The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Ozobot Review by Tess Hamre129 West Torrance Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
My family has been enjoying playing with our white Ozobot. What is an Ozobot? It is a tiny mini-robot. Ozobot introduces code language and deductive reasoning. It can follow lines, roam freely, or be programmed. This smart mini-robot encourages creative play while learning about coding and robotics. An Ozobot can become a physical avatar for augmented reality gaming.
These cute little round mini-robots also come with free downloadable apps which are available for iOS and most Android devices through Google Play Store. In addition to our white single pack Ozobot, we received some bonus paper tracks, code guide sheet and a set of four markers to direct Ozobot’s moves.
This mini-robot responds to written color codes. The markers, red, green, black, and blue, in different arrangements tell the Ozobot how to move. Children, or in my home teens and adults, learn how to code in order to make the mini-robot do really fun and cool stuff like zig-zag or jump.
The Ozobot, which we named Hue because he lights up with colors, can be calibrated for either a paper space or a digital tablet. We have android smart phones and downloaded one of the apps, however, the phone provides too small of a surface but it was fun to watch Hue try to dance! Though the digital playing surfaces add a more techno dimension to the STEM learning there is plenty of fun and learning by using a paper playing surface.
Ozobot is a wonderful fun way to introduce robotics and programming to students as young as 8. My husband was just as enthusiastic as our daughters. He has this to say about his experience:
It's a good way to introduce students to practical coding. It's not just writing lines
of code, you write the code which is the lines and see the result immediately when
the Ozobot goes left, right, stops, turns around and it's simple enough that you don't
have to worry so much about detail whereas coding in basic you have to be very detail
oriented in order to make your program work properly. There's wiggle room in how
you create the code.
After charging Hue, each of my girls chose a sample track and took turns activating our mini-robot. They spent time learning the code and creating practice sheets on our multipurpose copier paper. The more creative they were; the more fun they had, which inspired them to be more creative. Some days they would work separately and other afternoons would find the girls huddled with their father. A favorite activity was to lay out a combination of provided track sheets with sheets of their own programing to create larger play areas for Hue. This required them to pay attention to detail and often problem solve if Hue became stuck. We all chuckled when Hue found a line on the table and roamed off the playground. It then became a game to see who could line up the playground with the lines on the table to make Hue “run away.”
My family and I highly recommend this product for introducing coding and robotics. It can be used by the whole family.
-Product review by Tess Hamre, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2016