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The Future of Learning? It’s Here and Ready for Your Home

by David Engle | Jul 16, 2019 | 2 min read

This post is not affiliated or sponsored by iRobot, all opinions are our own. 

You’ve probably heard of iRobot. They make the Roomba robotic vacuums (I want this), Braava robotic mops (I need this!), and the Terra robotic lawn mowers (I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!). So…what does iRobot have to do with, well, anything? iRobot recently acquired Root Robotics, a company that sells a robot and platform that help teach children how to code. And iRobot is now selling a robot that helps out in the classroom–traditional or home.

Some background: Root Robotics began as a research project at Harvard University, and they created a robot that, along with the accompanying app, teaches kids how to program the robot to draw, create music and games, and more. iRobot’s acquisition of Root Robotics allows the company to “diversify its educational robot product offerings, further demonstrating its commitment to make robotic technology more accessible to educators, students and parents.”

Pretty cool, right? But how does this apply to homeschooling? Put simply, it brings the latest in education technology right into your home and, according to iRobot, provides “accessible learning for all students.” Based on its many amazing features, the Root is a wonderful companion for any home classroom and educator because it fosters creativity in so many ways.

Picture this: your little Michelangelo codes his or her own artwork into the robot, and then Root brings it to life by drawing it with a marker; if you have a mini Mozart at home, he or she can code an original composition into Root, and the robot will play it aloud by scanning the different colors of notes; if your children love games, they can create one, code Root, and have it play the game; kids can even use the magnetic attachment points on top of Root to connect their own 3-D printed creations, and then code Root’s marker holder to see them come to life! Along the way, kids learn valuable problem-solving techniques and career-building skills as they flex their creative muscles. The Root Robot even provides printable curriculum cards (with additional premium content available to educators through Root Academy). Sounds like homeschoolers’ dreams come true!

Everything revolves around iRobot’s core learning principles: constructionalism (hands-on activities), small chunks (learning in bits and pieces to reduce cognitive load), scaffolding (challenges of increasing difficulty, with support), multiple representations (using a variety of media for different learning preferences), individualization (for customized learning experiences), and distributed learning (students learning from peers and their environment).

On top of the robot’s capabilities, the Root app (which offers both freestyle and learning coding modes) literally grows up with your child–from preschool through high school. It offers three levels of coding instruction, starting with age 4 and taking your student through graduation, escalating the challenge level and detail along the way until students are learning professional coding languages.

This is literally the future of learning, and iRobot’s Root gives kids a huge advantage by helping teach incredibly valuable and desirable skills that can be applied to future careers.

But there’s no way you can afford this, right? Wrong. iRobot has made Root surprisingly affordable, at $199 per robot. The app, whiteboard, and other accessories will cost you extra, but it seems like a pretty reasonable price to pay to have the latest in educational technology (that will keep growing with your child) in your home, helping you teach your children every day.

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David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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