You may be wondering why coding and programming for your junior school learners? Why Inspire S.T.E.A.M. Drone Programme?
To explain why and the benefits requires addressing a few pointers related.
One of the key components of Inspire S.T.E.A.M. is coding and programming, using Python and DroneBlocks respectively. And the real value lies in this skill acquisition. Once learners have coded they then directly experience a tangible result of that coding, being controlled drone flight. Inspire S.T.E.A.M. is such that everyone can learn the coding and programming, its purpose is to excite all learners about STEAM disciplines using drone technology, drones being relevant and exciting as they are increasingly a larger part of everyday existence, both in usage and in careers. Kids love learning with drones.
Learning to code seems like a difficult process, but it is in effect rather simple and akin to taking on a new language. Coding is at the heart of all technology today and as English is the global language of communication which every child needs, so too is coding, the technology language that no child of the future can be without.
On a basic level, coding is learning to communicate with computers. It is what we use to run all the apps, video games, websites and daily interactive digital experiences. Over the years coding was simply something out there and novel in education, today we know that around 70% of new jobs will be in computer sciences. And like any language, the earlier you grasp its construct, the easier it is to take it on and grow with it.
What is amazing about coding and programming is that it involves communication, problem solving, collaboration and creativity. And learning the language gives leaners the knowledge to understand the world around them in a far more tangible way. Down to simple elements such as how our smartphones work, laptops, social media and video games, this basic coding and programming knowledge will change the way learners interact with these.
With the growth-mindset in education that we experience in our schools, they understand that they will be able to apply their knowledge to develop these digital mediums, like apps or games, themselves. In this case they will immediately learn to code and operate a drone. Entrenching the experience of skill acquisition and result – through effort. Making for a satisfying and fun experience of STEAM.
When they learn coding, like a language, they learn to express themselves, it’s a creative process. They problem solve through taking a “complex” problem and breaking it down into smaller parts, in a logical and computational way. Learning to talk to the computer to talk to the drone. It requires persistence, tackling the problems and working to the result, while collaborating with others to achieve that.
With programming we are communicating a set of instructions to a computer. We use programming language to achieve this. Python is a programming language. We learn the Python code.
We learn the codes that create the DroneBlocks program which uses the Python language. DroneBlocks is the App used to operate the DJI Tello drones we use in a simple drag and drop program. We build up our drone, connecting the elements needed for line of sight flight. And then we set a pre-determined path using DroneBlocks.Then we fly.
The benefit for early learning is in summary that the early introduction of any language positions children better to excel in it as they grow with its development in tandem with theirs.
The foundation of all our technology is coding and programming for operation. The very nature of our technology, its innovation cycles of continually developing on itself, learning from itself, means that it will never stop evolving, and as such the language will continually evolve; having the right language foundation as early as possible is essential for learners in preparing them for their futures.
The benefits of Python. Learning Python is practical because a large majority of web applications and platforms rely on Python, for example, NASA uses Python when they are programming their equipment and space machinery, Google’s search engine relies on it, YouTube and even the web-oriented transaction system of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operates with it. It’s a powerful language powering powerful platforms.
Inspire S.T.E.A.M. is a new and exciting program with far reaching impact. For the last 20 years there have been programming products available to schools. The vast majority of these do not include any form of educator upskilling, whereas the Inspire STEAM product does. Drones are one of the most significant 4th Industrial Revolution disruptive technologies, meaning that they will be around for a long time and will remain relevant far into the future. This combined with the fact that our product is continuously being updated and developed means that it will never become outdated and you can be rest assured knowing that learners are learning useful skills that will stay with them and likely benefit them in some way or another for the rest of their lives.