A robot is a mechanical device that can be programmed to follow a set of instructions. Robots have processing units, sensors to help them perceive things in the surrounding environment, and motors and actuators so that they can move. Robots may also have the added programmable functionality of lights, sounds or speech recognition.
Educational robotics is a broad term that refers to a collection of activities, programs, physical platforms and educational resources. In addition, behind the physical elements lies a pedagogical philosophy that matches the new Digital Technologies curriculum.
The benefits of teaching robotics in schools include:
Learn more about it
With the proliferation of robotic devices in the human world, this article raises the question: what is a robot? It also raises associated ethical considerations.
MacICT is a collaboration between the NSW Department of Education and Macquarie University, Sydney. It provides professional learning for teachers.
The report highlights the emerging emphasis on 'deep learning approaches', including project-based learning and collaborative learning.
How to teach it
Students follow and describe a series of steps to program a floor robot. They plan a route to program a robot to follow a path and write a sequence of steps (algorithm).
This is a collection of interactive activity ideas for the Dash and Dot robot toys for young computer programming learners.
For the classroom
The rolling spider is a programmable mini-drone, designed to teach students different aspects of programming and robotics.
Sphero is a programmable robotic ball, designed to teach students different aspects of programming and robotics.
Wink is an Arduino-based robot that enables students to transition from graphical programming to more powerful text code languages.
Lego WeDo 2.0 enables students to create and program solutions using science and engineering practices and computational thinking.
Lego Mindstorms is a set of building blocks and programmable components that students can build into various robots, designed to teach students different aspects of programming and robotics
Ollie is a two-wheel programmable robotic ball, designed to teach students different aspects of programming and robotics.
Tickle uses visual programming to enable you to control programmable robots, including the Star Wars BB-8 droid, Sphero (SPRK) robotic ball, Ollie two-wheeled robot and the Dash and Dot robots.
This interactive game helps students develop early programming skills by creating simple sequences of instructions based on logic.
What other schools are doing
AISSA Humanoid Robot Research Project
Thomas and Pink are two humanoid robots that are making programming and robotics exciting and intellectually stimulating learning frontiers for students in Independent schools in South Australia.
Students share and extend learning
Students get their team together to design, build, and program a robot. They then drive it to compete against robots created by other teams. Suggested ages: 14–18 years.
Students work as a team to program a robot to compete against others in a game of soccer, a dance routine, or a rescue mission.
This site provides information about the National Computer Science School (NCSS), a ten-day summer school for students going into years 11 and 12.