Benjamin Franklin once said, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
My students are inquisitive, hands-on learners who are highly motivated when exploring new forms of technology to solve problems posed to their teams.
They have a drive to be involved, and I nurture that drive through problem based explorations as they navigate their way through the scientific process.
My school is located in a rural, high-poverty area. Most of the students we serve have little knowledge of, or access to, multiple forms of technology at home. We are a positive behavior support school and strive to give our students the best supports available making our atmosphere warm and welcoming. My class is a goal-driven classroom that implements multiple experiences so all kinds of learners and every kind of intelligence has a chance to shine.
Everyone remembers learning about the water cycle with diagrams and experiments, but how many people actually get to code the water cycle? Students will gain crucial 21st century skills like innovation, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking and begin their introduction into computer science through programming while they navigate an interactive story of "A Day in the Life of Mr. Ozobot" in small groups. Imagine having to mimic with code what is happening to molecules of water as they evaporate, condense, and infiltrate. This experience will not only require great critical thinking and application skills but will also introuce computational thinking skills. While code and programming are essential skills needed to succeed in the 21st century job market, they are largely ignored in schools due to time constraints with standards. I will use Ozobot to introduce the water cycle and continue to use them to integrate hands on coding experiences throughout our lessons on earth science.
There is a growing understanding that knowing how to program is essential, especially for younger generations.
In Missouri alone there were 9,556 open computing jobs and only 852 computer science graduates this year. With the increasing demand for programming skills Ozobot will give my rural students the supplies they need to foster the skills and knowledge to understand the digital world around them and make a difference by giving them an avenue to bring their ideas and innovations to life and the skills they need to succeed in the future job market.
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