During the seminar we focused on the bee bots and how to programme them. We began by recapping digital literacy and how this involves reading, writing, listening and speaking. We looked at examples of this as social media, YouTube, word, PowerPoint, iMovie, book creator, pic collage, WordPress and emails. We also recapped computer science and discussed coding, algorithm, debugging and decomposition. By creating something in ICT, children will then have a sense of purpose, creativity and confidence, however children also need a context of skills so that they have enough knowledge and confidence to try things out.
In order to introduce algorithms and programming the bee bots, we played the cat and mouse game which involves giving instructions and turning 90
degrees each time! This fun activity will engage the children and also introduce the concept of algorithms which the children will need to use in order to direct the bee bots. We set up a maze of masking tape and asked the children to programme the bee bot from one end to the other. This is a really good activity to introduce the bee bots and then if they go away from the course, we can discuss as a class why this has happened and then reprogram the bee bot. In order to scaffold the children’s learning the teacher could introduce cards with directions/instructions on to help the children see where the bee bot will need to go and amend the course.
We then programmed the bee bot to make the letter T and then looked at the most complex capital letter we could make. This would be really good to use with children because they can build up their skills on algorithms, as well as working in a group to problem solve. In the seminar we also looked at how to programme a car which had more controls and a space for a pen to track the route. This may be suitable for a higher age group to progress their skills further. We also had a map of the country so that the children could programme the bee bots from one place to another, to make using the bee bots more exciting. We also used blue bots which connected to an iPad’s Bluetooth and could be programmed from the iPad, making it easier to plan the route which would therefore scaffold those children who were finding it difficult. The seminar was really engaging and I now know some really useful techniques for using bee bot technology with the children!
Source About the Benefits of Bee Bots
This website explains about the huge benefits of using the bee bots in a classroom, for example they are exciting, easy to programme, can store up to 40 commands and are useful to teach sequencing, problem solving and estimation. The website also explains about the blue-bot and all of the bee bot accessories. The website also allows you to post your own experiences of using the bee bots, therefore some useful teaching techniques can be picked up here.