Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reconsidering the Lego Robotics...

Nat Torkington:

I think there's a lesson here: doing something in hardware isn't automatically cool, particularly for kids. It's harder to make things happen, so we veteran geeks get a thrill from it. We think that because it's physical, real, and a Robot, kids will automatically be excited. But for kids who are learning, and who don't appreciate the significance of the challenge, it's just hard and unrewarding.

My impression is that robotics programs in primary and secondary schools is that many have been successes, but limited successes. I mean, the relative expansion of Lego robotics in schools has coincided with a virtual collapse of computer science US K-12 schools in general.

1 comment:

Bill Kerr said...

to add to nat's point and your point, both of which are good points

it doesn't play with the conventional schools structures nicely, eg. build a nice LEGO in 45 minutes then the next class comes in and pulls it apart

requires special arrangements - eg. gifted or "specials" who have exclusive use of the equipment - but that makes it expensive (not "one lego kit for every child")

schools require the KISS principle, almost as a law

this article discusses related issues in a fascinating way
why we banned legos