Dave Catlin and Dr John Woollard of Southampton University wrote a paper on Educational Robots and Computational for the conference TRTWR & RIE 2014, Padua, Italy. This conference brought together two educational research groups: Teaching Robotics and the Teaching with Robotics and Robotics in Education. This is a version of the presentation of the paper delivered by Dave Catlin on the 18th of July.
In 1969 Seymour Papert developed the idea of Logo programming and Turtle robots. His thesis was that people learn according to the mental models available to them. He envisioned the potential of the computer to make students active learners, constructors of their own knowledge through the process of programming. The floor Turtles are devices the students can program and use to explore ideas and the world around them. The Logo approach was not simply writing code, it was about developing a student’s thinking skills, problem solving and other sustainable learning traits. A 2006 seminal paper by Jeannette Wing prompted renewed interest in what is now called computational thinking. This paper examines this new perspective and how they relate to the theory and practical use of Turtle type educational robots.