Educating the Alfas: Coding Robots to Practice STEM Skills
The writing contains catchy info about educating Alfas and will come in handy for those who want to understand how the generation born from 2010 learns STEM skills. So, we start!
Children born from 2010 to 2025 are considered to be Generation Alpha. What the most exciting is that this generation is the very first to be born within the twenty-first century. Millennials are parents to Generation Alpha. Scientists predict that by 2025, there will be around two billion Alfas of the total number of the global population.
Tech-Addicted but Truly Wonderful Generation
It is a fact that Alfas are gadget-addicted children. Those who are eight years old are more digital-savvy than the previous generation nowadays. They can’t imagine their life without tablets and smartphones. Moreover, Alfas use those things so naturally that it seems they were born with a gadget in hand! All their life is concentrated around iPhones, iPads and their apps. Alfas are brave and confident when interacting with Siri and touching screen to learn what the icons do. They learn by clicking buttons on phones!
Here, it’s time to discover what the latest research states about that. Well, IEEE (the world's largest technical professional community dedicated to advancing technology for humanity) interviewed two thousand Millennial parents aged from twenty to thirty-five and came up with the following exciting data. When it comes to digital stuff, Alfas are little experts and feel super confident to share their opinion. A new in-depth study into the behavior, goals, and attitudes of Generation Alpha was launched by global content business Beano Studio.
“I have been using my PC since I was three (!). The best Christmas present for me is the latest model of a smartphone. It is cooler than pets, toys, and even holidays!” This is how an average representative of Generation Alpha replies to the question about an ideal present for holidays as they see it.
Around thirty-three percent of American parents to Alfas confess that gadgets are the priority number one for their children. At the same time, twenty-nine percent of parents ask their children’s point of view before buying a phone or a tablet.
Alpha kids look so mature and busy when stating something like “Ads often appear on the screen when I scroll down my Insta news line. However, I don’t think that I’ve noticed something worth buying!”
When parents ask about their children’s future and what Alfas desire to be when they grow up, Alfa kids dream of becoming AI scientists, graphic designers, and even aerospace developers. It is hard to believe that a four-year-old feels excited to choose such “serious” professions, agree?
“When I draw on paper and make animations on my PC, I imagine that I’m a professional graphic designer. It is a cool profession because my PC will always be by my side!” By the way, if you are interested in what kind of gadgets for graphics would become an ideal present for Alfas, read a great article on how to choose Graphics Tablets for Beginners .
Generation Alpha has a fundamental influence on their predecessors. Again, as IEEE reports, around eighty-four (!) percent of American parents admitted they had downloaded Insta, Facebook, and Twitter because their children had profiles there.
Big Challenges for Schools to Educate Alfas
Well, education Alfas is a huge challenge not only for schools but for parents as well (if we consider homeschooling). Currently, the majority of parents of Alfas seriously consider AI nannies as a wonderful solution to care about their kids. Moreover, Millennial parents of Alfas are nearly twice as likely to agree (forty-five percent agree, twenty-three percent disagree) that AI nannies reduce their frustrations as a parent to the minimum.
Generation Alpha requires fundamental changes and an innovational approach to education. Talking about schools and colleges, they should realize that Alfas will prefer to study programs to provide deep learning. No traditional way of educating Alfa kids will function. Teachers should adjust to such conditions when it comes to educating Alfas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
The greatest challenge for modern schools involves developing flexible programs. Such programs should be quickly and easily adapted to satisfy the never-ending curiosity of Alfas.
Schools and colleges should find ways to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in Alfas. They should know how to identify a problem and fix it. Teamwork is also a must for Alfas as they should be able to analyze possible options taking into account other opinions.
The above-mentioned are just a tiny list of obligatory skills that schools should teach Generation Alpha kids. That is because this generation will go where no Millennial has gone before. Most probably, Alfas populate Moon and Mars for the benefit of mankind.
We can’t state that the modern educational system has nothing to teach the young Alfas for today. Further in this writing, let’s see the most significant codable robots created for practicing STEM skills.
Mochi by CreativityBox
Based on parents’ opinions, one of the most incredible robotic toys for children ages 4-6 is considered Learn with Mochi designed by CreativityBox. Who is Mochi? Maybe now we destroy all your expectations, but Mochi is not a super technological robot. It looks like a super funny brown bear. However, this toy is a brilliant option for teaching small Alfas the very first steps into coding.
So, what is included in Mochi package?
· Mochi Bear (a curious friend who loves teaching basic concepts of programming);
· Coding Blocks (kids tell the bear what to do simply by pushing a button on the physical coding blocks put in a wooden case);
· Programming Board (a specific command center where Alfa kid may design their very first line of code);
· Storybooks and Storyteller (Micro SD card with music, songs, and sounds).
Children admire this toy because they learn in a playful way. Together with Mochi bear, kids learn numbers, colors, letters, basic words/phrases, and (the most breath-taking) coding at the same time. Children learn to code while exploring such subjects as planets, shapes, animals, and many others. The learning experience involves intensive work with hands-on coding, thus providing kids with a real-world programming environment. American parents who have bought Mochi comment that their little Alfas don’t want LEGO anymore!
Piper Computer Kit by Mark Pavlyukovskyy
Meet Piper Computer Kit designed by the Founder and CEO of CreativityBox. Officially introduced in March 2015, this PC changed the lives of Alfas because it empowers kids to design their technology by coding. This educational kit is a perfect solution to teach programming Alfas of 7-10 years.
In one of the interviews to the press, Mark explained that modern pop culture teaches kids the wrong values. Instead of encouraging Alfas being inventors, pop culture teaches kids how to be consumers. In this writing, we agree with Mark. Our kids are indeed taught to consume iPads, iPhones, smart watches, and tablets since their birth. But they have no stimulus to build that!
So, his Piper Computer was designed to resolve the case. Piper Computer is a DIY PC that anyone and anywhere may code. You may watch a video called “Inventing the Inventor: Transforming a Generation of Minecraft Players into Engineers” about Mark’s vision for Piper and what he hopes to encourage kids to do with that here .
What is Piper?
As far as Alfas open the box, they are engrossed in hours of discovery. Piper empowers kids in a complex, tactile designing experience with laser-cut wooden parts, a collection of electronic components, and a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. Children develop hardware through a captivating set of adventures in StoryMode. They learn to code when connecting buttons, switches, and innovational electronic creations.
Piper is loved among educators at schools. Teachers even use that during lessons to inspire Alfas for creative activity, coding, and non-standard thinking.