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

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

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

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


Logo History Interview

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.


Using Educational Robotics Research to Transform the Classroom

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…)

Assessment for Learning

Research Shows the Value of AfL – a Key Skill in Using Roamer Successfully

Roamer Activities are structured around Assessment for Learning (AfL) methods.  Research shows AfL is extremely effective in raising pupil’s eventual achievement in tests and exams as well as capturing their interest and commitment.  In this video Professor Ted Wragg and Bethan Marshall review the Assessment for Learning approach and explain some of the evidence that supports its use. (more…)

Mapping Roamer Activities to TACTICS Framework

MESHGuides are designed to provide evidence-based advice to support educators’ professional judgements.  TACTICS is one of the tools used to help create an effective MESHGuide.  Developed by Professor James O’Meara, National Louis University, Chicago, USA the TACTICS Framework provides and independent standard we can use to evaluate the structure and strategy underpinning the design of Roamer Activities.  This presentation shows how Roamer Activities are TACTICS compliant. (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

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