Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Advanced Research in Education
Developing Educational Toy for Enhancing Elementary Students’ Computational Thinking Skills by Using Design Thinking Process
Computational thinking is a skill of the 21st century which becoming extremely important in the world of rapid growth technology. Previous studies found that the younger children learn the skills, the easier they can apply them in future education. Various virtual instructional tools were created to improve children’s Computational Thinking skills. However, interacting with physical toys will make younger kids learn more actively. In this research, to fully develop the computational instrument, we created it under the design thinking process. We started to empathize and study the computational thinking framework, educational technology toy concepts and creations, active learning for elementary students, and educational psychology. Then we defined and ideated ideas. Afterward, we designed a virtual prototype and collected feedback. Subsequently, we selected the most suitable hardware and developed the toy. The result indicates that the hybrid toy with both virtual and physical sections is preferable by having a virtual part as a commander and a physical part as a demonstrator. The core structure of the toy consists of 3 parts. First, the controlling hardware was a programmable microcontroller that can be coded in a block-based style via an electronics device. Second, the motion hardware we selected is called “Mecanum Wheels.” Lastly, the outer case was a 3D printing cat model. This study shows the hybrid educational toy development that can enhance elementary students’ Computational Thinking skills. In further research, we aim to implement our computational thinking toy in the elementary class and conduct experimental research regarding Computational Thinking skills improvement.
keywords: Coding, Early Childhood, Educational Technology, Problem Solving, Programming.