By Fany Lauzon, third year baccalaureate student in preschool and elementary education. Substitute teacher at the Mille-Îles School Service Center. Special collaboration.
In this article, Fany Lauzon, a third-year undergraduate student in preschool and elementary education, shares the experience of her 4-year-old preschool internship class with the exploration of robotics. It discusses its successes as well as its future goals in this regard.
At the University, I took a technopedagogy course in a disciplinary context and I was enthusiastic about the idea of integrating the robotics activities that I had discovered there. When I learned that I would do my internship in preschool for 4 years, I had a little reluctance to give children a robotics activity with the Beebot. I thought they would be too young to understand how it worked and to handle these technological tools properly.
I still tried my luck and guess what? My activity was a success all the way!
I do not regret my choice at all and I even advise you to explore the idea with your little students. They were motivated to discover how the robot works, curious and avant-garde in its handling and use.
Conduct of the activity
As part of the activity, I started by approaching the subject by asking the children about the characteristics that make it possible to identify a robot. To do this, I was inspired by the game presented on the website of Presco story to categorize objects on the interactive whiteboard according to whether they are robots or not. The children in my internship class showed a lot of interest and were participatory.
Afterwards, we did a Beebot race where each team had a robot and had to turn a big foam dice to make it move forward according to the number obtained. I saw the competitive spirit of some students come out and others showed determination to get their robot across the finish line before that of the other team. I can assure you that the teamwork and the encouragement were beautiful to see.
My findings, successes and future goals
As far as my successes during this activity are concerned, they mainly relate to the students' interest in the activity. As soon as they saw the robots in the classroom, they were curious, excited to start, and attentive to what I was saying. I could see the wonder in their eyes when they saw the robot moving for the first time. They were eager to start the activity.
I thus had conclusive proof that learning takes place through play. I have seen students develop their communication, their social skills, teamwork, the feeling of competence, and so on. I will certainly bring this experience to several other groups of students in my career and my goal will be to make them experience challenges commensurate with their ability by always pushing a little further. I intend to stay in the proximal zone of student development and continue to develop their interest and curiosity in relation to novelty and technology, which is constantly evolving.
I also suggest that you go explore the site of Florent's class. This is a resource that offers educational games to practice with how a Beebot works. My students also really enjoyed the challenges offered by this platform and they impressed me with their mastery of technological tools.
Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
2- Develop and mobilize your technological skills
To see the Framework.