Sunday, January 29, 2017
The students at DBS have had exposure to coding through Hour of Code, Code.org, Scratch, and enrichment groups. Some students have also experimented with the Lego WeDo and Lego Mindstorms kits we have in the library. I signed up to participate in the Vermont Robot Rodeo this year with the goal of expanding on this coding experience in a fun new way.
I don't have a fully thought out plan just yet, as I only found out a few days ago that we were getting BB8, but my goal is to let all classes and all students get a turn to program and control the robot. I may also bring out a prebuilt WeDo robot and a prebuilt Mindstorm robot to add to the mix. Maybe my kiddos will let me borrow their Ozobots as well. :)
By the time we send BB8 on to it's new host in early March, I hope that all students at DBS will have written a program, controlled a robot, and had a little fun. :)
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
They all agreed that a robot is something that runs on electricity and is programmed by humans (or other robots!) They all agreed that the robot had to do some sort of job or task, though there was some debate about what that meant. Does toasting bread count as a task? Answering questions? Turning on the power (like a switch or button)?? They also thought, initially, that a robot has to be able to move, but when the discussion got deeper they started to question that assumption. Does Siri or Amazon's Echo count as a robot?
Google says a robot is "a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer." Programmable by a person first? Or are they considering the "brains" inn a robot to be the computer programming and the physical part, the part that completes the actions, to be the robot?
NASA says a robot is "a machine that is built to do a certain job again and again, or to do work that might be dangerous for humans." They should know, right?
I challenged the students to think about specific items and decide if it is a robot or not. They had to think about a toaster, a copy machine, a smart phone, and a Mars rover. They found it interesting that there isn't exactly a right or wrong answer since there isn't an exact definition of "robot."
What Is A Robot?, an article on wired.com, quotes Andy Rubin, father of Android, as saying, a robot must sense, it must compute, and it must acute. By that definition a stop light isn't much different from a Roomba vacuum cleaner. Scott Dadich, the articles author, goes to on to say that as robots because more social perhaps we need to add a fourth criteria: to relate. He says,"Maybe that’s a fourth step that Rubin didn’t think he had to articulate: sense, compute, actuate … and then relate to us. When that starts to happen, we’re going to want to rethink our definition of robot yet again."
Finally, FINALLY, I let them do what they really wanted to do: make a robot!!!
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
My daughter and I cleaned the fish tank over vacation, and unfortunately several of the cichlids didn't survive the stress of my lack of fish knowledge. We were able to save one, but the other four were belly up too fast! 😞
I called my friend for advice and she and her family so generously donated an afternoon to helping me get that tank back in order and ready for some new fish. Yesterday we picked out five Molly fish and one Alge eater, hoping they would all play nicely with the remaining cichlid, nicknamed "baby fish."
So far everyone is settling in and seems happy, or so we think, it's hard to tell with fish!
The kids were all happy to find the pretty new tank and shiny new fish to welcome them back to the library.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
|My Wish For 2017 Is...|
|To have my cats back, no school, more social studies, live with freedom and pride, do a back handspring, and have an awesome year.|
|To say hi to everyone, to be a better person, to have more books, and, of course, a little puppy dog!|