Beverley Smalley, teacher and education specialist at Hope Education, explains what this small but feature-packed robot has to offer your pupils…
E.a.R.L. 2 is our brand new and improved robot! He’s packed with a host of fabulous features to make him irresistible to children of all ages, and with his friendly alien face and light-up transparent green body, he’s sure to engage even the most reluctant of learners.
Here are five reasons we think you will love E.a.R.L. 2 as much as we do…
1. Hands-on experience
E.a.R.L. 2 provides a clear, physical link between understanding what algorithms are and implementing them as programs on a device.
Children can see and feel what they are doing and have a multisensory connection to the tasks and the outcomes. Important foundations are laid for developing children’s interest in computational thinking, giving them a real understanding of cause and effect and the belief that what they are doing will have immediate success.
The colourful keys, engaging noises, and lights will ensure children want to interact with E.a.R.L. 2 again and again. As children’s confidence grows, the instructions can become more complex, with up to 250 steps in one sequence, 90° turns and a pause facility.
“The colourful keys, engaging noises, and lights will ensure children want to interact with Earl 2 again and again.”
2. Compatible with Scratch 2.0
After children have had plenty of hands-on experience, their computational skills can be extended by programming E.a.R.L. 2 remotely. This is done using Scratch 2.0.
Scratch is a block-based programming app that’s simple and free to use. It’s a great way to introduce children to coding as it breaks the process down into simple, visual steps.
When pupils use Scratch, E.a.R.L. 2 is not limited to 90° turns, and can instead be programmed to turn any number of degrees to create any number of shapes and angles.
3. Extra sensory appeal!
E.a.R.L. 2 has five coloured LED lights and sounds that can be heard as he moves. This is very appealing to younger children (but the sounds may easily be switched off when not required).
As well as providing sensory stimulation, the sounds and lights provide additional programming opportunities when used in Scratch. Alternative sounds (including children’s voices) can be recorded and added via the inbuilt MP3 player.
4. Cross-curricular learning
In these financially challenging times, resources should be as cost-effective and useful as possible. E.a.R.L. 2 covers many areas of the computing curriculum for key stages 1 and 2, but also has many cross-curricular applications: use E.a.R.L. to add an extra element in maths, English, geography and science, or wherever your imagination takes you.
Several mats and extra resources are also available to add to your E.a.R.L. collection!
5. Teacher support
We want to offer busy teachers all the help we can and take any stress from the computing curriculum, so with E.a.R.L. 2 we offer the following free downloadable resources:
- User Guide
- Teacher Guide
- Scheme of Work.