Dan Lance is part of the content development team at RoboKind. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he studied game and level design. He worked a few different retail jobs while looking for a full-time job until he came across a job listing for RoboKind’s content developer position. He has since helped to develop RoboKind’s training documents, train new employees, and worked closely with experts to develop and test Milo’s curriculum.
During his time at UTD, Dan created a simulation for people to experience what it’s like to have autism. It was a personal project for Dan, who also has autism and wanted to share his experience with others. His drive to help other autistic individuals has aided RoboKind in developing comprehensive lessons for autistic children.
“I did a project that was basically simulating what it’s like to experience autism in a way that people who don’t have autism would be able to understand.”
Creating Lesson plans
Designing lesson plans for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is no easy task, and understanding those needs is a difficult task for neurotypical people. Dan’s unique insight helps ensure that any content created benefits ASD learners. The content team works hard, endlessly refining lesson plans with the assistance of ASD experts.
“It was very interesting to me, and growing up there was never anything like this. I just kind of had to learn on my own. It feels good to be able to contribute to something like this.”
It’s one thing to hear a product works. It’s another to see it in action. RoboKind encourages all of their employees to visit sites using Milo or to watch videos of Milo working with ASD Learners. To see a child who has difficulty communicating and holding eye contact, be able to greet others and join normal classroom settings has a powerful impact on the developers at RoboKind.
“Just every time I see a video that showcases our product, I’m always kind of blown away by it. It’s like, ‘Okay this is really having an impact on people. This is really helping people.’ And it’s a great feeling.”
Dan’s Future Plans
In March, RoboKind launched their Robots4STEM product which teaches children as young as second grade the basics of computer science, such as programming and robotics. Dan has helped create the training documents for teachers and lesson plans for students. The content team is currently improving on the Robots4STEM curriculum to make sure that it is inline with school criteria.