Page 21 - THE Journal, January/February 2018
P. 21

AS THE IMPORTANCE of coding grows Many younger grades do not have a 1-to-1 or bring-your-own-
device (BYOD) policy, but the robots require no additional device. “That’s the best part,” said Blagden. “Our schools do not have a 1-to-1 policy for technology. Normally with coding, only one or two students can be doing it at a time. You can always get just a couple of Kibos and put them on stations. Kibo robots do not require any sort of computer connection, which is great for students and great for the school budget.”
Finding a Grant
Whether it’s Kibos or other coding equipment, additional attachments can be acquired as needs increase. Public
and private grants are available for updates and original purchases. On the private side, J.D. Ferries-Rowe has seen grant opportunities expand over the years, primarily because businesses, including tech companies, are keen to nurture talent and ultimately bolster their potential workforce.
As chief information officer at Indianapolis-based Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Ferries-Rowe contends that the key to
each year, school districts inevitably feel pressure to fund clubs and find money for specialized instruction within the curriculum. The pressure
is not exclusive to upper grades. If anything, educators such as Katie M. Blagden increasingly see the benefits of early introduction to coding language.
As a science/technology/engineering/arts/mathematics (STEAM) coach and teacher at Ayers Ryal Side Elementary School, Beverly, MA, Blagden teaches rudimentary coding to kindergarten students using Kibo Robots. The robots feature coding blocks that come in sets of 10, 14, 18 and 21.
Blagden personally made the pitch for Kibo funds to the school’s PTO, taking care to integrate the school’s stated mission into the plea. “Our district’s mission is to get students prepared for the outside world and their career, and one of the things that could be important in careers is coding,” she said. “Kibo Robots are extremely affordable. Our PTO provided funds, and we purchased 10 of the Kibo 10s at $229 each.”
Photo credt???
Iconic Bestiary; MIRARTI Illustrations/Shutterstock/THE Journal staff

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