Learning with Robots at UNC

This week in “The Maker Movement and Education,” a UNC undergraduate class taught by Professor Keith Sawyer:

This week the students are exploring how to use programmable robots to help children learn. I asked the students to find a lesson plan activity on line, one that uses one of three robots to help children learn math: OZOBOT Evo, Sphero, and Dash. (The robots are surprisingly affordable, around $100 each, but when you buy enough for 35 students you’re talking a couple of thousand dollars! Thank you to the School of Education for supporting this class!)

Here’s a photo of the OZOBOT Evo, being controlled by the smartphone you see.

Here are a few other photos, with OZOBOT Evo and Sphero Mini:


Carolina’s Maker Class: Using Making To Help Children Learn

My UNC Spring 2018 class, “The maker movement and education,” is turning out to be a lot of fun! If you want to learn about how making stuff contributes to learning, you really have to make things yourself. So I’m guiding my students through a variety of making activities that have been influential in re-visioning schools as places where students create.

In Tuesday’s class, pairs of students created cardboard automata, in a making activity created by the San Francisco Exploratorium Tinkering Workshop, by its founders Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson. This cool activity captures the hands-on style of inquiry and creativity that the Exploratorium is famous for. And it brings together artistic creativity with the physics of movement and mechanics–an awesome example of STEAM education.

At the end of class, all of my students placed their creations outside the classroom door–check out this collective creation! I highly recommend this awesome book, that shows educators how to use these same activities in their classes: The Art of Tinkering.

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