It’s a special story today. Something we wanted to share with you. You will understand even more what we do in Hong Kong about computer science education after you read this, introducing Dash and Dot to you, teachers and parents of Hong Kong!
Meet Vikas Gupta. He is the founder and CEO of Wonder Workshop. You can find their website here: www.makewonder.com. Just the name of the website is a delight. Make wonder. It’s a great name, and Vikas is a talented CEO. He used to work at Amazon and Google. He comes from India and now lives in the Silicon Valley.
Vikas founded Wonder workshop to focus on one problem we share with him in Hong Kong. His focus is to make coding and learning to code fun and easy for every child through play.
Let us repeat this: make coding and learning to code fun and easy. For every child. Through play.
They have built two robots to take care of this mission. And we are introducing these two, Dash and Dot, to you.
Dash is a real robot. It’s charged and ready to play out of the box. It responds to the voice, it navigates objects, it dances and it sings. Yes, Dash can do all these actions. And the beauty of it is your children can use apps to create new behaviors for Dash.
Dot is a bit different. It is the brains of the robot. It comes with specific games you can play right away. And you can get to see how games are created and make your own with your students.
“We wanted to build something accessible to a young child. […] we wanted to create something that right out of the box was appealing to 5yo all the way through to 10 and 11yo”. That’s what Vikas is thinking of Dash and Dot.
We tried it. We are using them in our workshops. We let it between the hands of children here in Hong Kong, even to elderly people. We guarantee, it was a huge success!
You may ask now how it works. It is very simple.
Dash and Dots are two robots, but the apps behind are what makes it different. There are four free apps – both work on iOS and Android, so no excuses! – and they connect to the robots via Bluetooth.
- Go: children use it to control the lights, sounds, and movement
- Path: this app goes a bit further as children draw an on-screen path with “nodes”.
- Xylo which enables children to play music
- Blockly to teach children how create code to make Dash perform actions such as driving.
“It brings concepts to life in physical form, which has a much bigger impact,” says Gupta.
When we met the talented people at Wonder workshop, it was easy to make the decision to work together. We decided to integrate Dash and Dot into our workshop, and if you like to know more about it, send us an email, or reach out to us on social media.
It is part of our mission to bring computer science education in schools and homes of Hong Kong. We hope you can do it with Dash and Dots, and we hope to see you in our workshops.
Completing tasks with these two robots reinforces programming concepts. It helps apply computational thinking. And the students and teachers are having fun!