This robot will be a basic robot that can be built in less than 30 minutes, preferably 20 minutes the average 10-12 year olds. I haven’t come up with a design yet, this will be one of the first workshops I create next year. The robot will have a pen attached and will be like a turtle program (anyone remember those?). This robot will be used to explore ideas such as geometry, algebra and fractions. Non technical skills include art, team work and communication. The robot will draw pictures on a very large piece of paper. I’ve got some cool ideas for this workshop and maybe a social media page, which takes me too the next topic:
With this turtle robot people can tweet pictures of their art work creations. There could be a page under the workshop dedicated to picking up the twitter feeds with the hashtag and having a dynamic collage of images. There could also be an upload section to the site which could generate a tweet. Anyone posting would have to agree with the general openess of the idea.
a large group activity with everyone’s robot doing a mexican wave. Lots of algebra involved. I have a whole lesson plan already in my head around this idea. I’ll develop it soon.
The content on my tutoring page, workshop ideas the tech based education tool that I want to create will all be creative commons. My brand and image belong to me (Samantha Connelly). It’s something I’m quite protective and fond of.
I feel like I would need to expand my definition of content, I want to try and be as open as I possibly can. You can even have the code of my website, all you have to do is ask. So I want to share all of my content for free. HOWEVER, I need to make money so my brand is there for that part of my life.
The website/content idea has taken over the robotics Road Trip idea.
First of all let me tell you about how this idea started. It started as me wanting to take robotics workshops all around Australia so I could travel to see what was in my own backyard and I could say I was doing something substantial along side it. This was something I thought I could do as a volunteering holiday for a year under Robogals. maybe call it the Great Australian Robogals Roadtrip (GARR for short ^_^). Then it involved maybe creating content and workshops along side it. Now it has become more about the free creative commons education resource that I want to create.
There are many great free online resources out there for learning. Dr Graeme Robotics Tutorials, khanacademy and codecademy are just to name a few. My biggest concern is they all are protected by copyright. I’m fortunate enough to live in the same state as Dr Graeme and he has offered my some advice in this area. However there is a video on his site I use quite a fair bit and would love to update but I don’t want it to be copy righted. A quick search for creative commons educational resources yields ample of results. I haven’t found something that reflects what I want to do yet though.
Now this brings me back to what I want to do. I want to make an online resource where I can publish robotics workshops/lessons and technology based workshops/lessons for both teachers and students. I want the content released under a creative commons license and I want people to be able to modify my content and to be able to create their own. I would also release lesson plans along side under creative commons as well. I could start off as just a youtube channel/ open education wiki media content and see if it takes off from there.
One of the ways I could make money out of this idea is to say to schools, “Hey, look at this awesome resource I’ve created that you can access for free, you can pay me to come to your school with all of the required hardware to run a workshop/taster/career talk or you can donate so I can take workshops to remote areas in Australia” or maybe I could get into the consultation/teacher training space to generate income.
I’ve been volunteering for Robogals for a few years now and I think what they are doing is great. We definitely need more females in Engineering and Technology professions. If only to create more diverse teams that come up with better solutions and are more innovative (there are a few studies to support this statement, I’ll dig them up later). As I changed from an Engineering course to a Computer Science course I saw a similar issue in IT. This has changed my focus to promoting Engineering and Technology.
As I’m still in the ideas phase I don’t really have much content yet. I’m hoping to spend the first 6 months next year focusing in this area. I’m happy to let anyone else take reign of the website component (or even the idea completely) as long as people stay true to the vision of general openness and open education. Maybe I should have a vision statement?
Another thing I have to figure out is how to make is sustainable. I’m willing to put at least the next 3 years of my life into this project and I need to be able to put food on the table from it. I like the donation-esk idea but it comes back to the issue of running it as a for profit or a non-for profit. I don’t think for-profits can ask for donations but non-for profits can’t really access the option of crowd funding. I would like to run it as a hybrid of the two (for profit enough to pay for my food but all of the extra profits will be going into rural initiatives and expanding the idea) but I think the law requires me to label myself with one or try to manage a mash up of the two.
Thank you for staying with me on such a long post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.