Variety in Learning
In my last newsletter, I talked about the fun facts to do with Kai’s Clan, and this made me think further about the word “FUN”
Every generation has a different meaning of what is fun. When I asked my mum what was fun in her days, she mentioned that she and my dad would save their pennies all month long to go and see a movie. Every Sunday the whole family would sit around the table to have a Sunday roast and in the afternoon other family members would visit over a cuppa tea.
For my generation, Generation X, fun is going out with friends, traveling, and staying fit. When I was younger we would go to nightclubs. On weekends we’d go out on the boat or have BBQ’s..
My 15-year-old girl socializes too, though she mostly does that online. She plays Minecraft, does cosplay and even when she meets up with her friends in person they continue the roleplays while being on their phones. This is her way of having fun and she is pretty content, but I do worry about her emotional development and wellbeing.
Every day, I hear teachers asking ‘How to engage our students? Teachers will present lessons and students may glimpse up at what they say but most likely go back to their screens. So how do we engage with these students to keep their attention for longer?
I read a great article from a Common Sense Educator, Jeff Knutson, interviewing teacher and education writer, Paul Barnwell, who shared some insight. In the article: Tips and Strategies to Boost Student Engagement Paul mentions that most students are generally glad to be back at school in person rather than remote or hybrid learning, but getting them engaged in learning seems to be getting more difficult. He attributes it to pandemic-related issues, in addition to the constant competition with digital and social media. During the pandemic, so many students struggled with their mental health. Many haven’t quite bounced back to a better headspace yet. Like many schools, we’re a one-to-one building where each student gets a Chromebook. I think there’s serious fatigue for some students as [they’re] toggling between countless assignments on platforms like Google Classroom. I think this overreliance on technology in our classrooms can be problematic if we aren’t giving students enough variety in their learning experiences.
So what does ‘variety in learning’ look like? My dream is for all kids to be able to code. I believe this will be a necessity in their future to obtain a job. However, there’s still the issue of having kids stay on their devices in order to code.
Here at Kai’s Clan we want to bring the physical and virtual worlds together and have both coexisting. With Kai’s Clan, students can collaborate and physically work together to code their robots by using design tools for robot avatars; using sensors to water a plant, for example; or seeing their avatars in augmented and/or virtual reality.
This sounds awesome, doesn’t it? While this works well in the classroom, what about remote or hybrid learning? This is where KaiBot, the World’s first Hybrid robot, comes in. Students can play with the physical robot and code to solve their own mazes, puzzles, and escape rooms. They can also jump online and have a multiplayer game with their friends using either physical robots or just coding the virtual robots. This makes KaiBot versatile because it can be used screen-free, hybrid, or just virtual.
We have to offer students a variety of ways they can learn and apply their skills. BUT, most importantly it has to be “FUN”!