In our ICT seminar this week we looked at computing in KS1, specifically at the use of Bee Bots. These are used for teaching children about algorithms and programming as they can be programmed to move in different directions. They are effective as children can see a visual representation of what they have created.
An extension of this is to use Blue Bots, which are the same as Bee Bots, except they can be programmed using iPads over Bluetooth instead of the physical buttons. The app is easy to use and helps children see the connection between the sequence they create on the iPads and the movements the Blue Bots make.
In our exploration of this, we were asked to create an activity or map using the Bee Bot software. Our activity was ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ themed where the children would make a dance routine for the Bee Bots to do. This can be used in teaching counting steps, symmetry because the children could be asked to make the Bee Bots mirror each other in the routine, and dance as the children could perform the routine themselves after planning it using the Bee Bots. They could also design their own stage for the Bee Bots. As an extension, the children could add a third Bee Bot and see how it could fit around their existing routine, or use the Blue Bot software on the iPads. Similarly, to simplify this activity, the children could begin with only programming one Bee Bot.
Our activity could be improved by creating a visual path or map for the children to program their Bee Bots around as some children may prefer this.