Today, we were able to explore with some really cool technology tools during one of my classes. We looked at OzoBots, LEGO Wedo, various programming games, and Ollies.
I really enjoyed the LEGO Wedo!
With the LEGO Wedo, we used LEGOs to build contraptions by following directions. Then, we connected the contraptions via Bluetooth to iPads to use with an app. Within the app, we could control the contraptions by having them move forward or backward.
There are a ton of resources on Winthrop’s webpage for the ITC (https://www.winthrop.edu/itc/default.aspx?id=43122) for these tools, including how to use them and how to use them in instruction. There are also resources on websites, such as Pinterest, which list lesson ideas and activities for using them in the classroom. One of those resources (http://encouragingmomsathome.com/teach-stem-lego-bricks-activities-free-printables-games/) includes a lot of S.T.E.M. activities that include LEGO Wedo.
Through using these technology tools in the classroom, students are learning how to follow directions, about left vs. right, about cardinal directions, and how to use technology and developing fine motor skills, problem solving, and creativity. It is so important for students to get introduced to these skills, because they are life skills. They are so important for students to understand to progress through life and future schooling/careers. These skills help students build their ability to think critically and reinforce basic learning/skills. Overall, the skills these technology skills teach or reinforce prepare students to be 21st century learners.
With these tools, I really found an area in my current classroom where the Ollies could fit in. Two content standards that I thought related with this tool were 2.P.4A.4 Conduct structured investigations to answer questions about the relationship between friction and the motion of objects and 2.P.4A.5 Define problems related to the effects of friction and design possible solutions to reduce the effects on the motion of an object. I found that these standards would fit well with the Ollies, because we could test how well they move over different types of surfaces (tile, carpet, table tops, etc.) and how well they would move with the different skins.