Student Technology Showcase

Technology at Ridge Park Elementary School

 

It continues to be an exciting time in the lab with our Robotics unit. After completing our Coding and Programming unit, we took things a step further and brought in various robots. New this year are the Bee Bots (https://www.bee-bot.us/ ) which are used in Kindergarten.  Since First grade didn’t use them last year, they had a chance to learn to program them as well.  With various mats, students needed to program their Bee Bot to get to the selected destination. They used sequencing, problem-solving.  They needed to get their bot from the start position and input commands to make the robot move forwards, turn, and backwards if needed. Students also used the Bee Bot app to program their virtual bot the same way.  

First grade students used the Ozobot (http://ozobot.com/). The Ozobot is a small robot with five sensors on the underside. Using either paper or the iPad apps, the robot will follow green, blue, red, and black tracks. There are certain combinations of colors that are commands which when placed on a path will make the Ozobot perform a certain action, such as turns, speed, directions, or special moves.

Second grade students were introduced to and used the Dash robot from Wonder Works (https://www.makewonder.com/dash), a mobile robot that can be programmed to do various things. Students worked collaboratively in teams of two and first learned to control the motion of the robot. Using the iPad apps Wonder and Blockly, they learned to create programs for their Dash to make it move, dance, speak, and other various actions.

Third grade students used the Sphero (http://www.sphero.com/sprk-plus) with the Sphero Edu iPad app. In collaborative teams of two, the students learned to drive and control the robot, setting speed, changing its color, and directions. There was an obstacle course set up and they had to take turns guiding it over and around objects. They had the opportunity to see and use some of the created programs in the app, such as Animal Toss and Color Grab. Similar to the drag and drop programming they used in Scratch and Hour of Code, teams could create their own program or remix a program.

It was a lively and active few weeks.

What is the "Hour of Code"? The hour of code was designed to simplify computer science and show that students of all ages can learn the basics of programming. Sponsored by Code.org, a non-profit organization, whose goal is to provide every student the opportunity to learn computer science. It consists of many engaging and exciting activities at all different levels for students to access, where they are applying problem-solving skills, logic, sequencing, and creativity. The "Hour of Code" campaign took place the week of Dec. 4 - 8 this year.

Access from home:

  • In an internet browser, go to https://sites.google.com/student.colonialsd.org/rpcode
  • This link may also be found under Links and Resources, and Web Apps of the Ridge Park Elementary website.
  • Students will select their grade level from the choices in the upper right and then select their teacher's name for the unique URL for their class
  • They will select their name and the computer generated picture password attached.

Once signed in, students may go to their Dashboard in the upper left to continue working where we left off in school. If they find that the assigned course is too challenging at this time, this is also the location to switch to a different course. Under the tab Course Catalog, students may choose to select one of the featured Hour of Code activities that uses popular characters and games such as Minecraft, Star Wars, and Frozen.

This event coincided nicely with our Coding Unit in Technology class. Please take time to explore the Code.org website and its many features and activities.

Ridge Park students have been working in their Coding and Programming Unit. Yes, Coding and Programming in elementary school! Students are learning the basic skills as a foundation to coding and programming. Kindergarten students were introduced to the Daisy the Dinosaur app. They were able to create a sequence of commands and see those commands come to life by Daisy performing them. First and second grade students have been using Kodable, available as an app or via the web on a PC. Kodable is set up in a puzzle format where students assemble a sequence of commands to get through the mazes in a logical and efficient manner. In the process they are learning to apply sequencing, critical thinking skills, use conditions, loops, functions, as well as debugging to find errors. First grade students mostly focused on putting steps in a sequence and using conditions to better control their fuzz character. Second grade students focused on using loops and functions.

They can access their accounts from home as well on the app, the same way they do in school. If using the web, the URL is game.kodable.com. The will need to input their class code just as they do in school. The class code is rpe followed by their room number, such as rpe01 for Mrs. Jennings' room or rpe18 for Mrs. Wolfheimer's room.

Third grade students are applying those similar concepts of programming using Scratch (scratch.mit.edu) to create animations. They learned how to log in to our shared account and navigate the interface. They have had opportunities to work individually and collaboratively to design simple programs to animate their character or "sprite" by dragging and dropping commands into a sequence. They learned how to show motion, add speech bubbles, make costume changes, add sounds and have it interact with the computer user. They really enjoyed seeing their hard work come to life.

Code.org and the Hour of Code will be coming the first week of December! More information to follow.


It has been a fantastic start to a new school year. We have moved into our brand new room. It is a great space that offers us quite a bit of flexibility. We are starting our year with our Intro to Technology unit, using both computers and iPads. Stay tuned for more.

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