Public Discussion

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    Robin Barth

    Guest
    May 16, 2016 | 11:20 a.m.

    I like the TREES video using robots to teach coding!

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    Amanda Muir

    Guest
    May 16, 2016 | 02:14 p.m.

    Great job on the video! Thanks so much for taking the time to create it!

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 16, 2016 | 04:40 p.m.

    Very many interesting aspects in this video. Would love to hear more about how this works in inclusive classrooms. What modifications have you made? How much PD do you need to provide teachers for them to feel secure running with the curriculum? Is this a replacement unit? Does it get integrated throughout the school year? Are your computational assessments available for others to view? Thanks again for a very interesting presentation!

  • Icon for: Isabel Huff

    Isabel Huff

    Program Outreach Coordinator
    May 16, 2016 | 05:50 p.m.

    Thanks for your video! Is the TREES program during the school day, or after school? If it’s during school, what class does it fit into?

  • Icon for: Lauren Barth-Cohen

    Lauren Barth-Cohen

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 06:41 p.m.

    Thanks for the great questions! On the project we have a couple consultants, one has expertise in autism, another has expertise in TESOL. They have reviewed our curriculum and made suggestions about how to make it more accessible. For the first round of implementation we ran three PD days over the summer with the 5th grade teachers and principal, which included going over the curriculum and getting everyone familiar with the robotics software. Also, as part of the PD, the consultants discussed strategies for making the curriculum accessible to all. This past year we tried integrating the curriculum throughout the school year, during the school day. It’s at the teachers discretion, many teachers did robotics in the fall (typically 1x per a week), then stopped for a while, and a couple are picking it back up now that testing is over. A big factor in being able to implement the curriculum during the school day has been a school culture that supports trying new things such as this project. To help everything go smoothly we try to have researchers in the classroom as much as possible, part of that involves trouble shooting technology issues, but I also think having researchers in the classroom is beneficial for answering curriculum related questions. We plan on revising the curriculum in light of what worked and where we see room for improvement.

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 10:20 a.m.

    This seems like a smart approach. Do you expect that your pilot teachers might be comfortable implementing the curriculum next year without researchers in their rooms for support? What are your strategies for incorporating your observations and teacher feedback to make the curriculum more usable without researcher support?

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 03:22 p.m.

    My guess is that it varies from teacher to teacher. This year, we have witnessed that some teachers got really comfortable with the curriculum and the robot toward the end of the implementation, but others still needed support, especially technical issues. What would be nice to see is that some teachers, hopefully, will be able to serve as leaders to help others when (technical) issues came. We are planning to build in our new teacher’s version of the curriculum strategies, best teaching practices, and trouble shooting tips we learned from year one. We are also in the process of creating online tutorial materials for teachers (and students). Anther factor is that their new school tech person will be on board and get to know the robotics and provide support as needed.

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 09:53 p.m.

    Hi everyone,
    Very interesting video. It sounds like you are going to have lots and lots of very interesting and useful data! I’ll look forward to reading some of your results in the coming years.

    I was particularly interested to hear your comment about how you’ll use data on the way that students debug and so forth to support teachers in providing feedback to their students. As a curriculum developer myself (math, for the most part, but now starting to dabble in CS), I understand the importance of including that kind of support for teachers.

    Do you think this information will be worked into new versions of your PD experiences for teachers, or will you be able to work the information into the teacher materials for your curriculum? We often struggle to make the best decisions on how to make the best use of precious and short PD time (especially when scaling the curriculum beyond a pilot group) so I’d be interested to hear how you handle those decisions.

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 01:29 p.m.

    Besides student examples (as common mistakes) we extract from year one, we will try to build into our next version of the curriculum (in the teacher’s manual) good practice tips (e.g., how to share the physical robot in one class) and trouble-shooting technical issues (e.g., connection to wireless) we learned from the first implementation. This will be reviewed by our teachers in next round of PD workshops (late summer/early Fall as currently planned). We do multi-day PD. For each day, we try to cover our agenda (whatever we feel urgent) first but also leave ample time for our teachers to raise their concerns. We also elicit topics/consult our teachers about what they wish to discuss/cover before our PD.

  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 08:09 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this video. I’d like to learn more about the types of activities you have developed. I can imagine programming the robot to respond to conditions and to move in prescribed ways (dancing?) What are some other activities or activity types that are possible with this robot in a 5th grade classroom?

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 01:19 p.m.

    Here’s a breakdown in terms of chapters/topics: The first 5 chapters cover the fundamentals of robotics and programming (some of the materials can be used as references); In chapters 6 & 7, the students learn the basics of the humanoid robot’s programming software; The remaining chapters (8 -14) cover the different capabilities of the robot and how to program the robot to utilize each of these capabilities in the form of in-class tasks and mini projects. Other than the routine examples you mentioned, we have our students work on mini-projects and a final project which they can present in school assembly. One possibility is to have students code the robot to be instructor assistant in lower grades, which we were not able to do in our first year implementation.

