Tony and Patrick are back once again for another great show! Check out the talking points below and you can subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcasting app (we are on almost all podcast directories).
I asked Cubit for a sample kit, and they sent it along. My robot frame and build were simple because I wanted to focus on programming.
The Cubit was loaded with sensor options, and the programming interface was Bluetooth.
For the record, I was using a Macbook, and I was very happy to get back into a programming environment that empowered real coding on an Apple. As of late, most of the robotics packages I have used on an Apple have removed the text-based coding options.
The flexibility was nice, and the educational scaffolding was clear.
You can start with the colorful blocks, and easily get things working.
Then, you can get into the code, and make things work the way you want.
Cubit uses Lua language. I found it to be an excellent primer for going in a variety of programming directions. I have always found that using robotics and electronics as a prerequisite for IB or AP computer science is a better primer than simply having an introductory course based solely in a language. Let’s be honest, robots are fun, and they can really help build the programming competency base.
If you are new to robotics and have no idea where to get started, Cubit is an excellent solution. Cubit provides a built-in curriculum with projects ranging from elementary to high school. The programming environment guides users through the initial steps.
Robotic’s education needs to move away from the obsession with remote control. I believe this obsession emerged from the ubiquity of mobile devices, and the realization that automation is usually a low scoring and frustrating endeavor. When students can use a remote control, they can get more points and do more in less time.
The process, stress, and failure should be the goal when using robotics for K-12 education. If a student can understand the complexities of automation before they leave high school, then they are better prepared for the AI-driven future and their place within it.
It is small, affordable, and easy to build, but Cubit is a step towards authentic learning and forward-thinking.
Tony and Patrick are back to wish you a Happy New Year and to spread a little ed tech love your way. This show is a good one to close out 2018 so check out the talking points below and as always, be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app!
Have you ever wondered how you could track your student’s engagement? Well look no further than France. Apparently there is a business school there that is doing just that. Now before you imagine a classroom filled with cameras pointed right at students in a lecture hall, think again. Apparently this is a business school called Nestor in France that is offering online classes.
I saw this in an article from The Verge where it is stated that they are using AI to monitor when students are engaged and distracted. If a student is distracted a robot does not reach through the screen to slap the day dreaming student (though that would be crazy). Instead it lets students (and teachers I suppose) of if the student is engaged or not.
I wonder how this handles students who are pondering new concepts – would it count those students as engaged or not? The article doesn’t say nor does it mention much about the data it collects.
At any rate, it sounds like a good idea, but the more I think about it, the more I am not sure how this will work.
Let me introduce you to Dewey a new AI for schools. He’ll tell you all sorts of important information-you just need to ask. Is this real? No, Dewey’s not real, but I think someday AI will find itself in schools and be a part of the everyday process.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is big news right now. Facebook and Microsoft have unleashed bots, Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistance is pretty impressive and now Google has just given the world a glimpse of their new and improved personal assistance. Guess what? AI will come to the classroom. It will take some years but it’ll find its way there and it will change the school
Sure, it sounds fantastic and a little beyond the realm of possibility and of course there are those who would say Why would a school want to have this thing in their school? Well allow me to present some arguments. First, remember that all schools run a student information system (SIS). This thing is a big database with all sorts of demographics, grades, behavior reports, medical reports and any other info that the school wants to record and keep track of.
For the staff, getting a hold of this information isn’t too hard. It can be a little tedious, but it’s sitting there and that’s the problem. There is so much information, for a teacher to comb through it would take hours and as everyone out there knows. Since it takes so much time and since teacher’s are always fighting against time, that data just sits there.
If teachers had access to Dewey, they could ask questions, get that information in a timely manner.
Now let’s take a look at how different people within a school can leverage Dewey.
As a teacher, here is how a digital personal assistant could be really helpful. Pretend that every teacher has their “own” AI personal assistant. Everyone has access to Dewey but they can only access information related to their students and classes. Now pretend the teacher can access this assistant from multiple devices in their classroom (cell phone, tablet, bluetooth speaker or computer). OK – that’s a quick set up now let’s talk what this teacher could do.
An obvious one is communication. What if a teacher wants to send an email to all parents about an upcoming event. Maybe they just say “Hey Dewey! Can you email all the parents about the field trip? Tell them that all permission slips are due to the school before Friday. Now send it.” Dewey will go through the SIS, find those email addresses, compose the message and send the email to each parent. There are already ways to do with other third party programs, so that’s not too unrealistic.
Now, let’s say a teacher wants to let all parents and students know who is missing assignments. You could say “Dewey! Can you send a text message and email all parents and students about missing their missing assignments?” Again, Dewey will go through the SIS and the gradebook to find anyone who is missing any assignment. Then it will find the email addresses and phone numbers, then it will compose the email and add the necessary information. This is pretty handy and brings more transparency and accountability to the class.
What if a student suddenly acting up in class. A teacher could start a behavior report that all teachers/counselors would be notified about. As it turns out if a student is acting up in one class, it is probably happening in another class. That way this student’s teachers and counselor are all alerted and looking for new types of behavior. This is a much more proactive strategy until waiting until this grows into a larger problem weeks down the road.
Administrators (I’m looking at you too counselors) could use this to quickly bring up a list of students who are not doing well after the first two weeks and have counselors meet with those students.
If one of these people needs to meet with a parent, they could easily share information about their child before the meeting to give them a heads up of not just what the meeting is about, but why they think there is an issue.
They could also look for trends with specific students for example if Johnny seems to slack off at the end of November, then teachers, counselors and parents could be alerted of that fact at the end of October and Johnny’s educational team could encourage Johnny to be more vigilant and stick with it.
There are plenty of other options out there but what do you think? Is AI coming, could we see a Dewey educational assistant in our classroom? Is this just a pipe dream? Leave your comments below – we love them!