Ozobots! A tiny programmable robot that engages students in various ways. This school year, I had the privilege to receive a grant to explore how Ozobots can engage students in the classroom. I have to admit, I was unsure of its success but knew that students would find working with them intriguing. Being an innovator, I approached one of our amazing school librarians about working with me to bring these robots into the school. The other two elementary schools had recently purchased sets for their library maker spaces and I wanted to see how we could use them to engage students in the classroom.
We developed a plan and chose 1 lesson to accomplish for each grade level. In order to initiate our plan, we first offered a time to push into classrooms using the Ozobots in a basic line drawing activity. This exposure provided not only the students but the teachers an idea of how these robots work. This method empowered the teacher to think about ways they could incorporate the robot into their everyday curriculum. Teachers began checking out the Ozobots to try with various projects. Some projects include-Creating a rollercoaster ride down a major U.S. river, simulating a showdown between a predator vs. prey, matching compatible numbers, and even creating a treasure map. I then reached out a second time with specific lessons.
I recently went into two third grade classes to test the Multiplication Table Practice activity. I was skeptical of the challenge but wanted to try it and then make changes. I did modify the code to slow down the wait time between problems. I gave the students the game board and preprogrammed robot. I told them that the robot was trying to tell them something and they needed to figure out what it was saying. The robot would run down 2 numbers and then flash a series of colors representing the answer. The amount of focus and attention to this task was amazing! Check out an example!
The possibilities are really endless with these robots! I am currently working with an after school coding club on the Ozoblockly website. We will culminate our time together by programming the Ozobots to dance.
I can’t wait to continue to explore ways to use these robots in the classroom!