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A digital learning solution for your K-5 classroom

Pam Jones,
Educational Content Developer
United Kingdom
Students interacting with KUBO Play, the new digital learning approach from KUBO Robotics

Introducing KUBO Play – our brand new digital coding solution

Hands-on computing is an excellent way to introduce students of any age to the world of programming. Before allowing students the opportunity to use physical computing with KUBO they can be introduced to the different TagTiles and how to use them with a virtual simulation of the KUBO robot.

A blended approach can enhance the experience for students as they are able to see the use of the varying TagTiles from different approaches. Combining the physical with the digital can give students the ability to experiment with the different TagTiles to observe the different outputs. This enhances the learning experience and allows students to apply their 21st-century skills and showcase computational thinking in a range of contexts.

Inside KUBO Portal, you can also find and use for free the standard aligned digital and blended curriculum. 

Hands-on, blended and digital lesson plans are available for free here

KUBO Play allows students to explore the world of programming through three different modes: Free Play, Practice and Story.

KUBO Play Main Menu

The dashboard is how students can navigate their way through the different modes and explore the world of KUBO and programming. Different characters are introduced at different levels all with their own learning to share. The student goes on their own learning journey to develop their programming skills, knowledge and understanding.

Educators are also able to utilize Classroom Management tools (included in the KUBO Play subscription). Classroom Management allows you to create a school and a classroom. From here you can add students and assign individual/general tasks both from Practice and Story Mode for them to complete.

Free Play: Learn coding fundamentals without restrictions

Free Play Mode
Free Play Mode

Free play is an area with all the TagTiles and a standard map for students to explore and learn. This allows students to create their own programs to get from one position to another. It also allows them to experiment with the different TagTiles to see how they work. Free play is an important stage in learning. It allows a student to explore without restriction, to experiment and learn what does and does not work.

Practice Mode: Personalised learning for K-5 students

Practice Mode
Practice Mode

Starting a student’s journey in programming can be a daunting one and KUBO has built-in individual challenges that give everyone a chance to progress. The initial stages introduce how to use KUBO and the TagTiles with sequencing. 

Earn a coin when using the required coding concept.
Earn a coin when using the
required coding concept

The aim is to start on the green checkered square and reach the black checkered square. For each completed task you earn a coin.

Sequence: the specific order the program needs to be in.

Students then progress to using different TagTiles including subroutines and loops.

An example here shows the student needs to decide how many times the move forward TagTile needs to be repeated. The lock shows that the student cannot change the main program sequence and only focus on the loop.

Loop level in the Practice Mode
Loop level in the Practice Mode

Students’ use of the program as a separate entity from the robot movement on the map represents a more structured approach to programming where the program is separate.

Earn a coin when using the required coding concept.
Earn a coin when using the
required coding concept.
Loop: the repeated set of instructions for a set number of times

Educators can select students´pathway through the tasks and use it as an introduction to the different TagTiles and their functionality and how to combine them in a working program. The TagTiles are matched to the different packs KUBO offers, the Starter set, Coding+ and Coding++.

Practice Mode level selection
Practice Mode level selection

Story Mode: Students can combine coding challenges with storytelling

Story Mode view displaying the different KUBO friends and coding concepts
Story Mode

The central area of the dashboard allows students to explore a map with obstacles or objects to collect along the way. This enables students to apply the skills they have learnt through Practice Mode or hands-on to a working problem.
Each section has its own story to tell.

Click here to view the curriculum and in each lesson plan, you can see the story and connecting concepts. A great way to enthuse learners through storytelling.

In the example below, students are asked to make their way from the green square to the black square as before, but this time with the added challenge of avoiding obstacles that highlight with a pink border.

Story Mode
Advanced coding level in the Story Mode using speed TagTile® pieces

There is also a character (or two) to meet on the journey, the speech bubble indicates the coding concept that has to be used in order to fulfil the task. Once you reach the character, it may show the objects to then collect. This allows the map to be used in an interactive way and for students to consider the best route, the most efficient program and how to complete the full task.

The maps also increase in difficulty with the addition of new TagTiles as students move through them. At any point, the student can return to the home dashboard and access the Practice Mode. This allows students to take responsibility for their own learning and gives them a personalized approach to their own programming development.

One of the ways KUBO has enhanced the user experience on KUBO Play is the allow students to earn coins for completed tasks. The coins can then be used to purchase different accessories for  KUBO to wear.

Once you have used your coins to purchase an accessory, you can select it to see a green tick and then see that KUBO is wearing that accessory in the different modes.

Exchange coins with accessories at the shop
Exchange coins with accessories at the shop
KUBO with a hat
KUBO with a hat

Helpful tips

Videotutorials and guidance for both students and educators

KUBO has an informative quick start guide all available on the Helpful tips icon. This opens on a new tab that allows access to the quick start guide and video tutorials for a range of concepts and TagTiles. These videos can be used by students and/or as part of the start of the lesson to introduce new concepts.

There are videos for:

  • Routes
  • Functions
  • Subroutines
  • Loops
  • Advanced routes
  • Advanced functions
  • Advanced subroutines
  • Advanced loops
  • Variables
  • Conditions with check
  • Conditions with event
  • Random behaviours

Overall KUBO Play allows learning to be developed with a blended approach, digital and physical. The different tasks in the Practice and Story Mode allow the learning to be personalised and differentiated. Students are able to experience a wide range of TagTiles and programming concepts to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding. 

Take the opportunity to try out KUBO Play for free in KUBO Portal with a 30-day free trial. Create a free account here to access it.

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KUBO is a simple, intuitive plug-and-learn tool with low complexity and easy adoption for teachers. The unique, hands-on, TagTile® system provides new ways to learn coding, with broad curriculum relevance to maximize learning outcomes. KUBO is suitable for students aged 4 to 10+.

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