Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tight robotics class

In teaching my second 10-week section of Lego robotics with Logo using MicroWorlds I've started out in a much tighter format than last trimester with this new group of 7th graders. I'm building their basic robots for them (currently a fan, not pictured; that's an old one, student-designed) rather than letting them design and build their own, which is really not the way I think it should be--the class should be about problems in the design and construction of the robot as well as the creating of their programs, and really how these two things affect each other.

Why am I doing it the "wrong" way? My class meets once a week for 45 minutes, well 42 minutes, which includes setup and clean up time. That's a rediculously small amount of time for messy experimentation. Given that my highest priority is that they get to learn as much as possible about programming, which gets messy enough as it is, I need to take some of the building problems out of the equation.

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