Archive for the ‘Conference Papers’ Category

Classroom Maker Projects and User Bots

Using Roamer in Maker Projects

Catlin, D. (2019, November 20). Classroom Maker Projects and User Bots. Fablearn Conference Italy 2019 Ancona.


The EduRobot Taxonomy identifies three basic types of education robots: Build, User and Social Robots.  As its title implies, we associate Build Robots with maker-projects where students mainly learn from making a robot.  Students learn with User Robots, like Turtles, by using them to solve problems and engage with invaluable experiences.  However, just as you can make a Turtle robot from a Build Robot, you can utilise some User Robots as platforms for maker-projects.  This paper reviews thirty years of maker-projects involving User Robots.  I’ll present examples from different continents, cultures and social-economic groups.   Although I’ll cite a few research projects, this isn’t a research-driven paper.  It’s chiefly a report on the work of experienced classroom teachers delivering regular lessons to students aged between 4 and 18-years-old.  It explains how they used robots and maker ideas to meet curriculum objectives for students of varying abilities.  Using this evidence, we’ll gain a broad appreciation of classroom maker-projects featuring User Robots and glean a few helpful tips you might find useful.  We’ll also detect the authenticity of this bottom-up approach – it shows what happens when experienced teachers use robots effectively. (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…)

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


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. (more…)

Using Peer Assessment with Educational Robots

Catlin, D. (2014) Using Peer Assessment with Educational Robots, Peer Review, Peer Assessment and Self Assessment in Education, 1st International Workshop, Tallinn University (Ülikool), Estonia.  Collated with the 13th International Conference on Web-based Learning ICWL 2014 August 14-17, 2014.  Pub Springer Verlag. (more…)

Educational Robots and Computational Thinking

  • Published July 22, 2014
  • By Dave Catlin and Dr John Woollard
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Catlin, D. and Woollard, J.  (2014) Educational Robots and Computational Thinking,  TRTWR & RIE (Teaching Robotics and the Teaching with Robotics and Robotics in Education) International Workshop 2014, Padua, Italy


A Day in the Life of an Educational Robot

Catlin, D. (2013) A Day in the Life of an Educational Robot. A Report and Analysis of a School Working with Educational Robots. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Robotics in Education. Sept 19th and 20th 2013, Lodz University of Technology, Poland. (more…)

Using Educational Robots as Tools of Cultural Expression

Catlin, D. Smith, J.L. and Morrison, K. (2012). Using Educational Robots as Tools of Cultural Expression: A Report on a Project with Indigenous Communities. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Robotics in Education. Sept 13th to 15th, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 73-79. MatfyzPress. (more…)

Maximising the Effectiveness of Educational Robotics through the Use of Assessment for Learning Methodologies

Catlin, D. (2012), Maximising the Effectiveness of Educational Robotics through the Use of Assessment for Learning Methodologies, 3rd International Workshop “Teaching robotics, teaching with robotics”: Integrating robotics in the school curriculum. Riva del Garda (TN), Italy, Friday April 20th, 2012. (more…)