Ques : What is the plan after these courses? What are the “FOUR LEVELS” of courses mentioned?
Ans: What makes Cloverdale Robotics better than other technology education institutes is our curriculum, industry & real world focus and the organized, step-by-step nature of our courses.
Sharing our overall four level program structure.
Level 0 : Age 5-8: Triggering and Maintaining Curiosity. Get them excited in Robotics and Coding! This is an optional Level as it is not intended as an academic level.
Level 1 : Age 9-13: Learning the fundamentals. Students learn all the basic technologies and concepts. Each Robotics, AI and Coding has separate Level 1.
Level 2 : Age 9-17:Two years of ‘Learning by Doing’. Advanced projects with Industry process used in respective industry. Specialized fields projects in second year. Each Robotics, AI and Coding has separate Level 2.
Level 3 : Age 14+: A one year advanced project combining all three topics of Robotics, AI and Coding.
Level 4: Entrepreneurship stream. We will share information about this later!
At the end of Level 3, students are expected to be capable of creating their own products or services in the Tech industry – Provided they really work hard.
Ques : What do students need to join online classes?
Ans: 1) A good internet connection is definitely required. Nowadays this is given. Our team has seen internet connections working well at even 30 Mbps connections; most high speed plans today offer much more than that. However it is important that student sit in an area close to the modem.
2)A windows laptop is preferred for Robotics courses. Most other devices might work too.
3)Preferably a headset with a mic. However it is okay if you do not have this, but make sure student sit in an area without much noise like younger ones interrupting. Either way, Instructors and each student has the ability to mute or stop the video quickly if the situation requires it momentarily.
4)A reasonably well lit area with light falling on the face of the student. Minimal light from background falling to the camera. We ask that both instructor and student always be switched on their Camera. Screen sharing will also be required in most classes.
Ques : As a parent, how do I know that online courses are as effective as regular classes?
Ans: It is true that most online classes are done without the preparation done for in-person classes and students end up losing out. However all our instructors have used these online tools for a long time and have created an approach to minimize loss of value. Mainly,
- Our instructors do an additional introductory class just for setting up all student devices. If some students are not covered in that session, we work with students offline, 1:1 to ensure all set up is completed for the first class.
- We insist that all students and instructors are visible via video (As opposed to only viewing the instructor and students participating via video some of the time). This establishes feelings of connection with the instructor among students.
- Instructors have close interactions with students and can fully access student devices and correct code or do whatever necessary in a 1:1 fashion, as with real classes. (We maintain a 1:8 instructor-students ratio in online classes also). Having a smaller ratio of students to instructors in the same class facilitate this without disturbing the whole class.
- We run multiple projects based on students age/level in the same class in our regular classes. In online classes, we achieve the same thing via the use of online breakout rooms.
Ques : You mix a wide age range (9 to 13 years) of students to your class. Doesn’t their speed of grasp differ?
Ans: We group students in two’s and four’s initially where students work on projects together. All students start with the same projects, but if a group finishes work early, they can move to next project or more complex projects of a similar nature. So the groups of age 13 might be working on a project different from those of 9 year old. However, if we find that a 9 year old is grasping these concepts quickly, we can move him/her to groups completing advanced projects. This way as the classes progress, kids get to adjust naturally to their speed of learning and to the types of projects of their interest. However, these are within limits as we cannot run too many projects at the same time ie; We cannot have 10 students running 10 different projects.
NB: Projects can be physical projects, like working on a robot for a specific movement or objective or it can be completing a module assignment online.
Ques : Isn’t a 7.00 pm finish time too late for kids? It is close to the bedtime.
Ans: It is and we understand that. However, to keep costs down and pass on part of the savings to families trying to educate their children in the latest in technology, we rent facilities from school boards, libraries and other affordable facilities. An issue with this approach is civic facilities come with their own policies. Eg: Most of them do not rent their facilities before 5 pm on weekdays. They are also impractically expensive to rent on weekends. So we have to work within these constraints. Also, many of our staff are experienced professionals working full time on their day jobs and cannot make it too early on weekdays. It would be hugely expensive to hire them at their normal industry hourly rates. Plus, many of the robots and their software are branded which make them costly, leading to high upfront investment and niche skills to teach them. So it is all about cost management. This is how we are able to provide such education at less than half the normal industry rates for such programs.
Ques : What is your student-teacher ratio?
Ans: We maintain a minimum 8 to 1 student to teacher ratio, but some of the classes will have 10 students depending on availability, but no more.
Ques : Would the students be sharing the Robots/hardware? Would each student get enough practical time?
Ans: Students are grouped in two’s or four’s initially where they share a robot/hardware set each. We also provide students with laptops in physical classes (except private coaching). In this setting, students write their own software programs with our help. Most courses offer a virtual robot online to test and fine tune the program. Then they can run the final program on the robot and see it working in real life. This give each student ample time with robots and hardware.
Ques : What is the difference between the two courses? Robotics Build (RCF)& Robotics Programming(RPF)? I want to know what is best for my child
Ans: RCF, Or Robotic Build focuses on the internal electronics and components that the Robot is made of and programming to integrate those. We have some innovative hardware to make such things like small motors, batteries, cameras and linking and programming using those easy and safe for kids. This is similar to computer making and needing to know the things inside a computer for it. The curriculum we use is a popular one in the Asian region but new to Canada.
The RPF is Robotic Programming, which focuses on customizing, configuring and programming a robot, that probably another manufacturer or large corporation made. In the future there will be various niche manufacturers and an industry to customize and program robots for different industries. With this in mind, the internals become relatively less important but the programming and configuring become more important.
However, these are level 1, very introductory courses. We suggest students to study both at this basic level. We have only One course for Robotics at Level 2.
Ques: Can parents watch the class?
Ans: We encourage parent participation as much we can. In most locations, we can arrange a separate area for parents to sit and watch the last 30 minutes of any class. However, let us know in advance if you would like to watch, so that we can arrange it. Then feel free to stop by a little earlier when you pickup your child. We have to meet insurance requirements as well to ensure no disturbance to the class.
Ques: Summer Camp cancellation policy?
Ans: For summer camps, there is a full refund if you cancel by end of May 2021. 75% if you cancel at least a week in advance of the camp start date. 50% refund if you cancel before the camp begin or after the first day of the camp.
Ques: 2021-2022 Classes cancellation policy?
First two weeks are trial classes for every course. If not continued, we refund the full amount(ie; first month fee paid) less $40. We collect only the first month’s fee at the time of registration.