What is digital citizenship and why is it important particularly for children? Read our blog post to find out and learn the opinions of experts.
Advances in technology are changing education day by day, making teachers’ lives easier and students’ learning process much more engaging, interactive and fun. With all of these benefits, though, some confusion around Edtech implementation still exists. Is technology distracting for learning? Will teachers lose their jobs? Is it real learning anyway? - these are one of many questions usually brought up over the Edtech debate. To shed some light on this issue, let’s explore the most common myths about using educational technology, and how to use it to get the most benefits instead.
Myth #1: Educational technology will replace teachers in the long run
Let’s face it: no robot or a machine can replace a real educator with a genuine passion for teaching. It’s not the tools that make learning experience unforgettable, it’s the teacher’s dedication and enthusiasm that keep students engaged and will be remembered by them for years and years. True, machines can be entertaining and definitely memorable too, but human aspect is the cornerstone of successful learning.
Alternative perspective: rather than having to choose between teachers and machines, it’s better to think of technology as a great supplement and assistance to the teaching process. Technology is only a valuable tool, which, in hands of a great educator, can revolutionize a classroom and enhance the learning, but replacing the real teaching with it just doesn’t work.
Myth #2: We won’t need face-to-face teaching anymore
Firstly, the role of the instructor in face-to-face teaching is not exactly the same as in the online teaching. In a real classroom, teacher’s main goal is to transfer the actual knowledge, whereas digital classroom is more for facilitating discussion and helping to use the acquired knowledge. Besides, each classroom’s needs are different, so it’s just unreasonable to say that all teaching will be done via screens only. Think, for instance, of science classes: all children are always beyond excited about different experiments they can make together with their teachers, and this is where the real classroom undoubtedly wins over the digital one.
Alternative perspective: face-to-face teaching is not disappearing anywhere because teachers can support children in a way that machines will never be able to. However, these two ways of teaching can work together too in a blended learning. Again, technology is just a tool, which can improve learning experience if there’s a need for it.
Myth #3: Technology is the answer for everything
Conversely to the skeptical views, some praise technology as an ultimate panacea for all learning goals. Sure, technology is the future, but neither it will help to solve all the world’s problems, nor will it be useful in each and every classroom.
Alternative perspective: before adding a technological element into a curriculum, teachers should think of a real value it provides. Sometimes it can be distracting or be just a waste of time and resources, so educational technology should ideally be used very wisely and strategically.
Myth #4: Learning with technology doesn’t bring any value
If poorly planned and stuffed with the meaningless use of technology, learning can indeed yield no results and be extremely ineffective. That said, technology is not the one to blame - it’s rather a lack of teacher’s competence and experience with it.
Alternative perspective: it’s very important to remember that technology can create limitless opportunities to learn and create, but in order to get the most out of these opportunities, teachers need to create an engaging environment, which inspires to discover and share. It’s not enough to recognize the amazing potential of using technology in the classroom: teachers need to leverage their own skills in it and foster the students’ interest in tech appropriately.
Technology alone won’t transform education overnight, but it can (and should) be your secret sauce to enriching the learning experience of students. The most important thing to remember: it’s just a tool, which, combined with a high level of an educator’s expertise and passion, can create excitement about learning and many opportunities for it.
Spring is just around the corner and with every warmer day our excitement grows! It’s time to shake off your kids’ winter chills and rejuvenate their daily lives. That means it’s time for some spring cleaning, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead, rejuvenate your house and toys with Robo Wunderkind and these 5 fun activities for you and your child - it’s a spring awakening!
In many primary schools, students spend their days moving from one subject to the next until the day is done. Seeking a more interdisciplinary way of teaching, STEM curriculums emphasize real-world solutions by teaching a combination of four disciplines - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Robotics will be a stepping-stone for building effective and engaging 21st century STEM lessons. But how can robots complement your STEM curriculum? To help answer this question, we have come up with 3 reasons why you should consider including robots when teaching STEM.
The team at Robo Wunderkind spent more days on the road than at home this January. Missing our friends and family while tweaking our backs on Airbnb couches, we traveled far and wide to the most famous tech and education trade shows with one main goal: preparing for our robot launch.
We’ve negotiated deals under the shadow of Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, been forced to google translate cockney accents in London, and were reconnected with lost childhood toys in Nurnberg. Come relive our experiences and learn with us in this recap blog post.
