January and February of 2020 seem like a lifetime ago. At Ozobot, we had just moved into a new office office overlooking the ocean. We flew—mask-free—across the country to FETC and TCEA and connected with educators face-to-face, introducing them to our recently-launched Ozobot Classroom. The pharse “social distancing” wasn’t in our vocablulary.
Obviously, the rest of 2020 didn’t continue the way it began. It was full of challenges, hardship, and anxiety. But, it was also full of adapting, reflecting, and coming together as a team and as a community—albeit virtually and socially distanced. As we hope for the best in 2021, we want to take time to reflect on 2020.
- The Ozobot team began working remotely once Covid-19 started to spread in Southern California. Many of us left most of our office supplies at our desks, thinking we’d be back in the office within a few weeks!
- Even though Ozobot Classroom had just launched, we decided to take quick action to build in a remote-friendly experience. We weren’t sure schools would still be closed in the Fall, but wanted to make sure we could support educators if it was the case. Our team quickly adapted and took on the challenge of integrating Google Classroom and creating a curriculum of Learn Anywhere Lessons (complete with instructional videos!)
- As a team, we made a plan to be more proactive and less reactive to the reality of systemic racism in our society. We believe that racism can be addressed in the classroom, and we are committed to doing our part.
- It started to become clear that many schools across the country world remain closed the coming fall. We continued to work from home to help reduce the spread of the virus.
- It was apparent that summer was not a restful time for teachers and students on break with the back-to-school uncertainty loomed. We pressed on with our remote-friendly solution with educators as our inspiration.
- With Google Classroom successfully integrated into Ozobot Classroom, we launched our Learn Anywhere Lesson series, integrating coding & STEAM into core subjects with our 2 Ways to Code. We are grateful for the hard work of our engineers, curriculum designers, and video team for their hard work making it happen!
- Educators were already our heroes, but as uncertainty and challenges persist, we are even more in awe of the bravery and commitment we saw.
- Parents in the #OzoSquad impressed us by stepping up and doing their part to keep students engaged in learning!
- Learn Anywhere Lesson creation continued to ensure teachers have enough material to get their students hands-on with Math, ELA, and more from anywhere.
- As part of our commitment to continuously improve the Ozobot experience, OzoBlockly got a fresh new look plus the ability to transfer programs via bluetooth to Evo!
- We continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. We are now Zoom pros, but can’t wait to see each other in person again!
It was tough, but we made it—together. Happy New Year! Here’s to a healthy 2021—bringing to it all we have learned about equity, flexibility, empathy, and community.