Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers and her students in the DevTech Research Group examine the role of computational technologies that are developmentally appropriate for young children and that help them learn about new things in new ways. We are exploring the notion of what is “developmentally appropriate” in light of the opportunities for inquiry and active construction of knowledge offered by new technologies that engage children in programming activities. Through NSF funding, we developed a developmentally appropriate robotics construction kit for children in Pre-K through 2nd grade. The prototype, called KIWI (Kids Invent With Imagination), inspired the creation of the KIBO robotics kit, now commercialized by KinderLab Robotics. We also collaborated with the MIT Media Lab to develop ScratchJr, a free app designed to engage children in grades K-2 in programming and storytelling.
The DevTech Research Group also developed the Early Childhood Robotics Network, a virtual community for early childhood educators interested in using robotics and computer programming in their own classrooms. This network features curriculum resources as well as project videos and pictures from educators across the country.
Learn more about our current research projects: