Day 2 (of 186) Robot QuickStarts
I chose the start of my twitter handle intentionally: techno. I am a fan of technology as the best way to differentiate for individual learning that has ever been. My cursive script was always “a problem” for teachers (though I did once win a ribbon at a Fall Fair in the handwriting competition…..). But when an Apple II arrived at my house, a great equalizer arrived. No longer did I have to look at the beautiful script of others (Cheryl – you know who you are….) and know my everyday script would never compare…..but our typing would always look the same (but I can type much faster than I can write – and it’s so much more legible!)
So while this year has been off to an “unusual” start, I have been doing some work ‘behind the scenes’ to prepare some new tools in our District Resource Centre for teachers to access to help students explore robotics…
….but knowing that “coding” is scary enough…to bring in robots….oh the chaos! So, I have created some “quickstart” guides (brochure format) for the first few robots that we have for sign-out! And for all ages – in fact, I might be most impressed with the one for our youngest learners….
- Primo – a no-screen coding program. A friendly block-buddy that synchs with its control board. A variety of ‘maps’ allows for a lot of storytelling to take place with coding (and subroutines!) to have students experience coding: making mistakes, fixing them, and retesting to see if it does what you want it to do!
- Primo QuickStart Guide (links are better resolutions)
- Ozobots – one of the more common ‘robot’ kits to arrive in schools. Great because coding can be done using colours – felt pens. In the quickguide, I wanted to emphasize what colour codes do what, and how to reset them. I like these because they also allow for coding to be programmed online – and use a screen to synch them (kinda cool on the iPad – I was not able to test it on a CRT)
- Cubeletes – I’ve seen these before – remind me of lego – and that’s by design! They click together to create a program to run – but it depends on how they link together as to what they’ll do – so 3 blocks can create very different robots! Great to explore with, but also some very good structured lessons to provide some direction with from K-secondary! Very adaptable ‘bots.
- Parrot Drone – what? a drone? yep! ability to scaffold lessons from discovery to scaffolded – from remote control to programmed code to create flight plans. And durable!
Robots are great tools to combine with both Coding and Design Thinking challenges. I am comfortable focusing on discovery learning, but I also know that not everyone is as comfortable. So I have made an attempt to help ease others into the world that I enjoy – using technology to augment curriculum and learning. Likely edits will occur and I will change the above links and pics to reflect that!
Looking forward to getting to a school and signing out these resources and working with a class to model for other classes to take a plunge into robotics! After all, Elon Musk has made it clear that (shoutout to ESPN’s Pablo Torre) our Robot Overlords will soon be part of our daily lives! (Pablo would love robots to take over refereeing and umpiring on their way to controlling the world)….after all….
Viva La Future!