  • Icon for: Lauren Barth-Cohen

    Lauren Barth-Cohen

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 04:39 p.m.

    Specifically, mini and final projects have often involved voice recognition software, tactile sensors, and animations software (for motion). For instance, as a final project students programmed the robot to have a discussion on a pre-set topic (e.g. pros/cons of their school uniform), or follow a maze, or respond to certain tactile inputs. One idea we’ve been discussing is having the 5th grade students program the robot to lead other students in a series of exercise routines that can be broadcast throughout the school.

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    Paul Daubenmire

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 01:32 p.m.

    Very exciting project. It’s neat to see how seeds sown during y’alls time at GSE can be traced to this current work! I had a question about how y’all developed a “language-general” assessment so that kids had a fair shot of demonstrating their coding knowledge at pre-test. Was it the exact same assessment offered at pre/post?

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 05:14 p.m.

    It’s the same assessment pre and post. We used the CSTA’s framework on Computational Thinking and developed a paper/pencil version of assessment. Email me (j.shen@miami.edu) and I’ll send you a copy of our paper on the assessment component of the project.

  • Icon for: Evan Korth

    Evan Korth

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 12:39 a.m.

    My gut tells me teaching programming with this robot is a winner. I could only imagine how exciting it is for a kid to successfully get that cute robot to do what she wants for the first time.

    Do teachers really just need 3 days PD? Seems having a fundation in the whole curriculum (The first 5 chapters cover the fundamentals of robotics and programming (some of the materials can be used as references); In chapters 6 & 7, the students learn the basics of the humanoid robot’s programming software; The remaining chapters (8 -14) cover the different capabilities of the robot and how to program the robot to utilize each of these capabilities in the form of in-class tasks and mini projects. ) is a lot to expect after three days.

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 03:27 p.m.

    3 days were what we were able to get from their precious time and we were grateful. We didn’t think that was sufficient but thought that was enough to get them started. We saw different creative strategies they employed to navigate through the first implementation (e.g., having students help each other), as well as struggles and challenges. I think only by implementing the entire curriculum once or twice, they can become truly comfortable with it. Sometime the issue is really how much time the educational system can give to our teachers and schools to try out new curriculum.

  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 19, 2016 | 12:25 p.m.

    Why did you choose to use a Nao robot? They are quite expensive. We have had success with LEGO WeDo, LEGO NXT, and LEGO EV3. Why not use a cheaper robotic kit so that all students can work with the kits at the same time?

  • Icon for: Ji Shen

    Ji Shen

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 03:41 p.m.

    I agree there are other platforms that offer great experience for students as well and yes, NAO is costly. To reduce the cost, the classes share 1 physical robot and when they don’t have the physical one, they work on the simulator. Humanoid robot offers some unique features that we believe would give students unique experience. For instance, we work in inclusive setting so get students’ attention is a big factor. Also, The NAO platform has different language capacity, and we built in our curriculum activities using other languages (mainly Spanish). We have some activities focusing on the social interaction aspect that may be meaningful to certain groups of students (e.g., code the robot to have a conversation with students).

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.

  1. Ji Shen
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/shenresearch/Home
  3. Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students
  4. http://sites.education.miami.edu/trees/
  5. University of Miami
  1. Lauren Barth-Cohen
  2. Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students
  3. http://sites.education.miami.edu/trees/
  4. University of Miami
  1. Moataz Eltoukhy
  2. Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students
  3. http://sites.education.miami.edu/trees/
  4. University of Miami

Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students
1523010

This project, Transformative Robotics Experience for Elementary Students (TREES), aims to build elementary age students’ content knowledge in robotics and computer science more broadly by fostering their disciplinary engagement and participation within a humanoid robots-programming environment. All fifth grade students from a collaborating elementary school participated in a semester long course with a final project that involves bringing the robot to perform different tasks. Over the 2-year period, this project will involve a total of more than 300 elementary students, the majority of whom are from low socio-economic groups in Broward County, where there is a great need for building technological capabilities. This project will be conducted in an inclusive classroom setting where some participants will be high functioning students with autism and some English language learners (ELLs), allowing the project to reach a diverse population that has historically been underrepresented in STEM fields. Using a design-based approach, this exploratory project is pushing the boundary of a new and complex technology into elementary grades. Results will advance our understanding of how to create learning opportunities for diverse elementary students in robotics and computer science that would increase their content knowledge by fostering disciplinary engagement in order to prepare them for future learning in robotics, computer science, and STEM fields.