IGNITE Fall 2018 - Page 14

Racing into the Future Hunter is looking forward to using the Ozobots for more holiday-themed lessons and challenges. And now that she and her students have gotten the hang of coding, she plans to have her eighth graders help younger students learn the basics. The robots have allowed Hunter to build her own confidence in coding as well. “I had never used robots before, but now I feel comfortable trying something more involved,” she says. “Lego Mindstorms are on my next wish list.” Hunter admits that robots can run the risk of being too popular. She restricts Ozobot activities to once a trimester, so as to avoid consuming all her class time. But that hasn’t slowed the still-steady stream of questions from students, parents, and other teachers. “Whenever parents walk into my classroom, they always ask where the Ozobots are,” Hunter says. “They say they hear all about Ozobots at home.” Explore More Robotics Ozobots are one of many robotics systems designed to teach the fundamentals of coding. Check out these other classroom favorites. 16 LEGO MINDSTORMS CUBELETS Design, build, and program original creations using the ever-popular toy bricks — now upgraded with motors, sensors, and software. These kid-friendly pieces snap together with magnets, with each block performing a moving, sensing, or processing function. DASH & DOT ARDUINO Use a phone or tablet to program these robots to play hide and seek, launch projectiles, and play original songs. Ideal for advanced coders, this open- source prototyping platform allows users to build more complex robots, thermostats, and motion detectors.