Michael: Teacher Observations 7/19/12

On Thursday I met with the teachers from 11am-12:30pm to help answer some of their questions about the Scribbler.

Observations:  We started off by seeing how much they knew and what they were working on with the scribbler. One of the teachers had written a module to turn the Scribbler a given amount of degrees.  The teachers expressed a concern that the Myro toolkit was way too complicated for the kids to use, so I explained to them that they could create a new, simpler toolkit.  I told them that all they would have to do is write very simple functions using the Myro functions, but simplifying them (by only having 1 parameter) for the children. For example, by using the forward() function from the Myro toolkit, they could create a new walk() function where the kids input the distance they want to robot to go instead of having to calculate the speed and time. They hadn’t really thought of this before and were excited to begin working. Then we open the new robot and tried to upgrade it so it could be used. After an hour of trying to upgrade the robot from their computers (Both Apple computers running Calico), I had to upgrade it from my own computer. This seems like a very important issue that needs to be addressed before the robots are given to students in CSCI 101.