5 Reasons why Learning Pods at home are an opportunity to accelerate 21st century skills
The global COVID pandemic has led us to rethink education with urgency, even panic. On one hand online education has surged, with tools like Outschool helping parents fill gaps through affordable online classes. On the other hand, there is a growing number of parents forming “learning pods” at home. The Facebook group for “pandemic pods” has over 32,000 members and counting.
With school, public and private alike, defaulting to online only or hybrid learning models, parents are justifiably taking it upon themselves to ensure their children can get quality in-person instruction at home.
I have two kids, both in elementary school. My experience and conversations with other parents confirms that elementary school kids have a tougher time adapting to remote learning, and benefit greatly from an in-person environment that includes other children. As parents put pods together for helping their children learn at home with a cohort of other kids, I believe this is also an opportunity for us to accelerate learning of 21st century skills for our children – in particular coding and robotics. Let me share a few reasons why I believe this.
- Project based learning. Learning pods will help parents customize the tuition for their children for their learning abilities. Project based learning helps foster engagement and learning, especially interdisciplinary learning. Introducing hands on coding with robots, with an age-appropriate learning content, is an excellent way to bring project based learning that weaves in analytical reasoning, logic, Math, engineering, and Computer Science.
- You already have the robots at home. If you’re the parent who cares deeply about the learning your child gets, you likely already have the highly rated Dash robots at home. It’s time to bring them out and include them in your learning pods. Add Class Connect, that gets your tutor all the tools she will need to effectively add it to the instruction, and watch your kids take the robots farther than they had until now.
- Foster Collaboration. If you’re bringing children together so they learn in a group rather than by themselves in front of a screen, you already value collaboration. It is a critical skill for children to learn and working together to program robots is an ideal way to provide that learning opportunity to kids. It’s not a surprise that every year when students share what they learnt most by programming Dash robots, learning to work together is often at the top of the list.
- Wonder League Robotics Competition. Every year since 2015, Wonder Workshop has hosted a global competition for children of ages 6–14 to program Dash and Cue robots so solve problems using coding, creativity, and engineering skills. In 2019, more than 5,000 teams competed from 91 countries. Teams can compete in 3 different age groups: 6–8, 9–11, and 12–14. Similar to last year, missions are created in collaboration with Cartoon Network, bringing an engaging story line and challenges that are age appropriate and yet challenging. This year, your children can compete from home, and collaborate with their teammates with ease — they will have more opportunities to meet and work on the missions than they would have otherwise.
- Learning pods can do what schools can’t. Learning pods aren’t ideal — they can be more expensive, and schools provide access to a larger set of resources. However, learning pods can do what schools can’t: they create a peer group of like minded students, fostering an opportunity to learn better, faster. This environment is ideal to introduce learning opportunities like coding and robotics that aren’t possible that easily at school.
If you’re looking to get started on coding and robotics, check out Wonder Workshop’s home learning bundle. The bundle will get you everything you need for your learning pod to code robots during this pandemic and learn a thing or two beyond just coding.