Workbench Education Launches New Blockly Programming Tool to Code Multiple Devices in a Single Canvas
Edtech company Workbench Education announced, last week, the launch of a multi-device application programming hub, which will enable students and teachers to code multiple Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) products within a single browser-based Blockly canvas. The programming interface works with drones, blocks and robots from Workbench partners Parrot Education, SAM Labs, and Sphero.
his new tool is available on the Workbench platform for all of the company’s K12 education partners. From the Workbench Education website, teachers can easily integrate coding into all content areas with this programming tool, in addition to being able to create, share, and assign standards-aligned projects to their students and classes.
Jerome Bouvard, Director of Parrot Education commented, “As a pioneer for drone use in Education, Parrot is excited to provide an integrated programming canvas through Workbench that will simplify the process of teaching students how to code using our Mambo drones. Anyone will be able to create dynamic projects that use Parrot drones in conjunction with other classroom tools.”
Key features of the new programming interface include
- Blockly programming, suitable for users of all skill levels.
- Compatibility with Chromebook and Mac devices.
- Browser-based functionality, with no need to download or install external apps.
- Ability to save programs and link to Workbench Education projects.
- Connection via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology.
- Interconnectivity with Parrot, SAM Labs, and Sphero products.
For instance, a Sphero SPRK+ can be used to control a Parrot Mambo, while a SAM Labs buzzer block can interact with a sound if the drone crashes or lands.
Of this new programming tool, Workbench founder & CEO Chris Sleat says, “We integrated the programming canvas into our platform to reduce the burden on teachers who teach stand-alone computer science and coding, or who teach it in conjunction with subject areas like math, science, social studies, ELA, and art. The extensions made available by coding multiple devices in a single program ensure that teachers have tools and content that stays relevant long after students learn the basics.”
As part of this launch, Workbench is announcing a special incentive for teachers who are interested in creating and sharing content on the Workbench Education platform. Aligned with the goal of making technology more accessible and widespread in schools, Workbench and their partners are giving away a selection of Sphero, SAM Labs, Parrot, Circuit Scribe, and Makey Makey products to the teachers who create a minimum of 10 projects on the Workbench Education platform between now and August 31, 2018, or while supplies last. Create more projects to qualify for more gear. Learn more about this Earn Your Gear initiative here.
“We recognize the importance of educators clearly mapping their students’ progression,” said Joachim Horn, founder and CEO of SAM Labs. “SAM Blockly is the perfect bridge for students who have discovered the fun of coding and creating with SAM Space and want to progress to that next step. Its integration with other classroom tools adds even more value, enabling educators to get more out of what they already have.”
In addition to working with educational institutions such as schools and libraries, Workbench also partners with education industry leaders such as Sphero, Parrot, and SAM Labs to create online communities where educators, students, and hobbyists can access, create, and share lessons using drones, programmable robots, 3D printers, and a growing list of cutting-edge technology and educational products.