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Roamer can help early learners with basics like reading, spelling and arithmetic.  I can help adolescents appreciate the size of the solar system; learn a foreign language or the foundations of calculus and algebra.  It is not just the the subject matter it can support, but the nature of the learning environment it creates and the attitude it fosters amongst the students.  The best way to understand how Roamer works is to look at the practical ways teachers used its predecessors since 1983 and the innovations that new Roamer offers.

GOGO Magazine: Stories about using Roamer.
  Tumblr: Online Picture Stories of school projects.
podcastPodcast: Videos and Slide Shows of Roamer Projects.
  Valiant TVValiant TV: Various Roamer Videos
 Valiant User videosVideos posted by Roamer Users
[wptabs mode=”horizontal” style=”wpui-blue”] [wptabtitle]Early Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Listening and Comprehension

The Roamer sings the nursery rhyme Incy Wincy Spider – but it has got it mixed up.  The students need to teach Roamer how to sing the activity in the right order.

This sort of sequencing activity is a standard in Early Years classrooms where students rearrange pictures representing parts of the rhyme into the correct order. Using Roamer adds feedback. It makes the activity both concrete and interactive. This activity provides students with a kinaesthetic, visual, auditory and spatial experience.

  Incy Wincy Spider Video

Roamer Exemplar Activities  Incy Wincy Spider Activity

Students and Teachers can create different characters for Roamer. This helps contextualise activities.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]5 to 7 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Playing Turtle and Objects to Think With

When Seymour Papert invented Turtle robots he was connecting the idea of memesis to modern technology.  This ancient Aristotliean concept of mimicry is at the heart of play.  Children project their imagination into the world around them.   Things as simple as a piece of wood can become a creature with fantastic powers.

With the conception of the Turtle Papert transformed the piece of wood into a thing that students could bring to life, to make move and turn.  In this one act he created a tool that linked their imagination and creativity, their play to the worlds of mathematics and science.  It is what psychologists call a transitional object: what Papert called an ‘Object to Think With”.

The idea of playing Turtle, is about leaving behind our egocentric nature and looking at the world from the Roamer’s viewpoint.  They can walk through problems and explore ideas using their bodies.

  Pirates Ahoy! by headteacher David Taylor.

 

  A map for Roamer by the Children of St Aiden’s School

Research shows that student learn more about space and geometry when their experience encompasses more than their desktop, a piece of paper or a computer screen.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]7  to 9 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

They said they were afraid of failing, afraid of being kept back, afraid of being called stupid, afraid of feeling themselves stupid.

John Holt
Why do children fail?

Students need to feel the freedom and confidence to explore the world of ideas.  They need to be free of the tryanny of one right answer. Roamer provides an environment where mistakes are a springboard to a solution not a catastrophe; often there is not simply a single answer, but a answer, that perhaps we can improve on in a quest for a better solution.

 

Roamer Exemplar Activities

Roamer helps us to teach the  curriculum, where students take the lead driven by their natural curosity. The teacher is the guide, making sure they ask the right questions, ensuring they do not go to far astray, making sure they look for answers in the right places.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]9 to 11 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]11 to 13 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
At this age typical activities rely less on intuitive and visual solving of problems.  Students can use their knowledge to find solutions.  Through practical Roamer activities they can develop and master important skills.The Robot Rally Race requires students to perform experiments to determine the robots speed and to engage with various statistical calculations.  Involvement and motivation in the activity outcome transfers to the mathematics making the tasks meaningful to the students.

 Students enaging in the Robot Rally Race at a conference in Malta.
 Roamer Exemplar Activities Robot Rally Race Activity.

Visitors to the Museum of Science in Boston engage in the Robot Rally Race. These students solve the problems through experimentation: trial and improvement. This paradigm starts to change in the early teens. Roamer becomes a tool to test out calculations and ideas.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]13 to 15 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]15 to 18 Years[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Roamer is not Just for Young Children!

