Q&A: Ohbot’s impact as a learning tool

If you attended ISTE 2017 with us, you may remember meeting Ohbot at our booth. And even if you didn’t, we have some more to share on how Ohbot has had a positive impact on learning over the last 12 months.

A brief reminder: Ohbot is an expressive, programmable robot head that stands 20 cm tall, built with seven motors that tilt and turn the head and eyes, move its eyelids and its lips. Connected to a computer running a Windows 10 App, children can program human-like speech, facial gestures, and sensing.

Castleview School in Slough, UK, has been using Ohbot to develop computational thinking skills. We asked Clair Harris, the school’s Information and Communications Technology Coordinator, three key questions about the experience so far:

 

What first interested you in Ohbot as a learning tool?

 

Ohbot looks so exciting, it hooks the kids in straight away. The perceived ease of use was captured immediately, owing to the familiar feel of the programming language – and the built-in simulator gives instant feedback on whether the code is successful. We see robotics as the way forward, the future.

 

How do you use Ohbot at your school?

 

We use Ohbot for a full half term (six-week topic) every year for all children across Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old). We teach specific skills to each year, which become more complex as they progress.  Some teachers lead focus tasks and we  have some open-ended mini projects.

 

How has Ohbot made an impact on learning?

 

Children love working with Ohbot and the huge enthusiasm for learning is very apparent in the classroom. Ohbot challenges and engages the children and they develop resilience, as the solution often takes several attempts before they succeed.  Ohbot also develops independent thinking and problem solving skills, and provides a positive atmosphere in class.

“Just showed Y6 Ohbot. Whole class gave it a spontaneous round of applause! Can’t remember a text book getting that reaction. The students have been really enthused by the work, while at the same time learning about concepts like variables, user inputs, mathematical operators and Booleans. Since using Ohbot, I have noticed the pupils can write and use much more complex programs than before, and seeing the effects of their code on the movements of the robot is really rewarding and engaging.”

– Peter Johnson, Gosforth Primary Academy, Newcastle, UK

We look forward to hearing how Ohbot and our other great STEM products and apps help the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. You can get started with the Ohbot app today.