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Toys and Games Promote Kids' 'Computational Thinking'

Toys and games are changing how kids learn, but not necessarily in the ways that immediately come to mind. contributor Jenn Choi spoke with two experts in technology education, Dr. Wendy Martin and Francisco Cervantes from the EDC Center for Children and Technology. They shared that learning how to code in computer languages can help kids learn computational thinking. "It's the process of creating a program, letting it run, encountering problems, dissecting and examining the problem and finding a solution so you can create something," she explained.

There are a number of ways for children to learn to code, but her article highlighted two of them.

The first is KIBO, a robot-like device that allows kids to scan bar codes on a sequence of connectable wooden blocks, each of which has a designated action. This then creates a list of orders for the robot to follow. While this seems very basic, it gets kids thinking in the way that advanced coding requires.

The second, Robot Turtles, comes from ThinkFun, a popular board game company. The game involves problem solving as kids help their turtles reach a destination. The moves are made using instructions that also mimic how coding works.

Read the full story.


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