SLurtles Introduction, Orientation and Constructing

Author: Dr Carina Girvan , Mr Adam Speight
Summary of the Activity Plan

This activity introduces students to SLurtles (robot), Scratch for OpenSim (programming tool) and the virtual world (Slurtle World), familiarising them with the technology through guided discovery. Following open exploration of the virtual world and SLurtles to familiarise students with basic controls, students engage in a series of short directed tasks which progressively develop into more open ended activities to develop their familiarity with using and controlling SLurtles by programming them. These activities are based on existing mathematical knowledge (properties of shapes) and provide an opportunity to explore the programming environment.

Type of Activity: Workshop Curriculum Aligned: Fully aligned
Subject:
  • Information Technology
  • Maths
Curriculum and Country: Computing/ICT Wales
Language: English
Domains
Science: 0
Business: 0
Technology: 10
Engineering: 0
Mathematics: 3
Arts: 0
Societal Issues: 0
Life Skills: 0
OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS

Subject Related:

- Moving between multiple applications

- Communicating and collaborating online

- Be able to use loops effectively in programmes

- Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems

Skills Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim)
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Teamwork
  • Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Reflection for learning.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    ARTIFACTS

    Digital artifacts: Programming interface - Scratch for OpenSim. Virtual world – SLurtle World (internal access only) Robot – SLurtles (cuboids) Sways to document learning

    Robotic artifacts: Programming interface - Scratch for OpenSim. Virtual world – SLurtle World (internal access only) Robot – SLurtles (cuboids) Sways to document learning

    WHO? WHERE? HOW LONG?

    Gender: both

    Age Group: 13 - 14 Years

    Class Size: large

    (Ideal) Group Size: 2

    (Ideal) Grouping Suggestions: gender,ability

    Special needs and abilities:

    Environment: indoor

    Style of room: Computer lab

    Sessions: 5

    Session Duration: 1 h 40

    Total Duration: 8 h 20

    INTERACTIONS

    Actions:

    • Exchange ideas
    • Dialogue

    Relationships:

    • Collaborative

    Roles in the group:

    • Emergent roles

    Support by the tutor(s):

    • Monitor
    • Facilitate
    TECHNOLOGY
    Technology Used:
    • Dash & Dot
    • Robotic Dreams
    • MOSS
    • LEGO Mindstorms

    Price per Kit: No Cost

    Technology Needed: Computers

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    Teaching Methods:

