You’ve probably heard about the push to provide students with coding and programming skills as a way to better prepare them for the 21st century and possible future careers. Many companies like code.org, code academy, tinker, programming basics, RobotLAB and many others, offer to students a variety of learning exercises to teach them coding and programming in a fun and easy way. There are even online platforms for children as young as 5 years old.
Nevertheless, exists big differences between coding and programming and it is important to know what makes them unique. Each student has a different goal for their learning; whether it be to improve a specific skill, further a career path or engage with their passion, they should be sure if they want to become a coding or a programmer.
The Four C’s have created quite a buzz in the last few years in education. The four C’s consist of Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Each has a very unique and powerful aspect, and some might say that one is more important than another. We will discover each of the four C’s and why teaching the 4 C’s is important to prepare our students for the 21st century workforce.
Let’s take an example in a Math class. For so long Math has been taught in a way to give a strict question and have the student come up with one answer. There are very specific 1, 2, 3 steps and a rigid guide on how-to. The first C represents the opposite of this, which is Creativity - thinking outside of the box. Being inspired to come up with more than one solution to a problem which allows students to approach it in multiple perspectives.
In the past years, teachers are moving from being teachers to being facilitators of discussions in the classroom. From a traditional teacher standing in front of rows of students, we see classrooms transitioned into the high-tech environment, collaborating and working in small teams, sharing ideas and debating with each other, searching for information online, and coming up with presentations that represent their collective understanding/view/work. Schools and classrooms have changed in the past five years more than they have in the 200 years before.
Educators who believe that this change is more than enough, that there’s nothing more to be changed, that this tectonic shift that we’ve seen in the past years has reached its peak, and we can sit and rest from now on and just perfect our teaching methods are up to a big surprise. The ever-accelerating pace of technological advancements is here not to stay. They are set to transform every corner of teaching and learning, and then in no-time, transform it again and again and again.
Here are few upcoming changes we clearly see going to transform the education world very soon.
1. Mixed reality
Unlike virtual reality which blocks the viewer from the world, or augmented reality which just adds some virtual items (menus, Pokemon) on your screen/headset, the mixed reality is the holy grail of this new medium. Mixed reality allows the computer to be aware of the environment, and it’s depth, and attach digital objects to physical ones. In this way, our senses are tricked to think there’s a real object in front of us, although it’s digital.
Remember the operations center in the movie Avatar? Everyone is looking at the Tree of Life, from different angles, and they share their thoughts as if the tree is a physical object in the room, although it is a digital rendering of that. This is possible today with tools like Microsoft HoloLens that allow creating a mixed reality environment where everyone shares the same experience. Now imagine this powerful tech in your classroom, imagine you could bring to life concepts in the middle of the classrooms, and let everyone experience them, right in front of their eyes. Allow them to interact with that and allow them to make predictions and test, all while working in between real and digital.
Washoe County School District Gifted and Talented Program- Case Study with RobotLAB at NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Conference 2016
I am Cheri Di Martino. I am the Director of Washoe county School District – our gifted program. And we are really excited to talk about NAO with you today. What we did in Washoe County is we knew we needed to get into the 21st century, we knew we needed to teach kids at a level they needed to be taught, so we were looking for a partner that could take us into the 21st century and get those NAGC standards, our state standards and have this beautiful marriage together. Well, what we found was RobotLAB, and we found the NAO robot. So what we asked was could a picturesque humanoid robot achieve what we wanted to achieve in Washoe County? This is something that could really help take our
students to a whole other level. This is something I'm feeling very passionate about, but I could feel passionate about something, but will everybody else around me feel that same passion, that same energy and want to buy into this incredible, incredible product.
Extraordinary educators deserve extraordinary professional development. At ISTE 2017, you’ll find strategies that work from the brightest minds in ed tech. Connect and learn from other innovative educators, thought leaders and education companies at the world’s most comprehensive ed tech meeting of the minds.
The following video shows how the equality gap between genres is very far releated to STEM fields, girls are being segregated and limited for don't have the same opportunities as men, what to do to eliminate this division? How would you help?
"Robots are just the beginning, new technologies like mixed-reality, are mature enough, and opening doors to even more learning opportunities. Our kids use snapchat’s mixed reality already!
We owe that to our kids.
Every day when they go to school, they trust us to teach them based on recent discoveries, and not based on dogmas from a century ago. [...] without visualizing it for the students, without opening the curiosity-door using a robot, without seeing a real-world use for the math, they would have never listened... ]
Bridging this gap is my life-mission and commitment, to the kids, and to the teachers"
Watch the full TEDx Talk below:
One of the top priorities at RobotLAB is encouraging a revolution in STEM education. We bring the best of technology into the classroom, not just as a cool-tool, but as a real teaching aid that helps educators engage students and bring abstract concepts to life.
The NAO robot is a good example of this kind of teaching aid.
In our everlasting mission to optimize the way NAO is used in the classroom, we took it to a classroom at Oakland Unified School District and analyzed how students responded to this enhanced learning experience.
Engage! K-12 is an interactive and hands-on learning experience organized by eye-catching themes (such as soccer-playing robots or autonomous cars). Students and teachers can access the browser-based learning ecosystem from any device. A user-friendly interface allows teachers, even those with zero programming experience, to bring their lessons to life with virtual or physical robots.
I first watched Westworld in 1973. It was a science fiction movie written by Michael Crichton and starting Yul Brynner. Yul Brynner’s character was an out-of-control android which killed visitors to a western-themed amusement park. I remember thinking before watching the movie that Yul Brynner was an odd choice of a malefactor: The last time I’d seen him was as the King of Siam in Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical The King and I; I could not imagine any actor-- no matter how talented--able to make that switch. As it turned out, he was marvelously menacing, and no one in the HBO series Westworld--not even Anthony Hopkins--was his equal.