroom. Grounded in a constructivist approach to teaching and learning, the author focuses on robotic manipulatives that allow children to explore complex concepts in a concrete and fun way. At the same time, she examines how this technology engages sensorimotor and socioemotional skills, which are fundamental for the healthy development of young children. This innovative book: Provides examples of how robotics can be a powerful, hands-on tool for young children to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Presents portraits of children developing the skills and ways of thinking needed to create their own personally meaningful projects, and to solve problems using technology. Offers sample curriculum starter activities, including forms and charts that children can use to chronicle the progress of their projects.

About the Author:
Marina Umaschi Bers is an assistant professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807748473
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 11/23/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 387,437
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   David Elkind     xi
Introduction: Playful Learning: Little Robots, Big Ideas     1
Constructionism: Technology and Early Childhood     11
Constructionism as Developmentally Appropriate Practice     13
Learning by Designing Within a Community     16
Technological Tools for Learning: From Building Blocks to Robotics     21
Powerful Ideas and Wonderful Ideas     23
Learning About Learning with Technology     27
Socioemotional and Developmental Contexts for Learning with Robotics     30
The Big Picture: Promoting Positive Technological Development     31
Promoting Socioemotional Development Through Robotics     36
Technology in the Classroom: Technocentric vs. Systemic Approaches     39
The Role of the Family: Lessons from Literacy     41
Vignette: A Well-Kept Secret: Classroom Management with Robotics   Chris Rogers     46
Why LEGO Engineering?     46
What Are the Obstacles and How Have Teachers Gotten Around Them?     48
But What About the Girls?     50
Is It All Worth It?     51
What Next?     52
Vignette: The Engineering Design Process in a Kindergarten Study Group   Megina Baker     53
Project Goals     54
The Initial Provocation     54
Curriculum Planning     56
Implementing the Curriculum     56
Extending Engineering     59
Interview with Rebecca S. New: Moving from "I Know" to "I Wonder": Revisiting Developmentally Appropriate Practices in the Light of Sociocultural Theories     60
Using Robotic Manipulatives in the Early Childhood Classroom     67
Robotic Manipulatives as Learning Tools     69
What Is a Robotic Manipulative?     69
Teaching and Learning Powerful Ideas with a Robotic Manipulative     76
Designing the Environment: A Practical Guide     85
Designing the Learning Environment     85
Developmentally Appropriate Robotics Construction Kits     89
Engaging Parents     92
Resources     95
Curriculum Starters     96
Vignette: Building Boston Together: Local History Through Robotics   Rebecca Merino   Kevin Staszowski     103
The Freedom Trail     106
Vignette: Engineering by Design   Merredith Portsmore     108
Engineering by Design in First Grade     109
Getting Started: From Play to Design     110
The Engineering Design Process      110
Interview with Terry Green: Insights from Experience: From Lunar Rovers to Chaos   Sia Haralampus     115
Conclusion     121
Engineering and Technology Standards in the United States     125
Sample Curriculum Starter     134
Sample Design Journal     136
References     143
Index     149
About the Author     154
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