On 10 Aug., 2018, I facilitated a workshop on using robots to teach computational thinking. As a reminder, computational thinking is a problem solving process where we use technology to automate solutions. There are varied definitions of the process, but 5 key components common to most definitions are:
- Decomposition (breaking down the problem)
- Pattern finding
- Creating algorithms (models and generalizations)
- Automating the process (programming)
- Analyzing results (debugging, improving efficiency).
There are myriad resources to teach both robotics and computational thinking. Here are a few mentioned in the course:
- microbits: inexpensive micro-processor that can be used to teach computational thinking. There’s even a simulator for the device if you don’t have physical access. You can code it at: http://microbit.org/code/.
- Dash robots by wonder workshop (see https://www.makewonder.com/). These are a series of all-in-one robots that have a few motors and sensors that enable kids to use these for several simple tasks.
- Here is a link to the google slides that I used in the workshop today.
- I also talked about “compassionate computing,” wherein we focus on being responsible citizens that contribute our 21st century skills in caring ways. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can watch an online presentation I gave on the topic at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJXEwoL5woo&feature=youtu.be. The google slides are available at: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-Z-ODTFw2qNnbyHUSl1wrUxXPVkvoJ1DTR8Zs3G_Ai8/edit?usp=sharing