It has been so wonderful to have the CDC Kindergartners with us in our AT&T Classroom. A highlight of the past week was the children's work with the Ozobot “Smart” toy robots. The Ozobot is designed to provide children with opportunities to learn simple coding language while also encouraging children’s creativity and skills for problem solving and deductive reasoning. Ozobot robots are programmed to follow black, red, blue, and green lines/paths which control the Ozobot’s movement and speed in different directions. The device has sensors that recognize color sequences (also known as “OzoCodes”) and interprets the sequences as commands for directing speed and movement. The Kindergartners worked in pairs to create code and program their Ozobots. To prepare for their coding work, the Kindergartners learned to calibrate their Ozobots to be able to respond to coding sequences. Next, the children started with an activity to observe the Ozobot’s navigation on a single black color line and then observed the Ozobot’s navigation on lines with varying color code combinations. Building from their observations, the children used colored markers to experiment with combining various color sequences to create OzocCodes to alter their Ozobot’s direction and speed.
The children also learned to program their Ozobots using flash codes, rapidly changing combinations of colors that are displayed on a digital screen such as a tablet or iPad. The children programmed the flash codes using the OzoDraw tool in the Ozobot iOS app. OzoDraw allows children to select from multiple gameplay modes and draw lines and patterns (flash codes) on a tablet’s screen for the Ozobot to follow. The Kindergartners worked in the Free Draw mode that offers a blank canvas which children can use to create and program their own original track for their Ozobot.
The Kindergartners were excited to share their coding projects by projecting them with the document camera to the presentation screen.
In addition to their work with the Ozobots this past week, the Kindergartners also explored several creativity tools. Pic Collage for Kids also known as Pic Kids for short, is a free app for creating scenes and collages with photos taken with an iOS device. Features of the app allow students to design a customized photo collage by adding text, backgrounds, and stickers. The kindergartners enjoyed designing and printing their own photo collage incorporating photos they captured using their iPad’s camera.
Also on the iPads, the Kindergartners enjoyed using Sock Puppets iOS to create animated stories. Sock Puppets is a free iPad app that allows children to explore creative storytelling by creating lip-synced puppet shows. Children are able to select from a variety of hand puppet characters as well as themed backgrounds to create their own unique show.