Group working with Roamer
Most Roamer Activities assume that the class is split into groups of between 4 and 6 students. Each group has a Roamer and appropriate accessories. In this scenario the teacher can work on the same activity with the whole class and the groups are small enough that everyone has the opportunity to be active learners and program Roamer.
A place to play and explore with Roamer
Some teachers have created a Roamer corner in the classroom. This is where Roamer lives and children go to play with her. The approach is prevalent in Early Years and occasionally with slightly older students. You can do a lot of activities with one or two Roamers and limited accessories.
Class Activities with one Roamer…
There are many ways of using one Roamer to provide a whole class with an exceptional educational experience.
In the Robot Rally Race Activity the whole class observe Roamer speed tests. Each student uses that data to calculate the fastest route. There results are collated and then Roamer is used to test each solution. This Activity only requires one robot.
Roaming in big spaces…
Using Roamer in big spaces presents an important development scenario. This embodied cognitive experience puts the students into the problem. They decentre and looking at the world from the robots perspective. Its what Seymour Papert called playing Turtle. Initially he thought this was valuable for young students. Later he realised “What is good for thinking is good for thing, irrespective of age”.
Roamer is an ideal inspiration in projects
A characteristic of projects is the diversity of activities involved. Although Roamer may inspire the project, or be a key ingredient, it is only part of the task. Sometimes a project may require specialist rooms like the art and craft room, or the tech workshop. There is also the possibility of “time sharing” the resources.
In the Robotic Performing Arts Project, involved the students in art, design technology, mathematics, video shoots and video editing. Exactly how you would organise this depends on your school set up. Although this takes a deal of effort, the value of project is hard to resist.
Roamer helps to revise, consolidate and inspire
A number of workstations are set up. Students work in groups and take it in turns, going from one workstation to another. .
One way to use this approach is choose activities for the workstations that deal with the main topics you have taught in recent weeks. It presents students with an exciting way of consolidating what they have learnt and gives you the opportunity to assess the strength of their understanding. Others have used it in After School clubs and other informal learning situations.
Time for special attention
Situations arise where students who will benefit from personal attention. Special Education is one example. Situations arise in mainstream education where using Roamer to demonstrate a concept or walking a student step-by-step through particular idea can prove effective. This way of using Roamer also applies to work with any student who is struggling to grasp an idea. It does not matter if they are the brightest student in the class, if a practical activity will help them understand something then it serves its purpose.
Roamer’s modularity equals adaptability
While most teachers would prefer to have a their robots in their classroom, with a little planning you can share the resources throughout the school. Roamer can be an “pet” in an Early Year’s classroom in the morning teaching students how to read and spell. In the afternoon it can be introducing older students to algebra or negative number arithmetic. Roamer’s modularity makes this transformation quick and simple.