RoboKind Donates up to $500,000 in Coding Software for Districts Experiencing Coronavirus (COVID-19) School Closures
DALLAS, March 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — RoboKind, the only US-based developer and manufacturer of Advanced Social Robots™ with instructional software, today announced the advanced release of their District Enterprise robots4STEM® Avatar Version software to provide coding instruction at no cost for students in districts that are experiencing school closures due to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. RoboKind’s virtual coding course will help districts provide elementary and middle school students with engaging computer science content during this unexpected period of school closures.
If 50 midsize districts (of the nation’s more than 15,000 school districts) take advantage of this district enterprise subscription donation offer, which RoboKind says is valid for use through June 30, 2020, the value will be close to $500,000.
Designed for students in grades 1-8, robots4STEM® engages beginning and intermediate learners (even teachers have learned to code with RoboKind’s software), and since the curriculum aligns to the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for computer science education, the robots4STEM® software can be used by districts across the United States. Educators can learn more in this video.
“As we started hearing from districts that they would be closing schools and moving to virtual learning due to the virus outbreak, we immediately asked, ‘What can we do to help?’,” said Valorie Loomer, the RoboKind CEO and a former teacher/administrator. Many district leaders have expressed concerns about students and online safety as they prepare for an extended period of online learning. The first lessons in RoboKind’s robots4STEM® course are focused on digital citizenship and online safety, so districts can rest assured that students begin the course with instruction on how to use technology safely and responsibly.
RoboKind’s facially expressive robots and avatars run on a cloud-based learning platform that integrates social emotional skills with science, technology, engineering, and math. Until this advanced release of the robots4STEM ® Avatar Version, RoboKind had previously only made their software available in conjunction with a RoboKind robot hardware purchase.
“We still believe, and research shows, that the engagement with our coding curriculum is maximized when students can code with a purpose, code in real world environments through event-driven programming, and solve problems with real world robotic tasks, but students need to start somewhere,” said Richard Margolin, RoboKind’s co-founder, CTO, and the 2019 Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year.
Loomer added, “We want to provide an easy starting point and a pathway, over time, from virtual, avatar-based coding that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and computational intelligence, to more complicated and collaborative coding and programming with actual humanoid robots.”
Districts who have announced or are anticipating potential COVID-19 related school closures can visit Robokind.com/avatar to learn more and take advantage of this opportunity.
Loomer concluded, “We hope this subsidy of our software helps to support valuable college and career ready computer science learning during this unplanned window of virtual learning, even as we all wonder how long these school closures will last.”
RoboKind is a Dallas, Texas-based company whose mission is to use innovative robotic, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality technology with software-based instructional content solutions that help create lifelong and inclusive learning opportunities for all. RoboKind has developed facially expressive humanoid robots and avatars, and was named in the 2019 Game Changers: Tech & Learning’s Most Inspiring in EdTech in 2019. RoboKind is committed to partnering with PK-12 educational organizations, colleges/universities, foundations, and other organizations to conduct high quality research and development that support continuous growth and positive impact.
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