Robots on the Range
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
There is a range of robot systems available for use in school classrooms. Although many are similar, each system brings with it different attributes and features. Decisions that educators face when selecting robots for their classrooms include assessing ease of use for learners, choice of visual programming or line coding, the level of coding difficulty, extensibility options, sensing functions, and also basic costs and durability. Also, when a teacher introduces robots to learners a number of other questions arise: What do teachers need to know to teach coding and computational thinking? What is best practice for teachers to use when introducing robots to students? Also, what is actually being learned when students are coding robots? This session will explore these decisions and questions as participants examine numerous types of robot systems and accompanying coding software. The hand-on portion of the session will allow participants to code and explore the capabilities of each robot system, thereby increasing their competencies in educational technology, ADST, and STEAM education. The robot systems include: Ozobot, Sphero, mBot, Codey Rocky, and Dash. No previous coding or robotic experience is required. Participants should bring a laptop, or a cell phone or tablet device. Maximum of 25 participants.
Robert Campbell has been engaged in negotiating the path between technology and the arts throughout his professional career. He has worked as a commercial artist, a middle and high school teacher, a teacher educator, and a university administrator. He has also worked as an instructional designer and art director for software development companies. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the UBC Okanagan School of Education where he conducts research in art and technology and teaches courses in educational technology, media arts in education, and STEAM.
Terry Major teaches Grade 5 at Columbia Elementary school in Penticton. He is currently completing his Masters at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, with a focus on leadership and educational technology. Terry enjoys using technology in his classroom as it helps students develop critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.