A buzz has filled the Year 2 classrooms over the past weeks. Thankfully, not a swarm of real bees, but Bee Bots, a technological tool that allows students to practice the skills of sequencing, problem-solving and simple coding.
Coding, the process of giving a computer, or in this case a Bee, step-by-step commands to follow is widely predicted to be a valuable skill in the next 10-15 years of the global workforce. This has led some educational researchers to claim that coding will be as commonplace in schools as literacy and numeracy.
Bee Bots, about the size of a closed fist, have a small number of basic commands, forwards, backwards, left turn, right turn, a clear button and a pause button. Under the guidance of Year 3 teacher and tech-guru, Mrs Joanna Muirhead, we have been using the Bee Bots every week in a series of activities, designed to teach and challenge our ability to code and sequence. We have programmed the Bee Bots to move around obstacle courses and maps. We have also started to design our own course for the Bee Bots to follow, by measuring and drawing pathways followed by coding the Bee Bots to follow that pathway. We have quickly learned that the Bee Bots will do EXACTLY what we tell it to do!
The energy and excitement for coding has been palpable across Year 2.
“Playing with the Bee Bots is really fun”, said Liam Grimmer from Year 2K. “I like how you get to put in all of the instructions”.
Coco Emmerson from Year 2C added, “It is really interesting to do all of the programming and make the Bee Bot follow the map that you have drawn”.
So, if you hear some buzzing from the Year 2 classrooms it might be the hum of the Bee Bots or the excitement of the next generation of computer code experts!
Steve Clacher – Year 2 Teacher