RIPLEY, Ohio —As technology continues to rapidly evolve, many schools are also taking steps to engage students with the new avenues it provides.
RULH Elementary School, with the collaboration of the DriveMind Group from North Canton, Ohio, will soon provide a new layer to technology education to its students. This layer, involves 15 little robots.
Mary Sonner, technology teacher at RULH, said she plans to use the humanoid robots, called the JD Humanoid, to educate her fourth grade class on the use and application of computer programming. Sonner said her students are very receptive to their education technology, and can use a basic programming language like Blockly.
With the JD Humanoids, students can program the robots through a program called EZ Builder, in order for them to preform actions.
“It’s a software where the kids write a program and implement it to their robot,” Sonner said.
With EZ Builder, students can view their written code in action in real time, among other functions. Sonner said the goal is to further connect the implications written computer code can have on physical hardware.
RULH Elementary School came into contact with the DriveMind Group back in 2017 during the Ohio Educational Technology Conference, according to Sonner, where the school had won a JD Humanoid model robot from the group. Through that initial meeting, the school and the DriveMind Group began their collaboration towards integrating the robots into the school’s curriculum.
According to DriveMind’s social media, it is an organization created to accelerate change in the markets of education and business.
Since that meeting, Sonner said the school purchased the 15 JD Humanoid robots which will be used for her classes. The DriveMind Group will participate periodically with Sonner’s class, both providing curriculum as well as training Sonner and her students.
While she said the robots have yet to be used in her technology classes as the time to implement them hasn’t arrived yet, she is very hopeful for the new dimension that utilizing the JD Humanoid robots will provide to her students in understanding the relationship between software and hardware.
“I hope to introduce them in the first nine weeks with my fourth grade class,” Sonner said.