The Spacecraft Rescue project has worked with gifted mathematic students and trainee teachers.

The Turtle [Roamer] started because I wanted to find something that could be picked up by very young children. Now I think of it as something that is as valuable for people of any age as for the very young childten. And again that is a general principle. What is good for thinking is good for thinking, whether you are a 5 year old or a sophisticated scientist.

Seymour Papert
Founder of Logo and Educational Robotics

  Spacecraft Rescue story in pictures.
 Roamer Exemplar Activities Spacecraft Rescue example activity.

Many Roamer activities, particularly those for older students, involve working on formal subsidary problems. Roamer provides a trigger and a focus for practical and intuitive use of key curriculum ideas.  These authentic activities make knowledge meaningful and help students see the connections between different ideas.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Special Education[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
Turtle type robots have always had a special affinity with Special Educational Needs (SEN).  Teachers quickly siezed on both the Turtle and Roamer as ideal technologies for SEN.  The idea that students needed to interact with robots in more ways than programming was inspired by a Special Needs Project. and lead to the development of the latest Roamer.All the old Turtle and Roamer SEN Projects are still valid.  You can expect to see a lot more exciting ideas and in the near future.

 GO Archives: Search for SEN (Special Educational Needs)

       The Roamer: Readapting Students with Crainial Trauma

       Roamer and Autistic Students at the Mayo Clinic.

Controlling Roamer through hand gestures

Roamer Powers Cosmbot. Here we make the it move by hand gestures, part of the extensive research Valiant and her partners are conducting into the use of educational robots and special education.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Home Schooling[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] …
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]After School Projects[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
Afterschool programmes vary in intent from homework and science clubs, to activity clubs designed to look after students until parents finish work. Sometimes they are formal schemes run by companies and sometimes by dedicated members of staff.  Normally students arrive at such events, tired of a days schooling and not really wanting more of the same.Roamer projects are diverse and creative enough to provide enjoyable opportunities that involve students of all ablities and interests.

This is the best project we have ever done.
Student Sydenham School

 Robotic Performing Arts Project

 Sydenham School After School Club

 

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Remedial Classes[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Gifted and Talented[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Special Events[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
Frequently, there are times in a school and out of school where you want to do something out of the ordinary.  Roamer has an excellent track record at supporting such events. A great characteristic of the robot is that kids love playing with it.  Consequently such events have the habit of enthusing everyone involved.  Building such events into your school programme can be done in a way that lifts the spirits of students and staff, and creates an energy that spills over into everyday lessons.    Roamer Exemplar Activities

 

 

The Olympic provides a framework for engaging students in a wide range of intellectual challenges.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Museums[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Summer Camps[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
Roamer has a lot to offer summer camps.  Roamer attracts students.   This is essential in situations where attendance is not compulsory.  And while STEM work is a major attribute of many Roamer Activities and inherent to the nature of the robot, summer camps offer the opportunity to focus on different experiences.  Free from constraints of curriculum and test present the opportunity for exploring knowledge in both an holistic and personal way.

 

 

 

In the Squaxin Project the tribal community centre offered students the opportunity to use Roamers. Initially, tribal Elders thought the project was simply curriculum, but as the summer went on, they began to realise that Roamer was a tool connecting students with their culture. Students began asking questions about traditional crafts, tribal dances and music and about the great canoe journey. Roamer had become a tool of culture.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Libraries[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Museums[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]…[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Home Users[/wptabtitle]

Learning Through Play

Using Roamer is both natural and enjoyable.

My 7 year old son was given a Roamer for Christmas. It was an inspired gift- he likes Maths anyway, but he found the Roamer really challenging and fun. And it kept him and his cousin quiet for the whole morning as they invented obstacle courses for each other to negotiate. I had minimal input- which is how I like it… Once the basic programming idea was explained, he seemed to understand intuitively what to do – the fact that he seemed to be learning  about degrees of rotation, and performing quite complicated calculations  was an added bonus.

Tamsin

 

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