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An Experience of Introducing Primary School Children to Programming using Ozobots

by   Nina Körber, et al.

Algorithmic thinking is a central concept in the context of computational thinking, and it is commonly taught by computer programming. A recent trend is to introduce basic programming concepts already very early on at primary school level. There are, however, several challenges in teaching programming at this level: Schools and teachers are often neither equipped nor trained appropriately, and the best way to move from initial "unplugged" activities to creating programs on a computer are still a matter of open debate. In this paper, we describe our experience of a small INTERREG-project aiming at supporting local primary schools in introducing children to programming concepts using Ozobot robots. These robots have two distinct advantages: First, they can be programmed with and without computers, thus helping the transition from unplugged programming to programming with a computer. Second, they are small and easy to transport, even when used together with tablet computers. Although we learned in our outreach events that the use of Ozobots is not without challenges, our overall experience is positive and can hopefully support others in setting up first encounters with programming at primary schools.


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