Coding, Computers and Digital Learning
Although opinion is divided on digital device use for younger children, all responsible parents agree they want their children to have the best possible start to education.
And that’s because they know coding and computational thinking – basically how to speak to computers – will be crucial skills for this generation.
So how can parents who are not comfortable with their preschool children using a digital device reconcile these two competing objectives?
By teaching younger children coding and computational thinking skills with unplugged activities that require no devices at all!
My 2019 Digital Challenge, which is being run in almost 200 South Australian schools for Years 3-6, has had a mini-makeover. It now includes an entirely unplugged ‘Learn to Speak Robot’ themed challenge, which has been designed specifically for 3-5 year olds.
This new unplugged edition has been created in partnership with the Australian Computing Academy for the ‘pre-foundational learner’. The activities within this version of the Challenge teach concepts such as algorithmic and sequential thinking, and patterns and data representation through fun and simple play. How do they do this? By engaging kids in a game of robot hide and seek or choreographing a simple robot dance routine for the adults in their lives to perform!
What are you waiting for? Get your boogie on and ‘do the robot’ with your pre-schooler today!
Early Learning Challenge Unplugged Edition
What age is it for?
Children aged 3-5 years.
Preschools, kindergartens, childcare and early learning centres across South Australia are able to sign up to receive the free activity packs and take part in the Early Learning Challenge. Your child will also be able to try this out with you at home, or at your local public library.
What do I need?
All that’s required is a computer with an internet connection to enable you to download the activity you would like to try, and a printer. If you do not have these, your local public library does, and could be a great place for you to access the Challenge to print out the Challenge materials so you can do each of the activities with your child.
What are the Challenge Materials?
There are two fun and completely unplugged activities to choose from. To obtain the two free activities, all you need do is register – this takes less than one minute.
Children can complete either activity to complete the Challenge, but they are also welcome to try both.
Play a game of Robot Hide and Seek with Cody Buttons
Children are challenged to find Cody Buttons who is hiding in their playground or home, as an adult directs them to hidden printed robots using printed arrows. Children will decorate their own Cody Buttons (provided in pack) and they’ll use this template to collect stickers or stamps as they work through the Challenge.
Do a Robot Dance with Cody Buttons
Children will be invited to create their own dance sequence using images of Cody Buttons in different dance poses.
Once completed, children show the routine they have created to caregivers in the immediate vicinity (who are absolutely obliged to turn up the volume and get their groove on!).
We are happy to share captured footage of adults performing Cody-moves on our social media!
If you’re a child, young person or parent and there’s something you think I should be doing to make things better for the lives of kids in SA, please get in touch! commissionerCYP@sa.gov.au
Sign up here: commissionersdigitalchallenge.net.au