5 ways robots will bring your classroom into the 21st century

When you hear the word ‘robot,’ what comes to mind?

Off the bat, it’s probably either a hyper-realistic robot that can’t be distinguished from a human that sets out to take over the world, or ‘Disneyfied’ robots such as C-3PO and WALL-E that have been created for our entertainment. Today, however, their potential impact is more far-reaching. Robots are being built to improve daily tasks and improve our lives. Think about the Roomba vacuum, robotic arms for complicated surgeries, or Tesla’s self-driving car–all are setting a powerful precedent for new ways of living and being.

Education is another sector where robots are proving to be of valuable assistance. Conventional classrooms can become stagnant, often to the detriment of students’ learning experiences. That’s why telepresence robots can offer promising solutions for educators globally to empower engaged learning experiences and catalyze effective learning techniques inside and outside the classroom.…Read More

Early Education Grant Provides STEAM Learning for Jewish Day Schools

The David Lear Sulman Fund provides over 50% off research-based KIBO robot kits

(Waltham, MA) June 10, 2021 – KinderLab Robotics today announced a partnership with the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science, and Engineering Fund, which is offering the Limudei Code-Esh Curriculum (LCE) for Jewish day schools and Jewish supplemental schools. LCE is an integrated curriculum for students in grades K-3 (adaptable for preK-Grade 5) that was created to engage them with Judaic studies as they begin their journey into coding and robotics. With this program, Jewish schools can implement the free LCE curriculum while receiving a 10% discount on KIBO Robot Kits from KinderLab, and an additional 50% off the remaining price of the KIBO robots with the generous grant from the David Lear Sulman Fund.

This initiative includes curriculum and two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational technology platforms, KIBO and ScratchJr. Students use these tools as they explore themes in the Jewish holiday cycle while expressing their ideas and understanding through building, coding, and art activities.…Read More

Vernier Software & Technology Recognizes Kansas Science Educator Tyson Vrbas with the 2021 Engineering Award

Vernier Software & Technology recently announced science educator Tyson Vrbas of Manhattan Catholic Schools in Manhattan, Kansas as the 2021 Engineering Award winner. Vrbas, who worked with his middle school students to create an automatic watering system for the school garden, was recognized for his creative use of Vernier sensors to introduce engineering and robotics concepts or practices to his students.

In the project, Vrbas’ students utilized a Vernier Soil Moisture Sensor and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 kit to design a robot with the ability to monitor soil moisture and add water from a rain barrel when needed. Students programmed the robot so that a valve would automatically open—and then water the planter bed in the school garden—once the soil moisture minimum threshold was reached.

“I just presented the problem to my students and they took off with it,” said Vrbas. “Every student played a part, whether it was focusing on programming or engineering the valve motor or working on the barrel. They really collaborated and problem solved as a group and, in the end, developed a really awesome solution.”…Read More

CoderZ to Launch New CoderZ League Sprint Challenge Virtual Tournament in March

This year, students across the United States can look forward to another type of March Madness. On top of cheering on their favorite collegiate basketball team, they’ll be the ones competing – in the new CoderZ League Sprint Challenge. The cloud-based robotics tournament is designed to give participating students the chance to connect with peers, improve their STEM skills and have fun while learning.

The challenge will take place in the CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment, an innovative, online platform which has a coding interface where users can activate a virtual robot, or “cyber-robot,” and watch the results in a real-time simulation.

Students will form five-member teams and compete against other teams within their school. A statewide leaderboard will also allow them to compare their progress with that of other teams throughout their state. The challenge can accommodate whatever method a school is using to deliver instruction, whether it’s in person, online or a hybrid model.…Read More

Georgia Power Learning Power Mobile App

While parents, teachers and students alike are managing new ways of learning during school closures and “stay-at-home” orders, the Georgia Power Learning Power app includes interactive lessons for students, offering fun, educational activities with real-world applications of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), energy and energy efficiency content.

The recently launched mobile game app supports Learning Power’s STEM-based classroom energy lessons, all aligned with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. On the app, you will find seven grade-appropriate games, ranging from Pre-K through high school. Students can repair “Goldibot” in a robot circuitry experiment, harness solar power for a cell phone battery boost, or solve “Electri-City’s” smart power grid puzzle.

“We are dedicated to improving and strengthening educational initiatives to help Georgia students build brighter futures,” said Joseph Lillyblad, Georgia Power education and workforce development manager. “The launch of the Learning Power mobile game app provides an educational resource that focuses on enriching the student experience, while also providing educators and parents with interactive tools to engage their students during this time of home-based learning.”…Read More

Here’s how to put coding and robotics programs in K-8 classrooms

Coding and robotics programs in classrooms reflect how integral technology is in our lives.

Educators like Angie Kalthoff, a technology integrationist in St. Cloud, MN, and Ann Bartel, an instructional technology specialist in Chilton, WI, teach K-8 students about technology through coding and computer science programs that incorporate the 4Cs of learning: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication.

Related content: 3 things to consider when introducing a K-12 coding or robotics program…Read More

App of the Week: Program a robot buddy

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

SPRK Lightning Lab is an app that lets kids program their Sphero robots from a tablet or phone. Beginning coders use block-based programming to direct and control their robot. A text-based code viewer is also available so kids can see how their block code translates into actual code. This gives experienced programmers more flexibility and is a scaffold to help students scale up their coding skills.…Read More

How a telepresence robot is changing some classrooms

A new technology enables both interactive communication and observation capabilities with a telepresence robot platform

Thanks to recent strides in robotics and mobile devices, telepresence technology has opened up numerous possibilities at both the K-12 and higher-ed levels, where remote observation and communication can come in handy.

Educators and students are exploring a new way to remotely observe and interact with colleagues and peers with a telepresence robot that enables face-to-face communication.

Using Kubi, from Revolve Robotics, users download an app onto a tablet and connect the tablet to Kubi using Bluetooth. The tablet sits on a robotic platform. Other users can then “navigate” to Kubi with a browser. This lets them control the robot remotely over the web, including moving it for face-to-face communication.…Read More

Can robots teach kids to code?

As technology has evolved, so too has the capability of our robotics, EdTechMagazine.com reports. At least that’s what former Google executive Vikas Gupta was banking on when he left the search engine to launch Play-i, a well-funded startup that uses toy robots to teach children to code. As recently reported by technology blog TechCrunch, Gupta’s latest venture — he sold his first company to Google for a reported $70 million in 2010 — has produced prototypes for two robots — Bo and Yana — both of which can be programmed to respond to simple commands via an app installed on your smartphone or tablet device…

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