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


reviewed by Elizabeth R. Hubbell — February 22, 2008

coverTitle: Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom
Author(s): Marina Umaschi Bers
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807748471 , Pages: 154, Year: 2008
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“Little children have big ideas,” affirms Marina Umaschi Bers in Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom (p. 17). Yet, she urges, young learners need to be given frequent and sustained opportunities to develop those ideas into fruition, especially in ways that cultivate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills. Citing the work of such noted educators as David Elkind, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Friedrich Fröebel, Erik Erikson, and her mentor, Seymour Papert, Bers draws clear parallels between using robotics in the early childhood classroom and developing the skills students need in the 21st century.   Robotics combines the physical and creative opportunities of building and manipulating objects with the problem-solving and collaborative experiences of learning to program their objects to move in a desired manner. While many early childhood educators would dismiss this scope and sequence as being too sophisticated for young learners, Bers makes the argument... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 22, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15023, Date Accessed: 7/27/2017 4:42:50 PM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Hubbell
    Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH R. HUBBELL is a Lead Consultant in the Curriculum and Instruction department at Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). Prior to joining McREL, Elizabeth served as a building-level curriculum director and elementary teacher, where she focused on combining 21st Century learning environments with Montessori philosophies. She holds an M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies from the University of Colorado-Denver and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia. Her work with her elementary students earned her the honor of being one of four national finalists in Technology & Learning’s Ed Tech Leader of the Year 2003. She has served on the advisory board for PBS TeacherSource and has been published in several journals, including Principal, Montessori Life, and Learning & Leading with Technology. She is co-author of Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works (ASCD, 2007).
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