LEGO Education is offering a new and more progressive way of learning science and technology, engineering and math for the millions of students in China, in a US$ 500 billion education market and US$ 12 billion toy market. The exciting Lego schools are visited by curious children, who wish to learn by playing and supported by their modern parents, who invest in the development of (global) problem solving, team work and communication skills of their children, reports Jack Ilmonen from DCCC Shanghai (Danish Chamber of Commerce in China).
The Danish brand collaborates with China’s Ministry of Education, with an innovation program, participated by 10 000 teachers nationwide. “Tencent and Lego are creating awesome games together and the FIRST Robotics organization from USA is teaching tens of thousands of Chinese kids the benefits, technologies and mysteries of robotics, including my own son!”
In late August Lego Education also announced Coding Express, the newest early learning solution in its hands-on learning portfolio. Coding Express is an intuitive and versatile solution based on a DUPLO brick train set that comes to life when children use the five new action bricks. The concept builds foundational coding and transferrable skills, including collaboration and problem solving, for the youngest learners through activities that introduce concepts of sequencing, looping and more. The new solution brings together physical and digital play with the addition of a child-directed app that allows children to explore emotions, journeys, music and math, inspiring their physical play with the brick set.
“With the launch of Coding Express, we are excited to further extend our education portfolio and introduce fundamental coding and STEAM concepts to the youngest learners,” said Esben Stærk Jørgensen, president of LEGO Education. “The launch comes on the heels of the 10th anniversary of Lego Education WeDo 2.0 and the 20th anniversary of Lego Mindstorms, which have been used in classrooms around the world to promote essential STEAM and coding concepts in primary and secondary schools. There is no better time than today to ensure the youngest learners also have access to a relevant, fun, and engaging way to learn these foundational skills and to develop 21st century skills, which we know will prepare them for a lifetime of successful learning.”
This solution is accompanied by the LEGO Education Coding Express Teacher Guide, which features eight lessons for classroom use and created with national standards and guidelines. Action bricks and switches are used to make the train go to exciting places or react in certain ways. The children work in groups interacting with the train as they place the action bricks around the tracks to sound the horn, turn the lights on and off, pause and refuel, change direction, plan a route and stop the train wherever they like.
While teachers and students benefit from Lego Education’s hands-on learning solutions, including Coding Express, parents also recognize the benefits. According to a new study from the LEGO Group that surveyed almost 13,000 parents and children on the role of play, parents rank playful learning as the number one education technique, and children agree they learn better when play is involved. Four in five children agree they learn better when play is involved.
Almost all surveyed parents (95%) believe play is essential for children’s wellbeing, and four in five (82%) think that children who play more will be more successful in future studies and work. Further, while parents agree that spending time playing with their children makes families happier, they admit to struggling to prioritize playtime with their children due to hectic daily schedules. Because of this, maximizing playful learning opportunities in the classroom is extremely important.
Coding Express is available in US and China since October 2018. For all other markets it will be available through spring of 2019.
Lego Education have or more than 37 years we have been working with teachers and educational specialists like to deliver playful learning experiences that bring subjects to life in the classroom and make learning fun and impactful. They have a wide range of physical and digital educational resources that encourage students to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future.
Targeted at preschool, elementary and middle school their solutions for teaching and hands-on learning inspire interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are based on the a system for playful learning combined with curriculum-relevant material and digital resources. With educational sets, lesson plans and curriculum material, assessment tools and teacher training and support, Lego can help meeting curriculum objectives and provide with the tools needed to make learning inspiring, engaging and effective.
Lego Education believe that expanding knowledge and building academic and 21st century skills will create active, collaborative, lifelong learners. Together with educators, they aim to enable every student to succeed in education and be prepared for future life challenges.