On Wednesday afternoon English Class teachers Mr. Juho and Ms. Sylvia, along with Ms. Teija, an art class teacher at Cygnaeus School, attended a programming and robotics workshop at another school. At the workshop we learned that the word “robot” comes from the Czech word robotnik which means slave! The workshop featured three very different robots. One was Blue-Bot, a push button robot meant for entry level pupils. Blue-Bot can be programmed from a tablet using Bluetooth and operates on grid mats with various themes.
The second robot that was introduced was WeDo 2.0 which is a Lego Education product. Interestingly enough, this robot is compatible with the freely available Scratch code which offers lots of creative possibilities to budding coders at the primary school level.
The third type of robot that was featured was Lego Mindstorms Educational EV3. Its use requires an understanding of more sophisticated coding skills. Only older children with a deeper interest in coding could fully benefit from this type of robot, we felt.
All in all, the workshop set into motion some new thoughts, and that is always beneficial! It is good to wonder once in a while where we are headed in such a great hurry. Why is learning to code important to learn at an early age? Why do children, or adults for that matter, need to know anything about robotics? Designing, coding or programming and creating are here to stay because they are the mainstays of technology. Surely we need to give our children tools that enable them to have technology work for them in the future in the best possible ways.