"I am absolutely mind-blown. I didn't think that this could be so much fun, not only for 5-year-olds but also for me." (Enoch P. - Visitor from Hong Kong)
"Building something with Lego Mindstorms was more of a hassle than something fun. But my 7-year-old would definitely enjoy easily programming his own robot with Robo Wunderkind" (Magdalena L. - distributor Poland and parent)
"This is the best robot for small kids I have seen so far" (Valentin M. - distributor)
“Robo Wunderkind can get my primary school students excited about robotics and coding. It’s actually the first robotics kit that’s perfect for my STEM courses and Marker Space programs” (Melissa M. - primary school teacher)
Trip 1, Las Vegas
The Consumer Electronic Show, or CES for short, is one of the largest trade shows focused on technology in the world and it’s held in no other place than the city of sins, Las Vegas. This year alone, around 177.000 visitors showed up from roughly 81% of the world’s countries, so it’s a great way to raise awareness and meet distributors.
Before any doubt creeps into your mind, let us be clear, going to CES is not a big party. It can be and some people treat it that way, but for the rest, it is 5 whole days of working on your feet until you can go home and drop into bed. Or Airbnb couch.
Trip 2, London
When we received a call from London asking about whether or not we were coming to the British Education and Training Technology (BETT) expo, how could we say no? With a short stop back home to gather new supplies, we shipped off with our Robot in tow. BETT was an incredible experience and the amount of love and support we received from the educators and school administrators there was astounding.
It’s the world’s leading education technology event and is so for good reason! Around 35.000 education experts visit the show and exchange knowledge on the changing educational environment. They talk about what is working well in the classroom, what technology can be used in different situations, and what the future of education looks like.
The halls are packed with some of the leading experts in education, each wanting a piece of our robotics kits. The special highlight of the event was the keynote presentation by Sir Ken Robinson (see “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” Answer: Not if they have our robots).
Trip 3, Nuremberg
Our last journey brought us the closest to home, to the Spielwarenmesse in Nürnberg. Imagine the world’s biggest toy store filled with the newest and trendiest toys all lying out to be played with, and you’ve arrived at the expo. Then imagine us, stuck at our stand, jealously glaring out at all the adults reliving their childhood going stand to stand to play with the coolest new toys.
Ok, we weren’t jealous at all because we were the luckiest of them all! We had countless retailers and toy experts come to us, all wanting to play with our fantastic robotics sets. Nothing takes the serious side of business away like playing together. Of course, contacts were made and business cards were exchanged, but most important to us is how our robots made people feel - and we saw a lot of smiling faces leave, wishing they had a robot to take with them.
Finally, back at home in Vienna, we have unpacked our bags and settled back into the office. The work hasn’t stopped, though, as there is still much to prepare before shipping this year.
Check out our video:
With the countdown almost over and Christmas just around the corner, we at Robo Wunderkind wanted to take some time and look back at our 7 favorite holiday projects we’ve come up with.
We hope Robo Wunderkind has made your holidays 24 times as fun and that our projects have inspired you to think of other ways to include Robo in your life. Now, let’s get started!
The Cookie Timer (module: LED)
Just like the smell of pine that comes from the Christmas tree, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the smell of cookies and gingerbread. Whether you like chocolate, icing, or your cookies natural, we can all agree that burnt cookies are the worst! Your Robo Wunderkind friend can help you never forget your cookies again. Just program the LED module to change color based on how much time is left. The best part is that Robo can also send you a notification to your phone, if you managed to ignore the red blinking color.
The Cat Guardian (modules: line follower, proximity sensor)
Pets and Christmas trees are not a good match, but especially dangerous to trees are curious cats. They like to bite on the electric cord of the lights, they bat with their paws low hanging ornaments, and sometimes, they even crawl up the tree! Good that you can program Robo Wunderkind to guard the Christmas tree with its line follower and proximity module. Assign an area to patrol just in front of the tree, by drawing a line on the floor. Once Robo detects someone in its proximity, it will sound a piercing alarm to send the cat scurrying!
The Snow Photographer (module: camera)
We love dreaming for a white Christmas, a blanket of snow makes the holidays just feel more magical. If you’re lucky and it’s snowing out, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family! Robo can be programmed to take HD pictures of the snow fall with the Camera module, so you can create a collection or a time-lapse. With the mobile app, it’s easy to email the pictures directly to your jealous family and friends. Don’t forget to dress up warm when you go outside.
