Automation, in the broadest sense, is everywhere we look. In the future, we will rely more and more on technology to improve health care, transportation and logistics and the production of goods. Even if you don’t pursue a technical career, you’ll be better off with an understanding of the tools that drive our modern society.
RoboMind is meant to be a first introduction to automation and programming without prerequisites. Because many different exercises can be done, the difficulty level can be tailored to students of various age and levels. In primary education, pupils from 8 year old can get acquainted with writing commands to navigate the robot through its environment.
As students go through the courses, they get acquainted with the possibilities and impossibilities of programming and acquire insight into the power of logic. They will also gradually learn how a large problem can be solved by breaking it up into smaller pieces which can be solved more easily. This, of course, is a skill that comes in handy when doing other courses or studying other application areas.
Everybody in this country should learn to program because it teaches you how to think
— Steve Jobs
With programming, you learn how to automate repetitive tasks, transform perceptions into actions and come up with ways to make smart decisions, even if in unknown situations. However, purely teaching how to program is not our main goal.
When teaching a natural language, you do not aim to train students to become writers. When teaching math, pupils do not need to end up as mathematicians. With programming it is the same. You do not need to become a programmer to benefit from understanding fundamental concepts. That is why we rather talk about Computational Thinking...
|Programming||Mathematics||Problem solving||Creating solutions||Communication||Applications||Understanding|
|Control flow (sequences, loops, conditionals, procedures)||Logic, Geometry, Algebra||Problem formulation, Search strategies, Solutions||Abstracting, Debugging, Documentation||Sharing knowledge, Pair programming||Robotics, Art, Transportation, Logistics, Planning, Home automation||Explain working, Questioning solutions, Seeing Patterns: in Applications and across Domains|
Computational thinking is sometimes organized around three main aspects: Computational Concepts, Computational Practices, Computational Perspectives. The RoboMind Academy recognized seven areas that are covered.
Two fully self-containing courses are specifically developed for use on primary schools:
The aim is to gain insight into logic, automation, robotics and how a large problem can be solved by breaking it up into smaller pieces which can be solved more easily. These are main components of Computational Thinking which is an important skill students should have in order to be prepared for their future. By programming a virtual robot and in combination with the presentations included in the lessons they will gain direct insight into the operation of technical appliances as they are all around us.
Every lesson starts with a short multimedia presentation which highlights some aspects of what robots do and what their role is in society. In addition a brief explanation is given about the programming instructions used in the exercises and why these could be useful. Further quizzes are added to give more insight and make extra sure that everything is understood correctly. The introduction part takes about 15-20 minutes and can be given in the classroom (for example on a smartboard, Options: Show fullscreen) or independently by the student. The quizzes are certainly also fun to do with the whole class.
After the Basics 1&2 courses students can always continue with doing Community Challenges, a set of increasingly difficult challenges. Further they can use their fantasy with one of the many open challenges in the Map Chest or you can make your own challenges to go with theses maps.
Another exciting possibility is to export programs to a real robot like the Lego NXT. See the difference between navigating in RoboMind versus navigating in the real world. For example by letting the robot do a simple task like "go to the wall and stop" an see what happens. Does the robot always stop? Does it always stop at the same place? For this track you need to install the RoboMind desktop software which can be tried for free with a 30-days trial license. After that you need a Desktop Account to continue. For more information see the RoboMind Documentation pages .
Give high-quality education supported by an intelligent environment.
The Common Core State Standards provide a understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.
Below the Mathematical Practice grouping of these standards as mapped to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science - Level 2 standards and the RoboMind Academy Curriculum. For the complete mapping to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science - Level 2 standards see this document.
To help practitioners integrate skills into the teaching of core academic subjects, the Partnership has developed a uniﬁed, collective vision for learning known as the Framework for 21st Century Learning. This Framework describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life; it is a blend of content knowledge, speciﬁc skills, expertise and literacies. For more information see this document.
Below the so called "Partnership for 21st Century Essential Skills " are mapped to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science - Level 2 standards and the RoboMind Academy Curriculum. For the complete mapping to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science - Level 2 standards see this document.
The computing programmes of study as published by the UK Department of Education states that:
Below a mapping is given between the courses offered by the RoboMind Academy and the computing programmes of study for each relevant Key Stage.