Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date





experiential learning, robots, early childhood education, research


Bringing together recent research on button-operated robots in early childhood settings and developmentally appropriate practices, this chapter details strategies for the integration of robots. Educators are encouraged to design and implement robotics experiences that are intentional, active, constructive, cooperative, and authentic (Howland et al., 2012). To achieve these aims, educators should embed challenges within play-based activities and empower children to set and achieve their own goals. Additionally, educators can support children’s active engagement by selecting a button-operated robot that gives clear feedback and by offering just-in-time support as children address errors in their programs. For constructive learning, educators should prompt children to articulate their programming accomplishments and support their reflection with multimodal materials. When designing the activities, educators should intentionally consider how the activity, materials, and environment may invite or discourage cooperation amongst children. Finally, authentic experiences with button-operated robots in early childhood settings should be play-based and naturally connected to the classroom context.


Copyright © AACE. Reprinted from with permission of AACE (

Online access to the book:

Source Publication Title

What PreK-12 Teachers Should Know About Educational Technology in 2023: A Research-to-Practice Anthology


Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education

First Page