Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Command Line
with AlgoBot

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Theory

AlgoBot: Tutorial

Get to know AlgoBot, the game where you utilize algorithms, functions and conditional statements to program a robot and solve puzzles!

Teacher Resources

  • Theory: This lesson teaches your students to play AlgoBot and includes a short section on computer components.
  • Play: Students get to know the game by completing the beginner levels.
  • Share & Discuss: These tasks focus on making sure that everyone understands the basics of the game and computers.

If your students need to use pen and paper to design their algorithms, download the JPG below to print a handy worksheet!

Basic Components of a Computer

A computer system has 4 main types of components (source):

  • Input Devices (keyboard, mouse and so on)
  • Output Devices (monitor, speakers and so on)
  • Secondary Storage Devices (hard disk drive, SSD drive, CD/DVD drive and so on)
  • Processor and Primary Storage Devices (CPU, RAM) Robots also need processors! A processor allows a robot to follow commands it has been given as an algorithm.

With time, some components have become obsolete, while others have become essential:

  • GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) were initially optional with their onset during the early 90s but are now essential to effectively run modern operating systems and programs.
  • CD/DVD drives were, for a long time, the only way to install new files and programs on a computer, but are steadily becoming obsolete as the Internet has taken over as the primary method of installation.
  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are slowly being phased out by Solid-State Drives (SSD), which are significantly faster and more durable. They are especially common in laptops.

Computer hardware.

Teacher Resources

Play

Lesson Goal

Play and complete the first 9 levels of the game.

Play at your own pace and consider the following:
What are functions in the game?
What's the best way to use them?

Gameplay screenshot

Teacher Resources

If your students are having trouble with a specific puzzle, click here to download a PDF which includes all the solutions to the game!

How to Play

When you launch the game, click the Play! button to start.

Gameplay screenshot

Click on Play to access the level list.

Gameplay screenshot

When playing for the first time, simply click on the arrow symbol. Later on, if you wish to play a certain level, select it first and then click the arrow.

Gameplay screenshot

Gameplay Tips

  • In AlgoBot, you must figure out the right algorithm to complete the level. This just means the chain of commands that you need to pass through each level.
  • Simply drag and drop commands to add them. To remove a pre-existing command, drag it away from the algorithm.
  • After you're finished with the algorithm, click on the play button in the bottom right to run it and complete the level.

Gameplay screenshot

Teacher Resources

You can use this screenshot to demonstrate to the students how the game works: to create the proper algorithm for AlgoBot, simply drag & drop commands to its main command line. You can also drag commands to the function lines.

Sources on what the command line (and the related concept command prompt) are:

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • What do you think of AlgoBot? What did you like the most? The least?
  • Did you get stuck on any puzzle? Which one?

Tasks after Playing

  • What do you think is the definition for "algorithm"?
Show Notes

A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

  • What parts of a computer can you name? Can you also name what they do?
Show Notes

Some examples include:

  • Keyboard, for inputting text
  • Mouse, for inputting selections on-screen
  • Display, for displaying information to the user in a visual medium
  • Motherboard, the "heart" of the computer to which every other component is directly connected to
  • Processor (CPU), the "brains" of the computer that processes information
  • Graphics card (GPU), a specialized processor that renders the image on the display for the user
  • Random-access memory (RAM), short-term memory used to store temporary data
  • Secondary storage devices, long-term memory to store information such as files and programs
  • In AlgoBot, each level has its own optimal solution. What do you think determines which solution that is?
Show Notes

Using the smallest possible number of commands possible is the optimal solution. More on this in the later lessons!

How do command line interfaces (CLI) work? What do latest operating systems use instead?

Show Notes

CLI is a text-based interface used to operate software and operating systems. The user responds to visual prompts by typing single commands into the interface and receiving a reply in the same way. Modern operating systems use a graphical user interface (GUI) instead.