Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oak Hills Students Take Their First Steps Toward Coding With BotLogic!

This week I introduced BotLogic to our students in 3rd through 5th grade.  Boy did the kids love it!!

What is BotLogic you may ask?  The creators of Botlogic describe it best...

BotLogic.us is an educational puzzle game that challenges kids and adults to tackle complex logic problems while teaching valuable programming concepts. Using simple commands (and eventually code), players program their bots to navigate through progressively challenging mazes.

For years I have introduced the concept of programming to students using the MIT created programming language Scratch.  Scratch is an online programming activity where students can create their own interactive animations.  It continues to be one of my favorites, but it is great to have an additional tool for teaching introductory coding!

BotLogic is great for several reasons.  It provides a great opportunity for differentiation within each class.  It works on any device that has web access, so it bridges the divide from desktop computer to mobile device.  While a student can play the game using the operational buttons provided, there is a place for students to type actual code to make their bot move.  Several students successfully maneuvered their bot this way.  

One of the most exciting things has been seeing how much students enjoy it.  On Monday, I introduced BotLogic to Ava with her 5th grade class.  On Tuesday a introduced it to her sister Emily in her 3rd grade class. As soon as I was done introducing, Emily proudly told me that she had already heard about it the night before from her sister Ava.  It was great to hear that students were going home to tell their families about it.