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.
Want to Learn More?
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
Spacial Reasoning and Directionality: