Beyond Coding: How Children Learn Human Values Through Programming
February 2 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Presenter: Marina Umaschi Bers
Dr. Bers will present her work by using the metaphor of playgrounds vs. playpens to understand the role of technology in children’s lives. Playgrounds are designed to promote exploration, discovery, and the development of motor and social skills. In contrast, playpens corral children into a safe, confined space. Although they are mostly risk-free, there is little imaginative play and problem-solving. Dr. Bers will show coding playgrounds with the two environments she created: the free Scratch Jr programming language and the KIBO robotic kit. She will review ideas from her recent book, in which she argues that coding is a new literacy — a way for children to express themselves and engage with the world and others. She will also discuss a pedagogical roadmap that encompasses the cultivation of character along with technical knowledge and skills.