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STEAM & EdTech: The Perfect Match for Cross-Curricular Classroom Activities

By Acer Education

jeswin-thomas-gjx4NNYyB00-unsplashPhoto by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

STEAM learning is arguably the most effective approach to prepare young students for the demands of the future. It represents a turning point in education because it creates a bridge between subjects that were traditionally studied separately, and EdTech is the perfect enabler to project cross-curricular classroom activities.

Creativity, innovation, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving are only a few of the key soft skills that STEAM can foster.

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RobotLAB is SoftBank's Master Distributor of Pepper and NAO robots in the USA/Canada


 

In our continuous efforts to keep you informed about the progress of SoftBank Robotics restructuring, we would like to provide you with the latest information.

As some articles are potentially creating confusion for you, we would like to share with you facts to clarify the situation and the future of our robots.

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court ruling gives teachers even more incentive to challenge students

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Teaching has always been a tough, thankless job. Back before the teachers’ unions managed to give members of the profession some degree of security it was a job that allowed hiring and firing at the whim of the educational powers-that-be. In recent years there have been complaints that teachers’ unions have taken the system too far the other way and that it is now impossible to get rid of bad teachers, thereby making it impossible for students--particularly minority students--to get a good education. That was the argument made by the nine students before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu in Vergara vs State of California. Judge Treu saw it their way. Plaintiff Julia Macias, entering high school this year, said Judge Treu’s decision proved “students have a voice and can demand change when we stand together.”

This is one of those rare times when we can say with no attempt at flippancy, that we feel strongly about both sides of this debate. How can we not sympathize with students who feel their futures have been jeopardized by poor teachers and entrenched bureaucracy? And how can we ignore the feelings of those good teachers -- certainly the vast majority -- who believe their careers and their family’s future is now in jeopardy from over-zealous politicians, looking for quick-fixes to complex funding problems? We can’t…

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Makerbot 3d printing in schools

Math teachers, science teachers and engineering teachers, are you looking for a way to make your beloved disciplines more relevant to your students? Maybe even inspire a few to love them the way you do?  Well, right now there is affordable new technology out there that can help you do just that! The Makerbot 3D printer and STEM BOT 3D CLASS from our own RobotsLAB.

 

 

StemBot 3D program that teaches students how to 3D print a robot, assemble it, work on the electronics, and finally program it.

Actually, 3D printers have been around since the 1980’s, but they were massive and super-expensive like the first-generation computers. Only in the last few years have they shrunk in size and dropped in price to where individual households and schools could afford them.

 

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Robots in Pre-Calculus

 

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As part of a school wide implementation of Problem based Learning (PBL), the pre-calculus classes at Sammamish High school in Bellevue, WA used robots to teach math.  The prompt was simple, “What pre-calculus level math lesson could you teach using one of the robots we have?”  The work produced was amazing!

First the students were given the opportunity to play with the robots and see how they worked.  They had access to all four of the robots from the RobotsLAB kit: Sphero – a small robotic ball, ArmBot – a mechanical arm that can pick objects up, Mobot – a rover that moves with precision, and a quadcopter AR.Drone. Students also had access to an additional robot, LinkBot – two rover bots who could be programmed to mimic each other. After students investigated each robot, they selected one robot to use as a tool to teach a pre-calculus level lesson.  Students had the option of choosing a topic they had already studied or choosing a topic they had yet to study.

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Taking Math Out of the Classroom into the Construction Site

High schoolers building homes for the non-profit organization Habitat For Humanity is another great example of 21st Century math teachers taking math out of the classroom where it has been languishing for centuries and putting it to work in a fashion guaranteed to engage young minds and hands. Forty-nine High School students in Vancouver built homes while participating in a class called Math in Construction.

 

What did they learn? Well, confidence for one thing. An appreciation for real-world math for another."It was an amazing experience," said One young scholar. "I'm going to use this in real life."

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ROBOTSLAB WINS LAUNCHEDU COMPETITION AT SXSWEDU

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Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA – March 6, 2014 - A handpicked group of distinguished judges representing a cross section of in business, technology and education experts have selected RobotsLAB BOX as the winner of the LAUNCHedu Competition

The competition began in August 2013 with approximately eighty applications.  RobotsLAB was one of ten finalists chosen by the judges to present at SXSWedu on March 3.  Following that presentation, RobotsLAB was one of three companies to be selected as a finalist.  The final presentation was made in front of judges and a jam-packed room of educators on the morning of March 5.  As part of the Educator Insights panel that discussed all ten competing companies, all three panelists cited RobotsLAB BOX as their favorite.

Based on the votes of attendees and judges, RobotsLAB BOX was ultimately chosen as the competition winner at the LAUNCHedu party on March 5.  Betsy Corcoran, CEO and Co-Founder of EdSurge presented the award to RobotsLAB CEO Elad Inbar.

 

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EdTech is introducing a Blended-Learning to Math Classes

"The Times They Are a-Changin" and never more so than now in math class. After struggling futilely for generations to instruct all math students in a classroom at the same rate, today’s math instructors have a viable, technology-aided alternative, blended learning. Blended learning, according to our ubiquitous friends at Wikipedia "is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path or pace."

 

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Oklahoma public schools are boosting their STEM learning with RobotsLAB BOX

Oklahoma public schools are about to receive an enormous boost to their STEM learning programs. The innovative Oklahoma City STEM learning facility techJoynT has teamed with us here at RobotsLAB in San Francisco to bring our award winning RobotsLAB BOX with its innovative math teaching aids to public school students in the state. Yes, the study of math is about to become exciting!

As those of you familiar with this blog are aware, our BOX is designed to assist math educators in teaching abstract math concepts by engaging students with robots. And as Dr Peter Stone, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, AAAI Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, explains “You don’t need to be experienced with robotics or have a degree in computer science, just an enthusiasm for your subject area...You can open the BOX, turn on the preloaded tablet and within minutes be explaining quadratic equations with a quad copter.” This beats pontificating in front of a blackboard every time!

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