An Amiable Robot Provides a New Way to Introduce Coding in the Classroom
KUBO teaches coding to students aged 4 to 10 using interactive, offline activities.
KUBO is an educational robot that teaches students between the ages of four and ten years old the basics of coding. The lessons are “unplugged”, which allows students to learn about coding without the use of a computer or any similar digital device. KUBO makes coding easy for even the most technology-shy student or teacher. Designed in Denmark, KUBO is a high-quality product founded on Scandinavian values of learning through socially interactive, playful experiences. The educational robot is available in Canada from Canadian Classroom.
Teachers begin with a printable map, the TagTiles®, and the robot has the children identify the functions of the robot and icons and objects that they see. Then, students can create a route with the tiles that are provided and use KUBO to turn the course into an interactive story. The robot will follow the commands of the TagTiles®. By finishing the route with a function, students can then watch as KUBO follows the path on its own. Students will associate the tiles and the behavior of the robot as an introduction to coding.
KUBO can be used for STEM education, covering science, technology, engineering, the arts, and maths through various exercises. There are three kinds of TagTiles® sets available to meet different levels of learning in different age groups. The basic set, the Coding TagTiles®, is ideal for early-childhood levels as a basic introduction to routes, functions, and loops in a few simple steps. The second kit, the Coding+, is designed to boost the student’s coding expertise with an additional 36 tiles that add control of time, speed, distance, and direction for a more challenging activity. The third set of Tagtiles ®, KUBO Coding++, makes it easier for students to work with complex Algorithms and develop abstract thinking. The set includes 44 TagTiles® addressing concepts of variables, conditions (If/Else), and events. KUBO Coding++ completes the series of TagTiles® needed to introduce all primary concepts of coding in a unique hands-on and screen-free way.
New maps and resources are available from KUBO for download. This provides teachers with progressing resources that advance as the children develops their coding skills.
Blank maps are also available to add a creativity component, where students can draw their own plans and icons, or create them with clay or other crafting materials. This option combines playful, imaginative engagement with learning to code using computing skills.
KUBO is the result of a master’s project led by co-founder Daniel Lindegaard. The design addresses the benefits of screen-free learning for students in an era that relies heavily on technology. Lindegaard felt that not enough was being done to teach students coding and computational thinking from an early age (four years) in a social, hands-on context.
KUBO offers lesson plans at various levels to match the skill and age-appropriate curriculum. The platform provides a great deal of support for teachers who use the robot, including useful training of KUBO terminology, lesson plans, resources, maps, and a helpful blog. The resources are always increasing as the company adds to the selection of inspirational activities on the website. They even have seasonal activity updates, like “Falling Leaves” and Halloween activities.
Johanna Garcia, the founder of the Canadian Classroom, says, “Canadian Classroom is thrilled to partner with KUBO to be the Canadian distributor.” She adds, “We are always seeking the latest educational products in technology in order to provide students with the most up-to-date resources that can evolve with their understanding. With KUBO’s support, we will have endless opportunities to create increasingly complex commands for KUBO to execute, without worrying about screen time.”
KUBO is available from Canadian Classroom in a standard KUBO Coding Set, or bundled with the KUBO Coding Set and KUBO Coding+ TagTile® Set combined. Canadian Classroom also offers multi-packs (single or bundled) in sets of 4, 8, or 12 for larger groups and classroom use. For more information, visit www.canadianclassroom.com.