Beginning with Robotics!

Often the best way to introduce new computer science concepts to students is with tangible examples. The Kodable curriculum is full of such lessons and examples. Today we’re excited to be able to expand our curriculum with a truly tangible branch of computer science: robotics!

 

Why robotics is important

We often hear of teachers combining Kodable with a unit on robotics because it allows kids to explore functional hardware while learning about the more abstract concepts behind it all. Especially in lower elementary, kiddos start thinking about the world around them. Kodable Director of Curriculum, Brie Gray says, “Robotics gives students an opportunity to question how things work and dig deeply into the role individuals can play in creating, controlling, and working with machines.”

 

Kodable does robots!

Since we’re new to the world of robots, The Kodable team collaborated with Wonder Workshop to come up with a style of learning both teams felt would give teachers and students the strongest introduction. Brie’s goal was to, “help teachers see how easy it is to teach robotics and programming, separately and together! Both of these areas can easily be integrated into everyday life, and into core classroom subject areas.”

Robots work off of the same logic as computers and software. There are core constructs to the code used to control them.  In many ways, the lessons are reinforcing concepts students learn in other units of Kodable. The lesson structure and style follows the same three part (I do, we do, you do) model found in the rest of Kodable, but now there’s a physical object involved! The lessons still have independent practice on-screen for students, but include guided practice in Wonder Workshop’s Blockly app, and of course, Dash!

The robotics unit covers hardware and software, sequence, algorithms, loops, events, and functions. Followed by a four session (minimum) project focused on Design Thinking, which Brie says, “I honestly would love to participate in myself!” The priority is students learn while having fun and experience learning in a setting that allows them to ask questions, be wrong sometimes, try new things, and work together.

Robotics naturally lends itself to inquiry based learning, projects, and Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a method of minimizing the uncertainty and risk of innovation by engaging users through a series of prototypes to learn, test, and creatively refine concepts. Design thinking is a process we use daily at Kodable and I’m sure you follow in your own life as well.  The four part assessment encourages design thinking to foster and encourage creativity and collaboration in the classroom and the real world.

 

You don’t need robotics experience to get started!

Even if you have zero programming or robot knowledge, you still have all the information and materials needed to teach the lessons. Everything you need is included! The lessons are scripted, so Brie suggests, “read right off them if needed, or use them as a template for building your own if you find it doesn’t fit your style!” Most of this is new to everyone, so don’t be afraid to just dive in and learn along with your students! You’ll be rewarded with hands on engagement and a lot of learning.

New Kodable Dashboard is Live

Exciting news from Kodable HQ! After finishing up some major updates to Kodable Web, we are ready to release our new Teacher Dashboard! As of this moment, our new Teacher Dashboard is live and available for Public Beta in your Kodable Teacher Account.

To start using the new Kodable Dashboard, follow these instructions:

1. Visit Kodable.com

2. Log into your Teacher Account

3. Click on link in the header to try the new dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard Public Beta

4. Presto! Welcome to your new Teacher Dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard is ready to use

What’s new on the Teacher Dashboard?

Our new Kodable Teacher Dashboard is loaded with a ton of new features to help you with get the most out of your Kodable Curriculum.

View CCSS Standards in Progress and Completed

You can complete many CCSS standards using Kodable. Take a look at what standards your students are working on, and which ones they have completed.

CCSS Standards in progress and completed

View Lessons Completed

Quickly glance at your class’ progress and see what lessons they have yet to complete.

Quickly view your progress

Manage Administrator Access

Kodable School account holders can now easily manage their school’s Teacher Accounts from a single page.

Manage your teacher accounts as an administrator

View Assignments and Curriculum Resources

Introducing the new Kodable Curriculum! Learn Sequence, Conditions, Loops, Functions, and Debugging using Kodable’s learning guides, unplugged activities, video tutorials, and lessons.

Assignments Tab in Kodable

View and Edit all of your students

Quickly view and edit all of your students in every class from a single page.

View All Students and make bulk changes

 Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

 

 

Thank You

Thank You from Kodable

This was originally published on the Kodable blog on October 16, 2013

We started Kodable because we wanted to help prepare kids for a bright future by helping them learn a valuable skill. We are amazed at the positive impact Kodable has had on programming education in such a short time.

Since we released Kodable in the App Store last November, kids in over 70 countries have begun learning how to program. Kodable has allowed students in kindergarten all the way to 8th grade begin their programming education. The best part – over half of them are girls! Teachers are empowered with a tool to enable them to teach programming, and parents are bonding with their kids over a common interest. We are thrilled to be the first step so many take on their journey to digital literacy.

So, I’d like to thank all the parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and others who are teaching the kids they love to program using Kodable. You all are great! Keep it up! You are truly helping children form a brighter future with the concepts they learn in Kodable.

We created this blog as a way to keep you connected as we continue to grow and challenge your kids in new ways. You can come here for help, humor, programming information, Kodable news and more! We want to make this a place to learn, share and grow, so don’t be afraid to give feedback. We want to hear from you!

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