Published By: The Atlantic, 11/30/2016
A team of engineers from Harvard University have created a robot named Root, along with a multi-language coding environment to program it. Their goal is to provide a cost-effective learning tool that will teach people of all ages how to code.
Extended Discussion Questions
- The article quotes a professor from Tuft University who is concerned that a single robot cannot universally teach all age groups. How are the creators of Root attempting to overcome that issue?
- Think about what your elementary school taught you about computers and coding.
- How is Root different?
- Do you think if students in that school now had something like Root, more of them would end up taking a class like this in high school? Why or why not?
- The head of the project mentions that social and economic gaps can inhibit schools from introducing coding to students.
- How could Root, a relatively inexpensive teaching tool, help bridge the social and economic gap?
- In what ways might it still fall short? For example, what else do you need besides the robot? (Examples to aim at: Computers or tablets to program on, magnetic whiteboards, teachers trained in teaching programming; even $2000 a set can be too steep in some districts….)
Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework
Global Impact Learning Objectives:
- LO 7.2.1 Explain how computing has impacted innovations in other fields.
- LO 7.4.1 Explain the connections between computing and real-world contexts, including economic, social, and cultural contexts.
Global Impact Essential Knowledge:
- EK 7.4.1D Groups and individuals are affected by the “digital divide” — differing access to computing and the Internet based on socioeconomic or geographic characteristics.
Other CSP Big Ideas:
- Idea 1 Creativity
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