Getting Started With Educational Robotics, Microcontrollers and Coding
Educational Robotics involves using programming and robotic technologies in the classroom to support a student-centred, hands-on learning process. In the digital technology combos, Educational Robotics is a separate category from Creative Spaces, but can be used as part of a STEAM approach. Educational Robotics can be integrated into your current practice. You can focus on coding as a way to support students’ learning and creativity. Educational robotics are often used with digital devices. Click here to learn more about digital devices.
Educational Robotics is a powerful learning tool to illustrate concepts and apply skills and knowledge in a meaningful and exciting way.
What are the Benefits of Educational Robotics?
Educational Robotics is process-oriented and makes learning and thinking visible.
Students make mistakes without judgment. What is needed is simply a “how can I fix it?” attitude. Students then identify their mistakes, stop, question, and problem-solve (or debug). This process encourages critical thinking about how to reach a working robot or program. Students are not only learning the basics of programming and technology, they are designing, constructing, programming, and documenting their learning through journals, portfolios, or blogs.
Educational Robotics can contribute to the development of these four crucial 21st Century Skills (Romero & Dupont, 2016):
- Problem Solving
- Computational Thinking
What support is available if I want to get started with educational robotics?
You do not have to be an expert in robotics in order to integrate them in your classroom. You can model problem-solving strategies by working along with your students.
- Consult members of your school community – staff, students, parents, local experts
- Get support from your School Board local RÉCIT and pedagogical consultants
- LEARN’s Open Creative Space page
- Community Partners, ie. Kids Code Jeunesse
- Provincial Conferences ie. QPAT, LCEEQ, CCI
- RemixEd Camp
- Training modules on the Campus RÉCIT site (in French)
- Online resources for specific tools and technologies
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are my pedagogical intentions and goals?
- What do I want students to learn and be able to do?
- What subject-specific and cross-curricular competencies do I want students to develop through educational robotics?
- What activities and projects will support their learning?
- What do my students know about robotics and how do I want to introduce the subject?
Management of Space and Materials
- How should I organize my classroom to facilitate robotics activities and learning?
- How should I organize the different materials?
- Do I want students working in teams or individually for a certain activity?
- What robots and microcontrollers will best support my pedagogical intention and goal?
- How can different robots and microcontrollers be used to accomplish my goals?
- How will we make time for teachers and students to experiment with the tools and materials?