Author Archive

How to Improve Your Student’s Results with Maker Spaces

  • Published July 27, 2017
  • By Dave Catlin

Construit 2017 International  Conference

13th to 16th July University of Warwick, UK

An account of How to Create an Excellent Educational Environment  with Maker Spaces

This video shows the presentation given by Dave Catlin on the 14th July, 2017.

Abstract

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.

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Seymour Papert on Logo

  • Published March 6, 2017
  • By Seymour Papert

Seymour Papert Brief Lessons on Logo and Turtle Geometry

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.

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The History of Logo

  • Published February 28, 2017
  • By Cynthia Solomon

Cynthia Solomon Recalls the History of 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.

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The Valiant Turtle was the Best in the World: Its Secrets Revealed

  • Published February 2, 2017
  • By Simon Inns

The Most Successful Logo Turtle in Educational Robotics

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…)

29 Effective Ways You Can Use Robots in the Classroom

An Explanation of ERA Pedagogical Principle

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…)

Educational Robots and Mathematical Modelling

  • Published August 15, 2016
  • By Dave Catlin and Edward Otenio
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Exploring the Use of Turtle Type Robots in High School

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…)

Learning Intentions and Educational Robots

Setting Up Successful educational Robots Activities

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…)

Useful Background and Research Links

  • Published September 12, 2015
  • By Dave Catlin

Links to Other Online Resources Relating to Logo, Turtle and Roamer

This is a general list of sites and resources that provide useful information.

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Logo History Interview

  • Published September 10, 2015
  • By Cynthia Solomon, Wally Feurzeig, Gary Stager and Celia Hoyles

At the Paris Constructionism Conference held in 2010 Celia Hoyles interviewed Logo pioneers Cynthia Solomon and Wally Feurzeig and Logo advocate Gary Stager about the history of Logo.  This fascinating interview reveals some of the thinking behind the whole endeavour.

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Using Educational Robotics Research to Transform the Classroom

  • Published May 21, 2015
  • By Dave Catlin, Andrew P. Csizmadia, James G. OMeara and Dr Sarah Younie
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Establishing a Robotics Community of Evidenced-based Practice using MESH Guides and the TACTICS Framework

6th International Conference on Robotics in Education, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Abstract

Trends in the USA and UK insist that classroom interventions are supported by evidence of their efficacy. The body of evidence supporting the value of educational robots is growing. However, a perennial problem remains, how can such evidence impact everyday teaching and the use of educational robots in the classroom? MESHGuides are created by an international network of educators who are mapping the research base underpinning educational practice and making it readily available to teachers anywhere in the world. The TACTICS Framework sets a standard for how research information should be integrated into evidenced-based activities and how these activities can be used to inform research. This paper introduces these ideas and shows how they have been applied to the Turtle type educational robot, Roamer.