Ozobots on country

Kimberley Road Trip

Robin McKean, intrepid WA CSER Project Officer, went on a Kimberley road trip just before Christmas and had an adventure with ozobots and some curious students.

In December just before the big rain (and Santa) was coming, the @cserAdelaide Ozobots undertook a road trip from Kununurra to Broome. Stopping at several remote schools including Dawul, Bayulu and Fitzroy Crossing for a visit to their Years 2 and 3 classrooms and a Valley Network Meeting at the District High School, the Ozobots worked to delight while introducing some On Country digital technology learning opportunities.

A range of picture books and Dreamtime stories were used to provide a visual stimulus and connect with coding when the Ozobots ( Wom-bots, Turtle and Totem Bots) were used to retell the stories.

The Sand Symbols by Nola Turner- Jensen was the perfect starting point for some Kimberley style computational thinking. A video introduction and related Crackerjack Education Resources saw teachers and students exploring in the sandpit and working up algorithms using  the ancient codes. When transferred to story mapping back in the classroom and using colour codes for the Ozobots to follow the symbols and stories, a connection with the digital Bots was established.

Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein was an obvious story to also include in order to stay true to a mandated literacy blocked timetable. Students retold this story by creating a week-long calendar timeline and then coded the Ozobots to perform special moves according to the weather patterns for each day of the story. There were some high-performance moves on the Friday when the ‘thick grey clouds over the hills were echoing with thunder’ and banging and swirling with Ozobots coded for a turbo boost before the rain came on the Saturday with a happy dance for the ‘Wonderful cool wet RAIN’.

Older students used AR to connect with the sky as a textbook and then worked the Ozobots through  moon stories that explained the phases of the man in the moon in combination with some equally  scientific coding of Eclipses and Orbits.

More work with algorithms was made possible through the pages of Our World Bardi-Jaawi -  Life at Ardiyooloon by (near neighbours) One Arm Point Remote Community School. Students enjoyed replicating the pandanus toys, creating wind turbines and designing spiral galaxies before being introduced to TBone the Drone by Shanda McClosky and then developing  design thinking and engineering smarts when  using pandanus pin wheel  or similar prototypes to work like Lucas and his best friend TBone the Drone.

From Bots On Country to the unpacking of CSER lending Library kits of Makey Makey and Micro:bits ready for use in 2020, this was a road trip with a true Kimberley Perspective.

On a personal note, I so loved being introduced as Miss Robin but being spontaneously farewelled as Nana Robin from classrooms where kids, teachers and parents all had fun together.

Tagged in News, Kimberley, WA, CSER MOOCs