In 1969, Seymour Papert invented the first educational robot called a Turtle. It was an addition to the computer language Logo, which he’d designed in 1965 speciﬁcally for educating children. Papert did not simply invent some technology, he oﬀered a revolutionary way of educating children. He gave teachers practical tools to realise constructionist develop mental theories in the classroom. We will show that Papert’s work forms a Kuhnian Paradigm which has endured for nearly 50 years and provides the foundation for all work with educational robots. The use of educational robots in special needs education was one of many beneﬁts that grew out of the resulting environment. The early robots designs didn’t pay attention the needs of this area of education. So early researchers used the available robots and started to ask and seek answers to relevant questions. We analyse this historical research and report on their ﬁndings. We ﬁnd modern research simply conﬁrms the original work. We will introduce the Papert Paradigm and show how it empathised with the changing attitudes towards special needs education. We look at a deepening understanding of the technology provided by the Educational Robot Application Principles. And by combining this information with the Universal Design for Learning ideas we ﬁnd a set of guidelines to help create better robots for special needs education.
Published in Technology, Knowledge and Learning – Springer Nature B.V. 2018 Full Text Available at https://rdcu.be/4ESz
In this excerpt from the Talking Turtle BBC Horizon Television Programme, researchers explain their success with using Turtle Robots with children with cerebral palsy. This is the first use of robots in special needs education. (more…)
13th to 16th July University of Warwick, UK
This video shows the presentation given by Dave Catlin on the 14th July, 2017.
If you search for definitions for Maker Space you will find words and phrases like enthusiasm, shared interest and technology. It represents a belief in the value of tinkering. Society has always respected the tinkerer and education have longed to bring their spirit to the classroom. Is it possible? How would you do it? This paper is an account of a school and a teacher who succeeding in achieving these goals. It records how he answered these questions and more importantly, how he created a Maker Space which helped deliver the curriculum, improve student test scores without suffocating the Maker Space spirit of adventure.
The new 2017 programs concerning primary school and middle school clearly mention computer algorithms and computer coding. We have seen that these two skills can be learned by programming certain mini-drones. This approach makes it possible to initiate all pupils, including those with special educational needs, not only into algorithms and computer coding, but also into other basic skills. (more…)
In 1986 Seymour Papert, the “father of Logo,” collaborated with award-winning film maker William Schwartz and Elizabeth Schwartz, who was Assistant Superintendent of the Ladue, Missouri School District, to produce Seymour Papert On Logo.
At the Constructionism Conference 2016, Bangkok, Thailand, Cynthia Solomon received a Lifetime Achievement Award. As one of the people involved from the start Cynthia took the opportunity to talk about the history of this remarkable project. This is a video of her presentation.
In 1983 a teacher and aspiring journalist Anth Ginn introduced me to the ideas of Seymour Papert and Turtle Robots. I loved it and set out to design my first educational robot. I was a mechanical engineer working on different contracts so I knew large numbers of talented people. I soon got a team together: Dave Ewins to do the electronics, Graham Carpenter for the software and Peter Pavlitski who organised the production. The result was the Valiant Turtle. The British Design Council included it their book the Best of British Design and I soon found out that education was how I wanted to spend my working life. We sold the last Turtle in about 2010 (we could not get the parts to make them anymore). A few days ago I came across Simon’s blog. He kindly let me add it to our records. I hope you find it interesting – Dave Catlin. (more…)
Catlin and Blamires proposed the “Educational Robotic Application (ERA) Principles”. These 10 principles give researchers, designers, educators and teachers a way of evaluating and comparing educational robots and their activities. The ‘Pedagogical Principle’ was one of these ideas. It stated you could use many different developmental theories to view and describe the learning involved. It also identified 28 (now 29) different ways you could use a robot in a classroom. Catlin and Blamires did not give a satisfactory explanation of the these methods. This paper corrects this. (more…)
Do Turtle type educational robots have a role to play in High School? In general the use of these robots is in early years and primary schools. In High Schools the use of Lego and Vex construction type robots predominate. According to the Educational Robotic Application (ERA) Principles Turtle type robots can support the development of older students. This poster reports on a pilot project exploring this principle using the Roamer® robot. The project showed how robots can make a positive contribution to enriching a student’s mathematical experience and provided important insights on how to improve the organisation of robotic activities. (more…)
Constructionism 2016 Bangkok, Thailand, 1st – 5th February, 2016. Some teachers run excellent lessons with educational robots. Others fail. Good teaching practise, is the key to success and prevails despite diverse and difficult challenges. What is good practice? How can we make sure teachers apply it to educational robots? Constructivism underpins the use of robots, but putting theory in to practise has met with difficulties. The increased focus on curriculum and high-stakes testing makes matters worse. Most teachers I meet feel bullied into “teaching to test” and feel forced into abandoning constructivism for more direct teaching methods. Can teachers deliver lessons that meet their curriculum duties and keep the constructivism spirit alive? These practical questions concern the educational robotic community1. This paper is one of a series that looks at these issues. (more…)