This learning introduces students to the idea of ordering information clearly so that it can be followed to achieve a solution or goal accurately; a simple construction using children’s construction toys. The clear identification of steps and correct sequencing of steps is the basis of computational thinking. Through these learning experiences, students will discover that inaccuracies in communicating or ordering steps can lead to problems in the process of achieving the solution or goal. These inaccuracies are useful discussion points throughout the lesson to help students segment and sequence steps clearly and communicate accurately.
Guided investigation – Teacher Robot
- Use a series of visual images which show the steps for the construction of a simple toy, such as a Lego figure/artifact or a mobile. Project each of these images on a PowerPoint behind the teacher, so that students can refer to it and explain to the teacher what the teacher needs to be doing to create the product. Emphasise to students that the Teacher Robot is unable to look at the images or to think for itself, so the information the students give is the only thing the Teacher Robot can do. One student will need to operate the PowerPoint as each new image is completed.
- Teacher acts as Teacher Robot and without looking at the screen, follows the students’ instructions to construct the product. Teacher follows what students say exactly to highlight the need for accuracy.
- What helped the Teacher Robot do what was needed?
- Why did the Teacher Robot fail sometimes?
- What did we do to fix the failures of the Teacher Robot?
Review the robot instruction process, reiterating that the Teacher Robot can’t think for itself, so that means the person giving the instructions must be clear and accurate. If mistakes happen, the robot can’t fix it, but the instructor can.