Our final Code Club for the year I invited parents to come along, provided some pizza and soft drink and set up activities such as Ozobots, coding a Lego Mindstorms robot, and using Osmo Coding on the iPad. The kids enjoyed showing their parents what they’d been working on and teaching their parents some coding.
As part of our push to include more coding and digital technology skills in the curriculum, I organised for our Year 3 and 5 students to take part in the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge for the first time. This involved students using one of their IT lessons to log on and complete a quiz, either individually or in groups, to test their ability to think logically and to reason. A sample question for Year 3 and for Year 5 is shown below.
This week I presented the certificates of merit, credit and distinction on assembly. We had a lot of merits and credits and one boy in Year 5 got a distinction. This was a fun and worthwhile event to get involved in and we will be expanding our participation next year.
Aaron from Osborne Technologies visited the school yesterday to speak to our P-5 staff about Romo the Robot. Romo is a visitor from outer space who the students have to help get around by programming him. He is controlled by an iPod or iPhone and responds to and interacts with students. Our P-5 teachers had fun playing with him and doing some basic programming. The library is looking at purchasing one to see how it goes and what we can do with it.
Nao, the humanoid robot, visited the school today along with Jonathan Kingsley from Brainary Interactive to speak to our Code Club kids and our library monitors as well as interested staff and a number of visiting principals. I’d seen Nao at the recent Edutech conference and he offers great opportunities for teaching students computer coding. Students can interact with Nao, teach him to play soccer or to dance, even speak to him in a foreign language. Nao can be programmed using simple drag and drop, block-based programming or more complex programming languages such as C++ or Python.