Something New from Ozobot

The week after I attended the annual TCEA Convention & Exposition, I was contacted by my area Ozobot Account Executive, Diego Covarrubias. There were two things that came to mind. One, had I stopped by an Ozobot information booth in the exhibit hall? Two, we have a few Ozobot classroom kits and I’m not the greatest Ozobot color coder so what’s new and how can you help?

My video chat with Diego, could not have been more helpful! I was aware of the Ozobot robots using color codes for motion programming and I knew there was some type of Ozobot dance application. I was not familiar with OzoBlockly.

Ozobot for Young Learners

Ozobot has joined the block-based programming movement and they’ve upped the block-based programming game by including pre-readers in their consumer market. For the past three years I have advocated for the use of Ozobot robots in the early elementary, specifically prekindergarten through second grades, and elementary special education classrooms. These tiny robots blink with eye-catching colored lights as they follow lines. It’s rewarding for a child, who is new to writing or struggling with fine or gross motor skills, to have a robot trace their lines. Bringing in the ability to program the robots using color patterns is an added bonus to include with the use of the robots as young children advance in ability and age. Now, with the use of the OzoBlockly program level one, educators and parents can support the development of introductory coding language development. In addition to supporting the understanding and functionality of programming, block-based programming for non-readers supports developing spacial reasoning and directionality as well as number-symbol and quantity relationships.

A Few Things to Note

There is a difference between the Ozobot Bit and Ozobot Evo robot; one has bluetooth capabilities. I have access to Ozobot Bit classroom kits. The Bits do not have bluetooth capabilities. OzoBlockly programs can be synced to Bit robots via the color sensors on the bottom of the robots. Evos can sync with OzoBlockly programs via bluetooth. An added functionality of the Evo robot is that it can be managed via the Ozobot Edu Evo Classroom learning management platform. The Classroom platform allows teachers to assign robots and lessons to students while tracking progress of successful completion of the assigned content.

I was happy to learn of OzoBlockly and the consideration for leveled use, from one to five, of the block-based programming dashboard. Ozobot uses the Google for Education Blockly language. Both the Google for Education Blockly and OzoBlockly platforms offer user’s a visual connection between their colored block programming and JavaScript. The JavaScript can not be edited on either platform. I was told the professionals at Ozobot are working on Python integration with the possibility for text editing as well as Google Classroom integration. Python + Text Editing Capabilities + Google Classroom Integration = (in my opinion) Amazing Potential for Individualized PreK-12 Learning.

Want to Learn More?

For Educators:

Get Started with Ozobot Evo or Bit

Block-based Programming:

Grover, S. & Basu, S. (2017). Measuring student learning in introductory block-based programming: Examining misconceptions of loops, variables, and boolean logic [doc]. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net

Weintrop, D. & Wilensky, U. (2015). To block or not to block, that is the question: Students’ perceptions of blocks-based programming [doc]. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net

Spacial Reasoning and Directionality:

Mix, K. S. & Battista, M. T. (Eds.). (2018). Visualizing Mathematics: The role of spatial reasoning in mathematical thought. New York, NY: Springer. Book Preview Linked

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