This winter, the students in Mrs. Crum's class began studying regions of the United States and subsequently researched specific cities. After each student became an expert in their city, they compiled a Wevideo showing road trips in their Ozocars! Each 4th grader created a cover for his or her Ozobot, and programmed it to go from their city to the next. When the Ozobot stopped, they recorded themselves explaining details about their city such as population, special sights to see, and more. "Thanks to this experience, my class was able to travel to 18 cities across the US and really learn the meaning of perseverance with programming," said Mrs. Crum.
Experiences like that at Jefferson Elementary School are happening throughout the district, following a pilot program last year at Washington Elementary School. Students were introduced to the programming language, Scratch, as well as to Ozobots which are smart, mini robots that allow students to code and program. Technology Coaches worked closely with classroom teachers to prepare lessons for students to explore and practice coding in the classroom. The educators also wanted to demonstrate how the skills necessary for coding translate to many other areas of the curriculum as well.
Technology Supervisor Doug Orr shared that the students are able to explore the concepts and logic of coding without needing to spend too much time on learning a specific coding syntax. "By removing these barriers, our students quickly develop complex routines for the robots that would otherwise be beyond the scope of what they could do in class. As we evolve our district strategy for implementing robotics in the coming year, we see tremendous potential in tools such as these," said Mr. Orr.