There has been a robot invasion happening in schools. As coding has become more prominent, robots are often purchased to extend and apply use blockly coding that students learn with Hour of Code. Robots in the classroom lends itself to great application of students being able to see and control objects right in front of them through the code that they write.
Spheros, BeeBots, and Dash and Dot have been making their ways into our area schools. These robots are easy to use, can be coded with iPad apps, and have applications that can stretch wide age bands. As I've learned more about them, the traditional uses of these robots are great. You can drive them, code them, have them change colors or even speak, but there is the potential for them to do so much more.
TomBot & JerryBot - This blog details how you can rethink Bee-Bot. I had always seen the Bee-Bot as a lower elementary bot because of its simple coding buttons on top. This blog shined a light for me on the potential of game design and strategy with robots, as outlined in this blog & video post. Even older students, who have had zero coding experience, could be challenged by creating an elaborate cat and mouse-style game, with interesting rules or game levels. Or as I push myself more, these robots could serve as hands-on prototypes for working out an original computer game that students may be designing in Scratch.
Sphero Lightning Lab - This is a great free community for teachers to join and find a variety of different tested lessons for all age groups and subjects designed to incorporate Spheros, BB-8, or Ollie into the classroom. It’s easy to use and you can use the filters to help you find the lesson that will best support your curriculum. You can even create classes within the Lightning Lab to assign activities to students. My biggest takeaway from Sphero lessons is that robots are not meant to stand alone. Don’t just think about it as a round robot, transition that thinking to a motor. Allow students to be innovative and design carts or covers to fit over the Sphero will serve as the motor to drive and test out students designs in a variety of situations!
Wonder Workshop YouTube Channel - Creativity shines through on this YouTube Channel featuring Wonder Workshop’s robots Dash and Dot. They host several playlists and upload original video like their own kid’s show, where kids design new uses for Dash and Dot. I also gain so much insight from the Teach Wonder and Community Fan Projects to see new ways that people around the world are playing, learning, and innovating with Dash and Dot.
@mypaperlessclassroom Instagram Account - Sam Patterson’s Instagram account has pushed me outside of my bot learning and made me rethink ways that that bots can be used. A sphero is not just a round robot, and Dash is not just a robot that can move around. How can we rethink the parts of these robots for a variety of problem-solving uses? These images made me rethink EVERYTHING....
I love learning about ways to rethink robot use, if you have an idea or blog that inspired you, please share with me in the comments section.