The Robot Ornament (module: LED matrix)
A fully decorated Christmas tree really transforms the room into a beautiful holiday paradise with its lights, ornaments, and pine smell. Too bad you can’t have one in each room, right? Feeling the same, we came up with a project to turn your robot into a personal ornament. All you have to do is draw whatever you want, from hearts to stars and snowflakes on the LED matrix. Now you have your own personal Christmas ornament, and it can even play your favorite carol if you shake it!
The Dancing Twin Snowflakes (module: IR blaster)
We found inspiration for our day 16 project while watching snowflakes fall outside. Each one twirled and flipped as if marvelously dancing while floating to the ground. Inspired by their holiday dance, we thought Robo could make a great dancer too. We made things more intricate by adding a second robot since multiple robots can communicate together using the IR blaster module. After all, one robot is a fantastic educational toy but things really get creative when multiple robots are used at once.
The Fireman (module: meteo sensor)
Cats aren’t the only destructive force during the holidays, candles can be dangerous too! Left burning, they can potentially cause fires or even worse, burn all of the Christmas presents! Good that Robo Wunderkind has a meteo sensor that can track temperature and a light sensor module too. Just place Robo near any burning candles and program him to send you a notification if any flames start to grow.
The Santa Trap (module: motion sensor)
Our last favorite project comes from our childhood dreams of one day catching Santa Claus in the act on Christmas eve. No longer do we have to worry about falling asleep early and missing Santa, Robo is on the watch! Just program Robo to sound the alarm and send you a notification when the motion sensor picks up movement near the Christmas tree. Combined with the camera module, and you can even take a picture of old jolly Santa himself.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our holiday projects. Did we cover your favorite projects too? We at Robo Wunderkind wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Robots can be dynamic teachers. They help us reach milestones that would be unattainable without their strength, efficiency, and programmable intelligence. They also have the capacity to destroy things.
You are in charge of Robo Wunderkind's personality, and to help you choose, we have assembled some of our favourite robot teachers and the lessons they have taught us - Call it a little Robo Wunderkind inspiration!
Lesson 1: How to Identify and Stand Up to Danger
The Robot in Lost in Space showed us the protective and caring side to robotics. First aired in 1956 on the hit show Lost In Space, the Class M-3 Model B9 Robot supported the Robinson family after their ship crash-landed on the mysterious planet Priplanus . More affectionately known as "the Robot", it protected the curious and trouble-seeking Will Robinson on his galactic adventures in an unknown world. The Robot would warn his faithful companions of danger by sounding the alarm and announcing "DANGER, Will Robinson! DANGER!"
Feeling inspired, we talked with our young Robo fans and came up with some project ideas on how Robo could protect them from harm. One of the projects is a Robo Room Guardian who activates when an intruder triggers the motion detector and recording device, as they come into the room looking to steal any leftover Halloween candy. The thieves won’t be able to hide from the live stream, so be sure to save it!
Lesson 2: You Are Who You Choose to Be
Like Clark Kent, the robot from The Iron Giant crash-landed on earth and into our hearts from a faraway world on a mysterious mission. With the strength to rip apart the local town's power plant and to tear up railroad tracks, the robot was a potent death machine. Luckily for Hogarth, the young boy who finds and befriends the robot, a serious bump on the head during the crash-landing damages the robot's destructive programming. Left with no memory, the robot enjoys learning about what it means to be human and how a person (or robot) can overcome their programming and choose their own destiny.
The tearful conclusion resonates deeply with us (warning, this movie is a serious tear-jerker); it’s why we made it possible for you to decide what type of robot to build and program. You can read more about our story here, and always remember, “You are who you choose to be” (*Sob*, thank you Hogarth).
Lesson 3: Live Passionately
With the subtle twitch of an eye along with beeps, tones, and sighs, it’s easy to forget that WALL-E is a robot. From the movie WALL-E, there are almost too many things to love about him, such as his curiosity or determination. But what we find most amazing is his overwhelming passion for life. Whether it be cleaning up waste on earth, collecting beautiful artifacts, or pursuing his love, WALL-E commits to his tasks with a soulful honesty. Unlike the Iron Giant, who had to learn to overcome his programming, WALL-E simply is who he is and isn’t afraid to show it.
Although it might take us a couple more years before we can make a robot as expressive than WALL-E, our LED module helps your Robo smile, wink, and make any face or shape you can draw! See how it works here.
Now we’ve reached the end of our lesson, we hope you’ve enjoyed our favourite robot teachers as we have and are inspired to take and build upon what they’ve taught us. Just like them, we hope you stand up to danger, design the life you want, and do so passionately. It’s always easier with a Robo friend.