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ITTIP Brings Robots to Virginia Book Festival On October 19- 21, 2017, Long-

The Wild Robot, Peter Brown. The

wood University hosted the annu-

program’s session began with

al Virginia Children’s Book Festi-

Peter Brown, talking to students

val (VCBF) on campus in Farmville,

about the process of writing his

Virginia. The event attracted

first novel, The Wild Robot. While

over nine-thousand children from

he had written several short pic-

around the state of Virginia. The

ture books, this was his first novel.

event provided numerous break-

Since participating students had a

out sessions and presentations

background knowledge of The Wild

from authors and illustrators to

Robot and the character’s adven-

help facilitate the love for books

tures adapting to life with animals,

and reading to children.

ITTIP followed up the author’s talk by facilitating an outdoor activity

As part of the event, Longwood

with a variety of robots.

University’s ITTIP led a special program on Thursday and Friday

With the help of university stu-

of the VCBF with the author of

dents, faculty, and staff volunContinued on page 3

The mission of ITTIP is to transform teaching and learning in PK-12 classrooms through the use of technology by providing high-quality professional development for educators and engaging programs for students, in order to maximize the learning experiences and opportunities in a globally competitive workforce. Upcoming events Nov 6 10th Annual STEM Summit, Longwood University Nov 11 - VAST Conference, Nov 18 Roanoke, VA Nov 13 Hummingbird with Middle School Students Showcase, Amelia, VA Nov 14 IMPRES III, Webinar III Nov 15 SVRTC Meeting, Nottoway, VA Nov 22 - Longwood Offices Nov 24 Closed In This Issue Page 1 Virginia Children’s Book Festival Page 2 Hummingbird in Amelia Page 3 EdTechRVA Conference

Above: Author, Peter Brown, talks about how he wrote The Wild Robot.

Above: Longwood University faculty and students wait patiently to facilitate their student groups outside.

Above: Longwood University professor, Dr. Virginia Lewis, works with students using the Dash Robot.

Page 4 Coding with littleBits Page 4 ITTIP Tech Zone


November 2017 Megabite - Longwood University ITTIP

ITTIP Partners with Amelia County to Implement Robotics to Middle School Students Longwood University’s ITTIP

ming languages, Visual Programer.

fore the school board meeting.

received grant funding in January

The students have been meeting

ITTIP looks forward to celebrat-

2017 from the Verizon Foundation

twice a week during the month of

ing the accomplishments of

to provide two after-school ro-

October for a total of eight days af- these students.

botics clubs. One of the clubs

ter school. During that time, they

was successfully implemented in

have been working with a partner

the spring (2017) at Cumberland

to solve a community problem.

County Middle School. The second

With the help of the Hummingbird

club is currently being implement-

Robotics, the students have been

ed at Amelia Middle School with

designing, building, and improv-

partnering teacher, Mr. Ian Shih.

ing their prototypes to successfully create a robot to suit their needs.

The program in Amelia County began in October when students

Students will be showcasing their

met to learn about Hummingbird

robotic masterpieces to the com-

Robotics and one of its program-

munity on November 13, 2017 be-

Above: A student demonstrates their Hummingbird Robot project to teachers while they troubleshoot to improve their design.

Poll Everywhere Although Poll Everywhere is not a new tool, it has recently released some new features that may be of interest to classrooms! Poll Everywhere is a tool developed for audience engagement and participation through quick, live polls, where participants can respond via computer or mobile devices. Their newest release includes a feature that allows users to post a screen name with their responses without having to register for an account. Back in August, an update to Poll Everywhere started allowing users to upload images to introduce polls to audiences. Check out Poll Everywhere to see all the new bells and whistles! Did you know you can create polls that include word clouds, brainstorming, and emoticons? Check it out to see what you are missing!


November 2017 Megabite - Longwood University ITTIP

Book Festival (cont.) teers, ITTIP conducted an outdoor activity where students participated in groups around campus. Each of the areas provided different environments, and students observed and discussed what their robot would need to adapt to that environment. The students then came inside to regroup and share the adaptations the robots from their group would need, while also learning about all of the different robots. Dr. Paula Leach, Director of ITTIP, wrapped up the special event with an introduction of each robot on the stage. Through the projection system students were

Above: Volunteers facilitate learning about Lego Boost robot, Vernie, outside on campus.

Above: littleBits R2D2, makes a stage appearance.

more challenging terrains outside

We look forward to Peter Brown’s

(i.e. pavement, mulch, inclined

sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes,


due to be available in March 2018.

Over a thousand students in the course of four sessions were able to enjoy this experience with Peter Brown and ITTIP to learn about the development and story of Roz the robot character, and ITTIP’s robots: Dobi, Dash, littleBits R2D2, and Vernie.

Above: Bill Wilson, Senior Technology Engineer, ITTIP/SVRTC works with a group to learn about Dobi the robot.

Longwood University’s ITTIP is

Commonwealth University on

delighted to continue their part-

Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Be

nership with the Greater-Rich-

sure to save the date for this one-

mond Area Education Technology

day, affordable conference!

able to see close-up how each robot performed on a smooth, flat surface, unlike some of the other

Consortium (GRAETC) to bring EdTechRVA 2018 to educators in

If you are interested in submit-


ting a conference proposal, the deadline is November 8. You can

Above: Dr. Paula Leach, introduces Dobi the robot to all participating students while author Peter Brown joins to listen in the background.

The EdTechRVA conference

find out more about the

committee is in the planning

conference and get updates by

process for the 2018 educational

visiting their website directly:

conference to be held at Virginia


November 2017 Megabite - Longwood University ITTIP

littleBits Code Kit in Virginia The littleBits Code kit was released this spring as a tool to help bring coding into the classroom. Although littleBits has various other kits, this is the first littleBits coding kit to hit the shelves to serve elementary students (they had previously released a kit that you could code using Arduino coding, coding more appropriate for middle or high school students). Since its release, ITTIP staff has been able to present the littleBits code kit through hands-on learning to a variety of students and educators. In the month of October, ITTIP facilitated learning in

Above: Stephanie Playton introduces littleBits to students. Top-Right: Chesterfield County GRAETC members learn about littleBits code kit. Left: SVRTC co-chairs, Dr. Jamerson, and Ms. Wilson, work collaborativly with a SVRTC member to code their littleBit during last month’s meeting.

ITTIP Hosts TechZone In Mecklenburg County ITTIP hosted its first TechZone

They then transferred this learn-

at the Lake Country Distance

ing to using Blockly to code their

* GRAETC Meeting, October 10th

Education Center in Mecklenburg

Dash Robot to do certain tasks.

* Appomattox Elementary School,

County for Clarksville Elementary The students had a great time

three locations:

October 13th

students on October 24. Twenty-

learning and working in groups

two 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders at-

to make their robot act how they

tended the after-school program

wanted. Future TechZones are

its efforts in facilitating the use

and had an introduction to using

in the works with some different

of technology by providing high-

Blockly to code Dash robots.

technologies to explore!

* SVRTC Meeting, October 18th ITTIP looks forward to continuing

quality professional development for educators and engaging programs for students. To learn more about ITTIP and its current programs, please visit

Students were first introduced to the concept of programming by giving specific directions to classmates to move through a

Above: Students use the Blockly app on an

grid on the floor to certain blocks. iPad to code the Dash Robot.

ITTIP Nov 2017 Newsletter  

This is the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) November 2017 newsletter.

ITTIP Nov 2017 Newsletter  

This is the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) November 2017 newsletter.