Children interact with digital devices in their everyday lives or see their family members and adults doing so. They play games, listen to music, work and much more. The question however is:
"Do kids know that a smart-phone and a tablet can also be used as creative tools for them to express themselves?"
This is one of the core ideas behind the HABA Digitalwerkstatt.
Founded in 2016, the HABA Digitalwerkstatt was conceived as an educational, creative and experience space for children between the ages of 5-12 years old. At our spaces, children have the possibility to discover the digital world in a playful and safe way. Today, the HABA Digitalwerkstatt counts more than 7 experience centers all over Germany in cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.
The team behind the HABA Digitalwerkstatt is composed of highly qualified media educators, game and software developers, teachers, and designers among others. What they all surely share is their commitment, enthusiasm, love and passion for digital education and child empowerment.
Children are the ones who will shape the future. However, it is also of high importance to transmit our enthusiasm and expertise to different audiences like families,teachers and educators. Through its wide variety of offers, the HABA Digitalwerkstatt has become a reference for adults who have an interest in the topic and on how to support children in their educational and growth.
WHY DIGITAL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN?
The world and all of society are in constant change; so is the job market. Many of the jobs that exist nowadays are likely to change drastically or to be replaced altogether. However, what will not change is the fact that children will need to be equipped with a diverse set of skills in order to succeed today as well as in a future in constant flux.
The HABA Digitalwerk-statt develops meaningful content that places the highlight on being creative and comfortable with the new technologies as well as transmitting and exercising those skills through our topics: Coding, Robotics, Making, Digital Literacy, Digital Art, Sound & Music and Microcontrollers.
Children are naturally curious and eager to learn and discover the world around them. We profit from this natural interest and foster it by presenting them with challenges in which they practice how communicate, collaborate and be creative in order to become effective-problem solvers.
Our content allows children to think about processes and therefore structure thinking accordingly. At the same time, it is only natural that problems will occur, and mistakes happen. This allows us to work with children on their frustration tolerance skills. We take this seriously as part of the learning process, encouraging children to embrace these mistakes and learn from them rather than become frustrated. Every learning situation is taken as an opportunity to empower children digitally!
WHAT IS DIGITAL ADD-ON?
The Digital Add-On is an extension unit to the already existing HABA Learning Program Curriculum in order to introduce in a playful and dynamic way basic digital skills that need to be fostered in kids from a young age. This extension unit is made of a variety of analog and digital activities directed at young learners. Its aim is to extend the learning experience provided by the HABA games and the HABA Learning Program Curriculum. This extension includes the topics: Coding, Making, Digital Art, Digital Literacy.
"Do all activities need the use of a device such as a tablet or laptop?"
The answer is NO. We believe that digital education and computational thinking also need the support of analog activities.
Studies and our own experience show the importance of object manipulation at this young age in order sometimes to get a better grasp and understanding of a concept.
The HABA Learning Program Digital Add-On includes a variety of activities and topics that thoughtfully mix and balance analog and digital worlds. Like the HABA Learning Program, the Digital Add-On values the importance of serious playful learning as well as learning by doing. This is why the activities in this unit are child-oriented, providing them with opportunities to create their projects with little guidance and intervention from adults.
WHAT DOES THE CHILD LEARN?
The concept of the Digital Add-On activities is carefully aligned with the learning areas of the Game Curriculum:
Cognition & Creativity
Social & Emotional Skills
Children will explore and take their first steps into the world of programming by creating projects in which they will have to identify problems and decompose them into smaller parts, practice precise verbal and non-verbal communication, and work collaboratively.
Simultaneously, they will get acquainted with basic programming concepts such as: algorithms, sequencing and debugging; to mention some. Through digital art, making and digital literacy we aim for children to unleash their creativity by exploring words, numbers, shapes, patterns and colours. They will for example get to practice their fine motor skills as well as their pronunciation and diction by verbalising and recording their voices.
Computation thinking allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. We can then present these solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand. Simply put, programming tells a computer what to do and how to do it. Computational thinking enables you to work out exactly what to tell the computer to do.