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Puzzlets, Sphero Sprk, och Dash and Dot, leksaker som lär barn programmera

Alla barn gillar att leka med byggklossar och Lego och liknande leksaker. I takt med att datorprogrammering går allt längre ner i åldrarna som kommer nu också leksaker som lär barn att tänka och att programmera. Föra vad som länge har varit känt är att barn kan lära sig programmera vid mycket unga år. En insikt som datavetaren Seymour A. Papert lanserade i sin nu klassiska bok Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas redan 1980. Inte bara att barn kan lära sig utan att det är viktigt att dom lär sig programmera.

Nathan Olivarez-Giles skriver i Wall Street Journal:
Toys That Teach the Basics of Coding. Why play with a toy when you can hack one? Puzzlets, Sphero Sprk, and Dash and Dot make it fun for kids to learn the ABCs of programming

THERE’S MORE TO computer programming than figuring out what inscrutable words like “augop” and “del_stmt” mean. Sure, you’ll have to master the vocabulary, as you do with any foreign language. But the more fundamental challenge is grasping the underlying concepts of coding. How do you get a machine to report the current temperature? Or find you a particularly promising blind date? Or drive your car while you ride along reading “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”?

The programs that make these seemingly complex tasks possible may indeed be highly complex, but they’re all created using the same basic building blocks. Ones, it turns out, that are sufficiently simple for a child to master.

We’re starting to see a new class of educational toy that aims to teach children those computer-programming fundamentals. With the best examples, the process is so much fun it feels more like playing than learning. The toys here, for example, hide the gobbledygook of computer code language and instead present children (and curious adults) with commands that they can move around like physical or virtual blocks. And the interfaces have been mercifully simplified. If you can set an alarm on your smartphone, you’ll be able to program these toys without a hitch.

All of the toys shown here pair with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to work their magic, and all are compatible with both Android and iOS. While none of will give a child the chops required to code, say, a smartphone app, they do something more important: Help children to think like programmers.

Here are our three favorite tech-ed toys for both learning and playing (for ages 5 and up).

En mycket positiv utveckling.

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