KOOV Educator Kit
KOOV is a robotics kit by Sony for children of ages 8 and up. This robotics kit comes with a microcontroller, battery pack, many building blocks and some sensors. The user has to provide a tablet or computer and 3 AA batteries. The box also comes with a very helpful parent/guardian guide, which gives instructions, safety precautions, a parts list, and definitions of some of the more complicated parts. Even though it could be used at home, it is made for the classroom and will perform at its best in similar environments. The KOOV app (available directly from Sony for Windows, MacOS, Ipad, and Chromebook) comes with a class management software, lesson plans, and teacher/student guides. The activities come with an introduction to programming, building, and design. The app comes with many different lessons for the kids to actively start recognizing coding instructions and create their own designs. The lessons take an iterative approach, where each activity needs to be completed before the next one can begin. Any given activity starts with explaining the vocabulary used and showing examples of how to code. Then, it instructs the to user write the code themselves and if there is something wrong, it explains very clearly what the mistakes were and suggests ways to correct them. After the user has written the code, the building part of the toy is used, where it gives instructions for the user to create a model and input the code that was just written. This method of encouraging failure as a learning opportunity is well-documented and, in this case, well-implemented.
The learning lessons are very easy and clear for beginners. They help the coder understand his/her mistakes. The programming side of the toy promotes critical thinking, computational thinking, and perseverance (very important skills for a programmer to develop), as well as idea generation, testing a solution, and making improvements to solutions. The building side of the game is very fun and entertaining, and the color coding makes it very easy to follow and clear. The building process promotes spatial reasoning skills, design, iterative design, and improvement of the solution throughout both the building and testing stages. Again, this kit is meant for a classroom setting, but it can be used as a learning tool from home with help from a parent or guardian. KOOV Educator Kit is a very good learning tool for children; the lessons are clear, consistent, and enjoyable.