This generation of K-12 students, Gen Z, are the first generation to be raised in a digital world. Technology is being emerged into all aspects of K-12 education and the level of technology used, learned, and relied on throughout education will increase drastically over the next few years. We recently had a conversation with Education Coach, Adjunct Professor, and Author, Jorge Valenzuela, to learn about his book Rev up Robotics: World Computational Thinking in the K-8 Classroom and the importance of robotics in education.

Rev Up Robotics with Jorge Valenzuela

Jorge Valenzuela believes that STEM, computer science, and robotics are all things that most educators want to integrate into their classroom, but not necessarily something that they want to dedicate an entire year’s worth of curriculum to. These disciplines can be time-consuming and as a teacher, some might not have that time on their hands. Rev Up Robotics, published through ISTE, is meant for teachers who are experimenting in robotics and STEM to take key knowledge and skills and integrate these learned concepts into their curriculum throughout the year. Jorge explains that the book is in the context of robotics, but the fundamental ideas and themes that align with robotics, STEM, and computer science topics will be part of the knowledge already known by the teacher.

Each chapter of Rev Up Robotics is dedicated to content areas such as ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Within these chapters, Jorge identifies the best skills aligned with each concept taught as well as easy lessons for teachers to use in their classrooms, all based on common core and standard. Jorge believes that anyone who reads this book will get the proper background for computer science, STEM, and computational thinking.

Get your copy of Rev Up Robotics on Amazon now!

Image from Jorge Valenzuela’s twitter account (@JorgeDoesPBL).

Importance of Computer Science in Education

Technology has hit the education world by storm following the effects of COVID-19 and schools everywhere are looking for new ways to improve and integrate technology into their classrooms. EdTech Magazine stated,” student engagement is changing, driven by digital natives looking to combine organic social interaction with science, technology, engineering, and math discovery.” Many teachers like Jorge have gone to social media to express their love and need for STEM, computer science, and robotics courses and curriculum. For many schools across the USA, schools offer computer science classes in elective or after school forms. These programs are still effective in themselves but not every student gets the opportunity to benefit from these programs. 

KQED stated, “Studies have repeatedly shown that early exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects is important in convincing students to think about STEM careers.” The future of not only education but everyday life and professional lives will be filled with technology. The knowledge and advantages kids can get from computer science classes and transcend the future capabilities of this generation of students.

Listen to the full conversation with Jorge Valenzuela on our Tackling Tech Podcast!

On this episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, powered by Dyknow, Brett McGrath speaks with Jorge Valenzuela, educational coach, curriculum specialist, and author of Rev Up Robotics. Jorge teaches workshops on Project-Based Learning, Computer Science, and STEM. He is hosting the Friday session of the Progressive Learning Conference, Sept-21-25.

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