  • Guided discovery and peer-teaching.
  • Direct instruction, guided discovery and peer-teaching.
  • Research
  • Demonstration, exploration, structured tasks and peer-teaching.
  • Structured tasks, facilitation and peer-teaching.
  • HOW TO
    PHASE 1-ΙNTRODUCTION TO THE VIRTUAL WOLRD
    Description: Orchestration: At the start of the lesson, the whole class is introduced to the virtual world before individually deciding on the name and password for their avatar. Students begin to explore the virtual world individually. Description: Children are introduced to the virtual world and provided with an opportunity to name and create a password for their avatar. Students then log into the virtual world for the first time and are given the opportunity to freely explore or following a path around the island with guided orientation activities.
    Duration: 50 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Exploration
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods: Guided discovery and peer-teaching.
    Subject Related: Moving between multiple applications , Communicating and collaborating online , Be able to use loops effectively in programmes , Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it. , Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim) , Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world. , Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems. , Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem. , Reflection for learning.
    PHASE 2-EXPLORING THE VIRTUAL WORLD AND CUSTOMISING AN AVATAR
    Description: Summary (Description): Students continue their exploration of the virtual world and start to experiment with the capabilities of their avatar and the virtual world programme. The teacher demonstrates how to customize an avatar and how to take screenshots. Students take screenshots of places they have found in the virtual world.
    Duration: 100 minutes
    Type: Evaluation , Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods: Direct instruction, guided discovery and peer-teaching.
    Subject Related: Moving between multiple applications , Communicating and collaborating online , Be able to use loops effectively in programmes , Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it. , Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim) , Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world. , Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems. , Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem. , Reflection for learning.
    PHASE 3-REFLECTION AND EVIDENCING LEARNING
    Description: Students are introduced to the Sway where they will be documenting their learning. The Sway also contains videos to support learners through future activities. Following a short whole-class discussion, students complete independent research and write in the Sways about what a virtual world is. Students include screenshots from the virtual world to demonstrate how they customized their avatar and interesting places they found in the virtual world, along with a brief description.
    Duration: 50 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Reflection , Evaluation
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods: Research
    Subject Related: Moving between multiple applications , Communicating and collaborating online , Be able to use loops effectively in programmes , Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it. , Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim) , Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world. , Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems. , Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem. , Reflection for learning.
    PHASE 4- INTRODUCTION TO SLURTLES – SANDBOXING AND SQUARES
    Description: Students are introduced to SLurtles and Scratch for OpenSim (S4OS) and given a series of simple directed tasks to gain familiarity with the tools and switching between programmes – programme the SLurtle to move, draw a line, draw a multi-coloured line. Students are then given one lesson to freely explore what they can create by programming the SLurtle. Following this, students are given the challenge to programme the SLurtle to draw a square. Extension problems: 1) Explain why there is a gap at each of the external corners of the square. 2) Programme the SLurtle to draw a square without these gaps. 3) What’s the minimum number of lines that this your programme could be written in? Students are introduced to loops and as a whole-class discuss how their programme could be shortened by using a loop. Throughout the first three lessons, students are encouraged to take screenshots of their constructions and programmes ready to add to their Sway in the fourth lesson. In this lesson they document what they have created and what they have learned.
    Duration: 200 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Exploration , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: Demonstration, exploration, structured tasks and peer-teaching.
    Subject Related: Moving between multiple applications , Communicating and collaborating online , Be able to use loops effectively in programmes , Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it. , Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim) , Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world. , Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems. , Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem. , Reflection for learning.
    PHASE 5-SLURTLE CHALLENGES
    Description: In their allocated pairs (not normally sat together), students complete a series of mathematical problems based around 2D and 3D shapes with increasing complexity. Students are reminded about how to use the communication tools and how to communicate effectively in world. Throughout they record success and failure using screenshots and document this with explanations in their Sway books.
    Duration: 100 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods: Structured tasks, facilitation and peer-teaching.
    Subject Related: Moving between multiple applications , Communicating and collaborating online , Be able to use loops effectively in programmes , Use knowledge of the properties of shapes to solve problems
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of what a virtual world is, how to move and interact within it. , Programming with a graphical environment (Scratch for OpenSim) , Develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively with others in a virtual world. , Application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems. , Awareness that there are multiple ways to solve a given problem. , Reflection for learning.
    ASSESSMENTS

    PHASE 3-REFLECTION AND EVIDENCING LEARNING: Students are introduced to the Sway where they will be documenting their learning. The Sway also contains videos to support learners through future activities. Following a short whole-class discussion, students complete independent research and write in the Sways about what a virtual world is. Students include screenshots from the virtual world to demonstrate how they customized their avatar and interesting places they found in the virtual world, along with a brief description.

    PHASE 4- INTRODUCTION TO SLURTLES – SANDBOXING AND SQUARES: Students are introduced to SLurtles and Scratch for OpenSim (S4OS) and given a series of simple directed tasks to gain familiarity with the tools and switching between programmes – programme the SLurtle to move, draw a line, draw a multi-coloured line. Students are then given one lesson to freely explore what they can create by programming the SLurtle. Following this, students are given the challenge to programme the SLurtle to draw a square. Extension problems: 1) Explain why there is a gap at each of the external corners of the square. 2) Programme the SLurtle to draw a square without these gaps. 3) What’s the minimum number of lines that this your programme could be written in? Students are introduced to loops and as a whole-class discuss how their programme could be shortened by using a loop. Throughout the first three lessons, students are encouraged to take screenshots of their constructions and programmes ready to add to their Sway in the fourth lesson. In this lesson they document what they have created and what they have learned.

    PHASE 5-SLURTLE CHALLENGES: In their allocated pairs (not normally sat together), students complete a series of mathematical problems based around 2D and 3D shapes with increasing complexity. Students are reminded about how to use the communication tools and how to communicate effectively in world. Throughout they record success and failure using screenshots and document this with explanations in their Sway books.

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