Programming and robotics seem to be the new, hip thing in today’s classroom. STEM concepts are being taught from elementary school, sometimes alongside core topics like English and Math. But why is teaching STEM topics to young kids so popular? How useful could it possibly be? (It’s not like the average person interacts with robots all day)
I’ll take you through my morning just to show you how silly this fad is!
First things first, I got up and brushed my teeth. My toothpaste tube was nearly empty, so I pulled out my phone and ordered a new one on Amazon with one click.
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.
No, not "candy coating", but maybe just as fun. The makers of Pocky, Glico, have made a game app called Glicode that let's kids start coding by arranging the real-life cookies into various patterns and snapping a picture of the arrangement to translate it into in-game commands. The game itself is brightly colored and cute, and the cookies are ready to eat once they've been used - what more could a kid want?
Until recently Apple’s icons were a colorful, friendly bunch: like the original classic apple logo with a bite out of it; the wonderfully expressive--if silent-- speech bubble. But the latest arrival, Byte the Swift Playgrounds’ hero, while every bit as colorful, is built like the mating result of a hammerhead shark with a pear; it looks like the digital incarnation of a child’s nightmare. Yes, Yes, I know, kids will probably love it!
We are very pleased to announce today that the NAO robot from Aldebaran Robotics has two new homes: behind the wheel of a BMW Z4 electric car, and exclusively available only from RobotsLAB.
The stylish BMW Z4 is now part of the broad STEM curriculum services available from RobotsLAB as well for developers. The NAO + Car will be offered by RobotsLAB as part of our STEM-U program; a holistic and revolutionary curriculum for STEM subjects from pre-K to higher education that makes use of robots and other visual tools. Under the STEM-U umbrella, we now offer standards-aligned curricula using drones, rovers, robots, Cubelets, 3D printers, and even basketballs. All part of our mission to assist teachers and better engage students using the most innovative tools available to twenty-first century educators.
Of course the first answer to the question posited by the title of this piece is a facetious one--lots of money! So let us qualify the question a bit more by asking, "What are 5 tools everyone in the educational robotics industry should be using that most of us in the industry can afford?"
Since learning to code is so important to any STEM discipline, the first tool everyone in the educational robotics industry should be using is the online community and programming language called Scratch. This innovative site helps kids learn its namesake programming language and create interactive stories, games and computer animations. This outstanding tool is actually free!
Since math is basic to any scientific endeavor, the ability to interest and engage students in math is crucial to the educational robotics industry. Our second tool that everyone in the industry should be using, the RobotsLAB BOX, has proved its ability to interest and engage kids in math with an innovative combination of robots and tablets in many progressive school districts. The old teaching standbys like the book and the whiteboard can’t compete with "cool" robot helicopters demonstrating quadratic equations in real-time on a tablet.
This email sent by Gary Page from California Education Department is a great wrap up from the 'coding week' which was a huge success!
Special thanks to all the teachers and administrators who took time to introduce students to coding during the recent Hour of Code week. The campaign brought attention to the need for all students to understand computational thinking and will help bring attention to education policy and decision makers on the need to make computer science “count” towards graduation.
In a single week, students at schools across the U.S. wrote 500,000,000 lines of code as part of Computer Science Education Week, organizers said.
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), designated in 2009 by the U.S. House of Representatives as the week of Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday, recognizes the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. This year, 2013, Dec. 9-15, CDEdWeek has added something new, a call to help introduce more than 10 million students across the length and breadth of the United States to computer programming, called HOUR OF CODE.