Tuesday, 14 October 2008
I was one of 7 people who spoke about Next Generation Learning - Right Here, Right Now.
IA overview of the me and the other speakers is here http://ubiquitousthoughts.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/handheld-learning-day-1-next-generation-learning-session/
I gave an overview which is detailed in posts below
Below is my presentation and the videos I showed.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
In the first session I split the children into small mixed-ability groups and set them the task of ascertaining the functions of different key combinations using the blank template available on this Blog and in the resources supplied with the software. This was a useful exercise as the children took care to fill in the blanks rather than just pressing buttons randomly. At the end of the lesson I gave the children a completed template of key functions(same sources as previously) so they could check the accuracy of their findings. The children were very enthusiastic about using the Robosapiens and took turns to operate the Robosapien and record their results.
Sessions 4 and 5
Before session 4s and 5 I loaded the latest fix to the Robo-blaster software. I did get fewer problems with the software communicating via the Robo-blaster with the Robosapien but on some machines the programs ran very slowly or stopped during running(reasons unknown).
In session 4 the children explored loops and nested loops using the Repeat/Endrepeat commands. The higher ability children understood this readily but many of the middle and lower ability children struggled with the nested loops.
In session 5, which I did with a smaller group of higher ability children only, the children explored passing variables and using conditional statements. This session was successful in helping the children understand that different commands could be carried out depending on their interaction with the program in running.
In summary as a way of teaching simple programming:-
The plus features for structured programming are:-
- easy to understand 'Gridscript' programming language
- clear programming page with useful examples
- automatic indentation of the code by the software helps with iterations and loops
- Non-diagrammatic form of program coding can be difficult to understand for the middle to less able
- Problems with the interface between software, robo-blaster and robot
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Lesson 5 -
Monday, 28 April 2008
This week we continued with last weeks work - completing the control sheet.
We met with varying degrees of success with this. Some children managed to to record a number of commands, while others seemed to get stuck. While many wanted to make it work, some just gave up if they couldn't make it work.
After 20minutes on this we fed back any of the new commands that we had discoveried. I then set the children the challenge of getting the robot to wave with both arms. I did give the children some guidance in how to move the arms - mainly for those groups who hadn't recorded many commands.
They most useful tool to assist groups was good questioning, How did you do this? How are you going to move one arm up? etc...
In terms of ways to improve - even though the exploring task is interesting. In order to focus more initially next time I would start with getting the Robosapien to wave. Thus focusing on the more basic and useful commands. Then we would move on to find out what else he he can be programmed to do.
Next time - how can we record this information?
Sunday, 30 March 2008
The task itself, finding out what the robot could do, did work but I gave the children the whole sheet, this was too much to do. It'd be best to focus on one section and definitely model how to use and read the table. I had to refocus each group onto the Task and remid them to record. All groups did complete some of the sheet - but no group completed all of it. The children where very excited, so could explain why they wheren't that bothered about recording, as they all where experimeneting with the robot. The Task was a good way of introducing them to the robots - but it needs to be be locked down a little more to focus on the task.
The groups did feedback a move they discovered to the rest of the class.
Next time we are going to go back to the control sheet and they will be asked to get the robot to perform a series of tasks.
GENERAL USE POINT - we discovered that 1 remote will control a number of robots. So when children are working in groups make sure they are spaced out so, other groups won't interfere as much.
Check out the pictures and video.