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A Robot Is Not Just for Christmas; It’s for Life


Parents want to know more about how to teach kids coding skills at home. While over two-thirds (68 per cent) of parents think that kids know more about tech than adults, only 18 per cent of parents know that schools are now required by law to teach coding to schoolchildren of all ages. With a small proportion thinking that robots will soon replace teachers, it is well worth contemplating how robots are the best way of integrating coding into the wider curriculum, a case that is put forward by many industry experts.

Robots are this Christmas’ most in-demand tech toys, with today’s “digital first” youngsters being way ahead of their parents when it comes to learning about computer programming and how to code. But, while British parents are desperate to learn more about how to teach their kids coding at home, nearly half (42 per cent) still don’t have the knowledge or confidence to help their children learn these vital skills, according to new consumer research from UBTECH Robotics. In fact, only 18 per cent of parents know schools are required by law to teach coding to all ages.

UBTECH Robotics is behind a number of innovative new robots, including Jimu Robot, an interactive system of building blocks which enables kids to program and share their own robot creations. Created to teach kids STEM skills in a fun way, Jimu’s movements are programmed with intuitive functions and drag-and-drop coding. The build-a-robot kits are an easy and engaging way of children and parents learning together about coding through a shared experience. Despite over two-thirds (68 per cent) of parents thinking kids know more about tech than adults, there’s a no need for parents to feel intimidated.

The new UBTECH Robotics survey, comprising the opinions of 1000 British adults, also threw up a few surprising results, with nearly one in ten respondents confident that artificially intelligent robots will replace both human footballers and teachers in the next twenty years! The survey also confirms that parents are increasingly keen for their children to learn how to code using robots in the primary school classroom.

Supporting the research, educational experts are still critical of the confusion around the best ways of teaching coding and programming skills, with many primary schools still unsure as to the most effective ways to teach coding and programming, especially while supporting the wider curriculum.

Computing in Schools consultant Stuart Swann said, “the challenge for schools is how best to integrate new robots and AI technologies across the curriculum. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) agenda is gathering momentum, and making connections between these subject areas is essential if it is going to be a success in schools. Introducing fun, programmable robots into this agenda makes the coding and programming element very engaging to young people – and to adults too!

“If you can build something and bring it to ‘life’, that’s incredibly motivating. For teachers, robotics provides a true cross-curricular solution. And UBTECH Robotics’ recent survey of these 1000 British parents proves one thing that is very clear to anybody involved in teaching these skills in schools, which is that as soon as they introduce basic physical coding games and robotics into the classroom, both the teachers and the children immediately become 100 per cent more engaged and keen to learn these key skills.”