Baltimore, MD – June 26, 2017 – Edtech company Workbench has launched new features for its education platform that allow students to work through programming lessons that get progressively more complex as they build their coding skills.
Among Workbench’s new features is block-based programming for Parrot’s online community in which users write programs for their Parrot drones by dragging and dropping pieces of code to create sophisticated programs to operate the drone. Block-based programming allows novice programmers to learn programming concepts by creating working programs while avoiding the novice programming errors that come from complex syntax rules. This feature makes use of the ubiquitous Chrome browser, allowing schools and users to use it on Chromebooks, as well as Mac OS and Android devices. The combination of Chrome and block-based programming opens up more opportunities for students to develop programming skills. For example, if a student is creating projects on more than one Workbench platform, they can progress from app-based programming for Parrot drones or Sphero robots to block-based programming, to writing more advanced code.
Also, Workbench is working with Parrot on a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol in which a Bluetooth connection between the Parrot drone and the computer will allow users to program a flight path and send it to the drone. The drone will then execute that maneuver.
In addition to the new programming and BLE features, the Workbench platform also includes integration with Canvas and Engrade – two learning management systems (LMS) that allow educators to manage class information such as rosters and grades. For schools that are using either of these two LMS’s, this integration allows teachers to access student information seamlessly.
Workbench partners with schools, libraries and industry leaders such as Sphero, Parrot, and Makey Makey to create online communities where educators, students and fans can access and share free lessons using drones, programmable robots, 3D printers and a growing list of cutting-edge technology and educational products.
The new features are part of Workbench’s ongoing work to connect students, educators, makers and edtech companies. The Workbench platform provides access to hands-on, project-based learning that turns students into makers and helps educators meet standards and teach all subjects, topics and grades with inspiring projects using educational technology. Teachers use Workbench to assign project-based lessons and track student progress. For an example of a Workbench community, visit www.workbenchplatform.com/cwists/category.
The Workbench mission is to make Project-Based Learning (PBL) accessible and scalable in schools, districts, and libraries across the globe. The solution reduces the burden on teachers who want to teach PBL by providing a straightforward framework for project authoring, delivery, and sharing coupled with a library of easily accessible projects teachers can leverage every day. This allows districts to move away from direct instruction as they embrace the PBL approach. The solution is supported by high-touch implementation, including professional development and gear/hardware sourcing which maximizes a district’s investment in PBL.
Workbench not only provides districts with equipment for maker education and a secure hub to implement and share projects, it also serves as the backbone for many of the Maker Education Industry’s top learning communities including Sphero, Parrot, Makey Makey, and SparkFun Electronics.
For more information, visit https://www.workbenchplatform.com/what-we-do/.