Introduction: Teaching Robotics Remotely

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, moving a classroom to online platforms has been uncharted territory. Even more when the topic is related to extracurricular activities such as robotics; where the practical skill of building and experimenting in first-person is key in the process of learning.

While the concept of e-learning may be uncertain and overwhelming, this crisis brings momentum to re-imagine the potential of project-based learning opportunities. It is a fact that all of a sudden life changed for all of us and our reality is being shaped by the circumstances. As a teacher, I want to share, a glance at how I manage to bring my class to home.

In order to give you an understanding of what it was versus what it is right now, I attached some pictures.

Step 1: Home Office Setup.

Finding a dedicated office space requires some creativity when there is room shortage. One of the biggest challenges has been the change from a huge workspace with all the needed tools and materials, to a cozy-minimal-intimate space.

Step 2: Let’s Go Online.

There are plenty of points to take into account when swapping from an offline into an online study environment. Adapt all my groups of students (9 to 16 years old) to this new dynamic has been a challenge, not only for me but also for them and their parents. I try hard to keep them motivated and feeling confident in this situation. Observing them adapting and giving their best to work from home makes me feel thoroughly inspired.

Step 3: Re-structure the Lessons.

I wanted to carry on working exactly where we left before the lock down, so I had to reorganise all the activities previously planned. These new activities have been possible thanks to online platforms, such as Tinkercad. Which is an immense asset to both me and my students.

Additionally, as another strategy, I developed a “dog-bot” pet for the youngest and it has been a tremendous help to maintain the interaction and engagement with them.

Step 4: Playing a Routing.

Even though I have no other place to be, I still set my alarm as usual and have my first cup of coffee; trying to preserve my routine as much as I can. PS: I’ve been missing my morning jogging quite a lot.

As an example, I made a plan for 90-minute blocks of work in which I don't allow myself to do anything else but one specific task and only after that period I can take my break, stretch, and relax my mind.

Certainly, it hasn’t been trivial learning how to take myself out of work-mode at the end of the day but I guess that will be a matter of time.

Step 5: "Always Look at the Bright Side of Life"

Setting aside all the struggles and back pain, I have things working from home which I adore and enjoy quite a lot. Such as being barefoot all day long, having as much coffee as I feel like, working with a face mask on if I want to, and having homemade lunch every day.

Work From Home Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Work From Home Speed Challenge