The Developmental Technologies Research Group, directed by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, aims to understand how new technologies that engage in coding, robotics and making, can play a positive role in children’s development and learning. Our research involves four dimensions: theoretical contributions, design of new technologies, empirical research to test and evaluate the theory and the technologies, and outreach to disseminate our work. We create programming languages such as KIBO and ScratchJr as well as teaching materials and pedagogical strategies for the professional development of early childhood educators and community engagement.
Our long-time commitment is to inspire sustainable and scalable evidence-based programs for young children that promote the learning of programming and computational thinking with a playful, developmentally appropriate approach. This approach can be found in Marina Bers’ Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom. Visit this book guide for activity suggestions. Our work also pays special attention to socio-emotional learning and the development of character traits and human values. More can be found in Marina Bers’ Beyond Coding: How Children Learn Human Values through Programming.
Also make sure to visit ScratchJr Connect, our brand new curated database designed for educators and parents!