I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to see Megan Godek's Korea International School 5th grade students working with students in California in Kristin Hick's class at Tierra Linda this morning.
This project, as I understand, started through Twitter. Students had been collaborating online with each other. Ozobot, saw that these classrooms had been Tweeting about their product, and donated 'bots to each of the classrooms. I would like to say that this is an amazing company for supporting Education.
5th Graders at KIS have been working with students in California via video conference, discussing how to make the Ozobot follow their commands. The Ozobot is similar in commands to the old school programming language of Logo, but with other variables, such as color changing and twists and turns. But with the Ozobot, the "turtle" is in their world, not on a screen.
Ozobot can be programmed via paper and colored markers to navigate mazes, or just make them dance. This can be done with through the iPad's apps as well.
So... what does this mean in education?This can be done as a Simple PBL unit. Students can think about a task, and problem solve to achieve answers to their task, in a safe and small scale manner. The students can create challenges, or respond to 'messy problems' given by the teacher.
As these students were teaching each other, it helps to bring connections and collaboration across continents. Promoting understanding. Real job skills for the future.
Social Media can be a very productive and important way for classrooms to engage the world, to show safe and responsible activities online in a productive way.
Great work 5th graders on both sides of the pacific!