Noelle Peppin and Ozobots
I had absolutely no idea what Ozobots were when we arrived at Nusdeh Yoh Elementary for our session with Noelle Peppin. The best way I can describe them are: there are small robots with a diameter of about a toonie. These robots follow black lines, and can read basic commands along the lines through colour codes.
I had a lot of fun working with my colleagues, making machine bend to our will.
Noelle touched briefly on the scaffolding for students that would transpire to allow them to go from barely sharing school supplies, to being able to work together to create paths with commands for their Ozobots. She showed us how the Ozobots could be connected to story, as opposed to the mathematical and logical thinking concepts one would assume adhere to this activity. In our short session I was exposed not only to this new technology, but also how to tie activities to them to Core Competencies and cross-curricular content and competencies.
I think the Ozobots are a great access point for younger children to promote teamwork, community building, problem solving skills, and much more. A critique of them may be that they are simply a carrot to get children engaged and working together. My response to that critique would simply be: who cares? If the children are actually engaged and working together collaboratively and respectfully, shouldn’t we encourage things that provide a means to an easy access point to this?