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Productivity Tools Projects

Productivity tools are systems that help children engage in designing and creating things on screen or the physical world, or both. The Robotics Project Management Tool was created by me as a project management and project repository kit for students engaged in building their own robotic constructions. I envisioned a tool that can guide students through the necessary steps of designing, building, and testing a robot. In many ways this type of tool promotes student independence and self-work by providing the type of guidance that otherwise would be done by a teacher. In addition, it helps students record their projects, follow their own progress through time, and learn from other students’ projects and experiences.

Productivity tools are available as an application or a web-based application and serve different purposes. Typically they provide a workbench full of tools for the novice practitioner. Several applications fit these characteristics, but one that most of us are familiar with is a word processor. Word processors have a collection of tools that children can use to write and author their literary creations. MicroWorlds is another such tool. It provides a collection of multimedia tools that children can use to create their multimedia productions. The Robotics Project Management Tool contains tools for designing a robot, for creating blueprints from the design, for programming the robot, for testing the robot, for recording ones creations, and for comparing to other robots and learning from them. Web-based productivity tools are growing in number as the web assumes a central role in our lives. An excellent web-based productivity tool is MOOSE Crossing—a multi-person, text based virtual world in which children interact with one another by collaboratively constructing virtual worlds. MOOSE Crossing contains a scripting language called MOOSE that helps children make their creations. It also has a repository function which allows students to store their projects and have them inspected by other users.

The Robotics Project Management Tool

The Robotics Project Management Tool

Advanced Robotics at Napa Elementary School