The Educational Process
We saw the value of working with Fable in the processes the learners follow.
Some of the students found it cool to get immediate feedback, while others found it rewarding to act in the roles of “product owners” and developers.
Most of them also liked the learning strategy “trial and error”, where the understanding of true and false gave students the motivation to keep trying and not give up. The students were challenged in troubleshooting, planning, execution and collaboration.
As Olivia says about her students:
“I find that some of the students who sometimes can’t sit still for more than 10 seconds suddenly sit concentrated for 2 hours, without taking breaks even if there is a break. It’s pretty crazy what it can do to have a job you want the robot to do and want it to succeed. I also find that those who usually work together would like to work separately, as they know they usually disturb each other, and here would like extra focus. And it’s not just something I say, it’s what I experience. ”
Our didactic expert, Jacob Kiellberg, visited School of Slotsvænget where he held a workshop with Magnus Pedersen:
“Doing what we usually do was put to shame the day Jacob Kiellberg from Shape Robotics came, partly because he presented the students with something new and potentially difficult in a warm and vibrant way. Moreover, he is helped by a charming and functional robot. In addition to Jacob’s straightforward approach, Fable robot’s design made it very easy for the kids to get started with building something that worked. Something as simple as being able to assemble a robot makes the process of learning fun and playful, instead of something you should be nervous about or even afraid of. “
Magnus continues: “In the work of programming it is important to set the mindset that we actively choose to work with trial and error, and to be able to fail and not see it as a failure, but an opportunity to change and test again. This is unusual for many children, which is why the instant feedback in coding is really valuable. ”
What we observed when visiting these schools was how well these learners worked together. The children are often forced to cooperate when working with Fable, and the robot becomes a kind of common third. We observed that they could not stop sharing knowledge, and “peer to peer” came into play.
During our visit to the schools, we found that the students were very open to challenges and needed less help from the teachers, after the experience they had with Fable.
As Magnus says:
“The students were challenged to come up with problems that could be solved with robots, both in general, but also specific tasks where Fable is shown as a solution. Based on the examples available on Shape Robotics’ website, on Youtube and Workbench, students can easily see through functions and possibilities in the various builds of the robot and last but not least how to link programming with hardware. My students built a trash-robot that could find a trash can, cars that could find obstacles and a robot that could sort M&M’s by color. If they are not the future workforce, then I don’t know what else to call them!“
Playful learning is an approach all children can benefit from, when working with STEAM subjects. The teacher Magnus explains how the construction of the hardware combined with the software gives the students a playful learning environment that enhances the work with technology.
“Technology as a subject can be supported with methods and subjects, but also with hardware and the right approach to research. With Fable robot, Shape Robotics has developed a hardware product that supports a playful and investigative approach to technology. The “lego-like” construction method helps the students dare to experiment, making meaningless mistakes, as everything can be changed in an instant and without consequences. The same goes for the Blockly programming interface.
There is a schism in how to make the best education for “my” kids. They usually work best in familiar settings, with adults they are comfortable around and clearly defined tasks. At the same time, they must be able to be curious and investigative, be able to define a problem themselves and be part of group work and develop their own solutions. ”