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Ni Hao? Appealing little robots talk, dance and march to students’ code

The Brainary, distributors of those appealing little red and blue NAO robots that engage teachers at education events, now conduct professional development training on how to use robots to deliver engaging lessons that meet key requirements of the digital technologies curriculum. With a focus on STEAM, these lessons combine hard-skills in technology with equally important soft-skills learned in the humanities.

NAO is a 58cm tall, autonomous and fully programmable robot that can walk, talk, listen, and even recognise faces. The platform is flexible and open-ended so that, after the basics have been learned, the programming possibilities are almost endless. NAO also comes with the intuitive ‘Chorégraphe’ software which includes a virtual robot to enable coding to be developed in advance by each student before testing it on a NAO in class and adjusting their programming.

Jonathan Kingsley, Education Consultant with the Brainary, says that their training modules are delivered on site* to provide teachers with the skills and tools to teach highly engaging programming lessons that emphasise cross-curricular applications for robotics. Training is tailored to suit teachers with little or no programming experience through to those with considerable knowledge.

Some of his STEAM favourites include:

Mathematics – Use NAO to program coordinates, for instance, to walk in a square, triangle or circle, or to walk along an X and Y axis to finish at a certain angle. Or use NAO’s 25 degrees of freedom to program the robot to dance.

Humanities – Combine the English Classics and ICT to program NAO re-enact famous debates, speak at assemblies, and perform as a character in a school play, or create student-led projects that explore how robots can be programmed to help people in society.

LOTE – NAO currently speaks 19 different languages and several Australian schools have used NAO in interactive language classes where students program conversation, including an indigenous language in one South Australian school. Use NAO’s speech recognition to initiate a conversation by asking a question or have students initiate a conversation by asking NAO a question.

http://www.brainaryinteractive.com/steam-teacher-training-and-pd/

*Travel costs may apply depending on the school's location.


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