Coding With Ozobot
Ozobots provide a window into the future of robots. Ozobots cut across content areas and age groupings to offer an innovative and inquiry-based learning classroom lab experience. Students will create, share, play, and explore with Ozobots, learning how to code and employing critical thinking skills. Coding with the Ozobots is not just for Math and Science classes. These little robots provide integrative options for use of coding technology across disciplines. The Ozobot gets kids coding and loving robots with the stroke of a marker. The lesson plan that follows is an introductory model for getting started with this fun and flexible asset for teachers who seek to help students with logic, coding, and programming. The activity reinforces a growth mindset - that the student is not only capable of expanding their knowledge and ability, but can motivate that learning with their own curiosity. The introductory plan posted below with have the students "hooked" and wanting to plan future Ozobot applications for continuing learning fun! (Photo Credit: https://shop.ozobot.com/collections/bots/products/bit)
The following lesson plan is designed to be generic and expandable, depending on the context the the classroom or other environment where the Ozobots will be utilized. The intent for the use of this technology is to support the learning objectives listed below. The objectives address overarching of "big ideas" as well as specific objectives.
Students will follow written instructions, practicing coding skills by recognizing color sequence as a form of language that directs the actions of the Ozobot. Students will gain experience in building a sequence of coded instructions that will ultimately determine the diverse actions of the Ozbot along path. Kinesthetic skills include drawing lines of appropriate size on paper with connecting colored and connected short lines that determine the motion of the Ozobot. Students will create their own pathways (tracks), utilizing progressive skills. While this is a single activity, there are multiple stages during which they will scaffold new skills and abilities on top of the knowledge that they have built earlier in the activity.
Sequence Of Instruction
1) In order to introduce Ozobot to the students and motivate questions about what it can do, show your students this short of Ozobots in action. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX1wuSiwViA)
2) Without giving answers, prompt kids to ask as many questions as they can think of about Ozobot, based on the video. Collect their questions on a whiteboard or shared resource.
3) It will be unsatisfying (intentionally), but don't answer any of the questions. Let the kids know that questions will be answered as they continue to explore.
4) Demonstrate the process for calibrating Ozobot with included card number . Follow the instructions on the card, and explain that Ozobot needs to be recalibrated often in order to distinguish between black, white, and colors. Emphasize the steps of this process - it can be confusing for younger kids.
5) Using the included black marker, draw a curved line on a piece of white paper. Place Ozobot at one end of the line, and let the students observe what it does.
6) Show them card number  - a wavy line that changes colors. Ask what they think Ozobot will do.
7) Demonstrate what Ozobot does on the colored line, and ask the kids to explain what is happening.
8) Hand out Ozobots, calibration cards, white paper, and Ozobot markers. Give kids 5 minutes to calibrate their bots, to draw black or colored lines, and to experiment and observe how Ozobot responds.
9) Gather kids attention again. Using card , demonstrate the Ozobot can get confused if there's not one clear path, and Ozobot may not always go the same way. Ask if they can think of a way to make Ozobot go a certain way.
10) Explain that Ozobot can't talk, but it does understand a language of instructions. Instead of words, Ozobot understands color codes.
11) Demonstrate card . Ask kids to observe what Ozobot does when it drives over each code and explain what they saw. Ask them to explain what they think the color codes do.
12) Hand out color code cards , and for the remainder of the available time, challenge kids to create their own maps or paths with color codes on white paper with markers.
13) Call their attention to card , which gives tips on how best to draw lines that Ozobot will understand.
14) Gather their attention again, and lead a debrief conversation. Reference the initial questions, and ask which questions were answered, which weren’t, and what new questions they have.
The instructional cards are all re-usable, but they are constructed of relatively thin paper. The Ozobot kits for this lesson may be ordered from: https://ozobot.com/play. The start-up costs can offer a barrier to getting started. Ideally, every student should be able to work individually with an Ozobot, but small groups can also successfully use this product. The kits (boxes) include calibration pages and progressive guided instructional support cards that are neatly boxed. The Ozobot comes with a charger and four colored markers that will be utilized to create color codes on paper. Additional supplies in the kit include options for decorating and personalizing the Ozobot.1) The calibration of the Ozobot occurs at two specific places in the instructional sequence. Initially the calibration is directly on one of the provided cards. The second calibration, later in the sequence of instruction, requires the Ozobot calibration over a plastic sleeve that covers the second calibration card.
1) A set of detachable color codes (instructions for the Ozobot actions) are located on two cards). The detachable color codes will be placed on a plastic sleeve over one of the tracks that has been pre-developed on the provided card set
2) Students will begin practice with the Ozobots by following sequentially printed directions printed on the provided cards.
3) Students will eventually be given the opportunity to draw a pathway on paper, using the colored markers to create a track that includes both black lines and colored codes for the Ozobot to follow.
4) One consideration must be the limited number of colored markers and life of the marker. (Put the caps back on!)
Ozobot use affords flexible use in multiple environments. Students must be aware that the ink used in the process of creating the codes must not be ingested. The charging process for the Ozobot does involve connection to a charging source. Ozobot must be kept away from liquids. Students must not deconstruct the Ozobots, Internal batteries contain carcinogens.
Assessments And Outcomes
Teachers will monitor the student's successful completion of the practice cards in the initial sequence of instruction. Students will demonstrate understanding by connecting color codes to expected Ozobot motion. A Summative assessment could include a student created track on paper that demonstrates student mastery of the use of codes to produce specific and sequential motions over a designed pathway. One option is to ask the students to plan a sequence where the Ozobot will successfully trace their own name. Teachers can assess mastery when students demonstrate the skills necessary to complete the task. (Hint: Students can either connect the letters, or use Ozobot's "Jump" codes to move across whitespace from one letter to the next, like "Tobey" did below.)
The coding with Ozobots activity affords students a fun and interactive opportunity to begin to consider programming. The use of logic and organizing sequence with codes is representative of the process that programmers use in design of useful products. The introductory activity is flexible and useful in cross-curricular instruction.
Ozobot is a neat technology, but it is made incredibly powerful by the wealth of educational resources that have been developed. On the Ozobot Education site, at https://ozobot.com/stem-education, you can find lessons, contests, webinars, PD and more. There are wonderful challenges and guided lesson plans, many tailored specifically to different ages and grades. One particularly fun activity is the Mission to Mars. This game normalizes making 'mistakes' to minimize frustration as they refine their skills and test Ozobot's limits. For a more challenging version of this game, play Mission to Neptune.
In Art classes, Ozobots could be used in dark rooms to create exciting videos or interactive drawings.
In Math classes and Physical Science Classes, Ozobots could be used to introduce speed and direction, displacement, velocity and acceleration.
In Social Studies, Ozobots could be used for creating timelines or maps.
In all disciplines, Ozobots can be used to create interactive games that support learning goals.