First Contact

 

Submitted by Mr. Bryan LaPlante – 2G Homeroom Teacher

 

There has been a serious case of “Robot Fever” in 2G since the arrival of Dash and Dot!

Over the last week, the students were placed into small groups during morning meeting times and taught how to create simple movement programs using the “Blockly” app. First, they learned how to code Dash into various positions in the 360 degrees of a circle using the “Turn the Bot Around” activity (comes complete with handy worksheet). By practicing with coding angles, it later became much easier for them to code Dash to move forward or backward in desired directions when given free time to create their own paths. We also practiced coding Dash around preset masking tape paths in the classroom to push our limits from there. Before long, the students were cheering when they could code Dash to cross the finish line!

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The students were then introduced to operating the more challenging “Path” app. They experimented with flexibility in thinking as they tried to grasp the somewhat abstract idea of plotting a course on the iPad’s virtual plane that would match and follow our masking tape path. This resulted in laughs when Dash could sometimes be found zooming off course!

Finally, we culminated our week by shooting the first part of our “Dash and Dot” promotional video, which explains how others can get started with the robots. Further installments of the video are in the works!

Now that the class has become familiarized with their basic operation, I hope to encourage the students to brainstorm lots of creative uses for our new friends. In the coming sessions we will explore and hopefully conceptualize how the devices might make communication and daily life at school more fun and efficient!

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