RobotLab’s Engage Is The Cookbook For Today’s Robotic Classroom
More and more K-12 schools are utilizing some kind of robots in the classroom. Robots are a great way to keep students engaged while sprinkling critical STEM lessons in the mix. Kids eyes light up as robots move about the room. Some students engage more with the robots than others, and of course, some students hog all the time they can. Often times this leaves have the classroom left out.
Robots are a costly tool for the classroom. RobotLabs has been a goto source for robots in the classroom, but even with their deep discounts, the technology can still run thousands of dollars, especially if you’re outfitting a whole classroom, school or district.
The other problem that presents itself with robots in the classroom is harnessing the power of the robot itself. Big shiny robots arrive at the school, typically put together by an IT person or a tech implementor who teaches the teacher basic skills. But the true power of the robots is left in the box. Undoubtedly some bright 5th grader comes back after the weekend and knows eons more about the robot than even the teacher.
““Just like with stoves: if you read the user’s manual provided by the manufacturer, you’ll know what buttons to push to turn them on and off, but that doesn’t make you a chef. You need a recipe book to succeed in cooking” Elad Inbar the CEO of RobotLab said.
That’s what Engage: K-12 is all about.
Engage, serves as the curriculum to not only teach the students about the robots themselves but also how to apply critical thinking, coding, and programming into robotic led lessons. It’s all done through a browser based digital delivery platform geared specifically for students. The best part is, Engage can be integrated with in classroom robots, or used as a stand alone platform, making it even great for schools that have no actual robots at all.
Students and teachers can access the browser-based learning ecosystem from any device. A user-friendly interface allows teachers, even those with zero programming experience, to bring their lessons to life with virtual or physical robots.
Engage! K-12 currently houses a wide variety of lessons focusing on subjects or concepts that students often struggle with. Lessons are searchable by grade level, subject, and CCSS or TEKS standard, and cover topics from coding to STEM to storytelling. Teachers can use RobotLAB’s existing lessons, customize them for their classes, or create their own. Each lesson leads students from idea to construction to application to results.
Every lesson is designed to spark students’ curiosity and use this engagement to teach them the subject at hand. For example, a lesson that combines coding and algebra begins with the teacher showing a video of humanoid robots playing soccer. The question “How do the robots know where to kick the ball?” leads to a discussion of using linear equations to solve the problem at hand.
Students then use integrated tools such as drag-and-drop programming and a graphing calculator to help them manipulate virtual robots to kick the ball to the goal. They can then receive immediate feedback by watching their commands played out by physical robots. Schools have the option to add their existing robots to the online lessons or choose the budget-friendly Simulation Mode of Engage! K-12, which uses virtual robots only and allows students to learn from anywhere.
Engage! K-12 includes classroom-management features, student assessment, and themed lesson plans for different grades, enabling schools to easily integrate it “out-of-the-box” into their curricula. Engage! K-12 also includes interactive tools to enhance the learning experience in the classroom, such as a customizable polling system that allows students to share answers and teachers to instantly find out what concepts the class has and hasn’t grasped. Students’ responses are translated into a word cloud to stimulate class discussion and collaboration
Until now, robots have been thrust into the classroom. Educators attending conferences like ISTE, FETC, TCEA and SXSWedu see the latest and greatest robots, and if they have it in the budget they buy them, but that’s it. With no curriculum there is so much value left in the box. Imagine 20 years ago getting scale models of rockets or the Space Shuttle for an entire classroom with no curriculum. Sure they look neat and they’re fun to play with, but what about learning about planets, the solar system, the moon and the space program?
If you’re attending TCEA you can check out RobotLab and Engage at booth #1829 or you can click here for an online demo.