I can’t tell you how much I love The Robot Test Kitchen. Mainly because I blog there and it would be a little too self-promotion-y for me, but also because the experience of getting that project up and running is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me professionally. So instead I’ll tell you what it is and why I hope you check it out.
RTK began as a project through ILEAD, a statewide technology and leadership program in Illinois, which is now in ten other states. Check with your state library to see if they participate, and if not, tell them they really need to! What we set out to do was to demystify robotics for youth and teen services librarians, and we wanted to do that by getting robotics toys, tools, and kits, testing them out in different settings, and talking about our experiences. What makes The Robot Test Kitchen more than just a review site is that we take into account the fact that just as each of us brings our own experiences, likes, dislikes, hot button issues, fears, and passions to every book we read, we take those same things into every technology programming experience we have. So when you read that post that talks about how awesome it is to play with Sphero and teens, you also hear about how it’s intimidating for me to be leading a program where I’m not able to explain everything. And how when I see the kids having a great time, I’m reminded of how important it is for them to play in order to stay engaged with learning. And how I sometimes question whether or not the learning is really there in the midst of all of the play.
The five of us, Kim, Michelle, Jacquie, Sharon, and I all come from different backgrounds and different comfort levels with tech, and we work in different communities with different aged kids who have different expectations from their library.
Stop by for the reviews, stay for the support and commiseration. We believe that where imaginations play, learning happens and that it’s ok to try and fail and learn and move on. We want to hear from you too!