At Ozobot Edu, we’re hyper aware of the pressures schools are under to incorporate coding into their curricula. Ninety percent of parents want their kids to learn computer science and coding, yet only 35 percent of high schools currently teach it. Plus, there’s economic demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will have an annual need for 1.4 million CS graduates by 2020. Meanwhile, our colleges and universities are only graduating qualified candidates at a rate of 400,000.
Thanks to our tech-packed bot Evo and our 2 Ways to Code, we make it easier for K–12 educators to meet these demands (and beyond) to teach coding and STEAM. Our patented Color Codes, made with markers and paper, allow students to code Evo completely screen-free. OzoBlockly, a visual programming editor powered by Google’s Blockly, lets students control Evo’s movement, lights, and more. Between Color Codes, which are ideal for getting younger students started, and OzoBlockly’s five skill levels, Ozobot Edu spans all grades and subjects.
Some educators, however, still need an extra nudge to get them to adopt new technology. Whether you’re a Tech TOSA looking to train other teachers or a featured presenter at an upcoming edtech conference, these three simple tips can guarantee success.
#1: Empower Students to Teach the Teachers
This tip comes straight from Ozobot Certified Educator Leola Rutherford, who got her students involved in a recent presentation she hosted at the 2019 Alaska Society for Technology in Education conference. Six of her sixth grade students joined her and proceeded to “teach the teachers.” Each student trainer led a station, where they challenged conference participants to do everything from plow snow to clean the ocean using Ozobots and the 2 Ways to Code.
“The response to this hands-on training was overwhelming,” says Rutherford. “Several educators said it was the best session they’d attended at the conference. All were impressed with the depth of knowledge and creativity of the student presenters.”
#2: Introduce Educator Bot Camp
Educator Bot Camp is a one-hour, self-guided teacher training session and booklet for Ozobot’s 2 Ways to Code. In the Color Codes section, teachers learn to calibrate their bots; draw lines; and use Direction, Speed, and Cool Moves codes to control Evo or Bit as they complete a short series of challenges. A second section, on OzoBlockly, walks them through everything from how and where to access the editor to creating, loading, and running a program.
Educator Bot Camp is available as a digital PDF and in video form. A high quality print version is also included in Educator Entry Kits, a new Ozobot product that pairs one bot with Bot Camp activities, so teachers can try the experience out for themselves before making the decision to get a Classroom Kit with bots for all of their students.
#3 Turn to Twitter
Our Lesson Library is a great testament to the fact that Ozobot spans STEAM subjects. Cross-disciplinary Ozobot lessons incorporate coding into multiplication practice, storytelling, and even eclipses and celestial mechanics. But even before letting an educator dive into browsing lessons, we recommend taking them on a quick tour of social media and searching #ozobot on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
We have our first official test run of a covered wagon traveling across the Oregon Trail. 3rd graders created a covered wagon costume for the @Ozobot. Next step- to add the codes and make our “buffalo” move. #gslearning @MrsVides3rd pic.twitter.com/rBExQ7Xsmc
— Cindy Gonzalez (@CindyGo75) March 13, 2019
The Ozobot Edu community inspires us every day with the activities, lessons, and infinite creative ideas they share on those platforms. They’re sure to inspire your teachers too, giving them a glimpse into how Ozobots are used in the classroom and the engagement, retention, and student reactions that result.