Eduporium Experiment | Coder MiP
Parents and teachers sometimes shy away from introducing younger children to coding and robotics because they are under the impression that these subject areas are too complex for kids in the early grades. We are pleased to say, however, that, thanks to the recent revolution in educational robotics tools, there is no reason to fear exposing children to coding! Tech companies have caught on to the fact that students need certain tech and STEM skills in order to succeed in the future and have designed tools that incorporate simplicity, authenticity, and problem solving all in one. In no other EdTech product is this more true than with the Coder MiP - an incredibly interactive, robotics-based early introduction to legitimate coding.
The idea of STEM education and project-based learning is that we want students fully engaged with the concepts they are studying. When their hands, eyes, and even their feet are working, their brains, by default, are stretched that much further. Coder MiP is a perfect example of enabling experiential learning rather than the learning most students are accustomed to - sitting at a desk, taking notes, trying to stay awake - you get the idea. Instead, the Coder MiP allows students to build on the robotics experiences they have had in the past and empowers them to take these experiences to the next level with intuitive and powerful technology.
If you’re familiar with the MiP Robot or the MiPosaur, you might have already figured out that the Coder MiP is next in the progression of these pint-sized robotics tools. When I took it out of the box in the Eduporium office, I noticed right away that it certainly is not very large (I knew this coming in, but seeing how small it really is made me realize it might just be on to something when it comes to use very early on in a child’s education). I took it out and powered it up, seeing how it balances itself just like the traditional MiP Robot can do!
The first version of the MiP is controlled by a connected device and a user-friendly app; students just press directional keys and can make the MiP complete basic actions. The Coder MiP, as I found out, actually requires students to write the code that’s needed to make the robot move - a pretty impressive update if you ask me! Students will need a device to create the code and any Apple or Android product should work just fine. In the app, programs are written with simple Blockly code, meaning kids drag and drop the commands into the programming field and push ‘Start’ to make the robot execute the actions. It really does provide a very simple way for them to see the ‘If This Then That’ nature of coding right before their eyes.
Another interesting nugget is that kids can compel the Coder MiP to begin moving by tapping its backside or swiping their hand in front of its face since its able to respond to motion. Once activated in either of these unique ways, the Coder MiP will execute the program that students have created and let them see what it’s like to have programming power in the palms of their hands! If you’re wondering, I can tell you firsthand: This is a very active tech product and one that encourages hands-on learning, problem solving, and collaboration. It did not take long for me to figure it out and the learning potential seems poised to be pretty big!
Coder MiP is definitely something that has value in 21st century education as it breaks down both coding and robotics into an exceptionally simple and interactive game for kids to conquer with the help of technology To grab your own Coder MiP, click here to visit the Eduporium store!
If you have an idea for a product you'd like to see featured on the Eduporium Experiment, let us know by sending us a message on Twitter or Facebook! And, look out for next week's edition of the Eduporium Experiment coming at you a week from today and featuring the Mover Kit from Tech Will Save Us!
Image: © Wowwee