Beyond Coding: Back to the Future with Education Robots

  • Published June 28, 2019
  • By Dave Catlin

Smart Learning with Educational Robotics

Catlin, D. (2019). Beyond Coding: Back to the Future with Education Robots. In L. Daniela (Ed.), Smart Learning with Educational Robotics: Using Robots to Scaffold Learning Outcomes (pp. 1-44). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG. doi:


Jeannette Wing’s 2013 call for education to make coding a key skill coincided with a boom in new education robots.  Not surprisingly most of these new robots focus on developing student’s computational thinking abilities and programming know-how.  Is that all robots can offer?  To find the answer I’ll explore the history of education robots: specifically the ideas of Seymour Papert.  What we’ll find is something with far more potential than providing learners with a way of developing their coding skills.  And against accepted wisdom, I’ll suggest that as technology develops the need for coders will (in the long-term) dwindle but the power of robots to help educate children for the future will increase.

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