Teaching Robots (Annotated)
Today, more sophisticated and versatile kits for use in K-12 schools are available from a number of companies that create robots with new sensing technologies programmable in a variety of languages. Ozobot is a robot that teaches children to code and reason deductively while configuring it to dance or play based on color-coded patterns. Cubelets help teach children logical thinking through assembling robot blocks to think, act, or sense, depending upon the function of the different blocks. Wonder Workshop’s Dash and Dot span a range of programming capabilities. Children eight years old and older can create simple actions using a visual programming language, Blockly, or build iOS and Android applications using C or Java. PLEO rb is a robot pet that helps children learn biology by teaching the robot to react to different aspects of the environment. However, while fun and engaging for some, in order for such kits to become widespread, there will need to be compelling evidence that they improve students’ academic performance.