Bust a Move With Evo: an Interview with Educator of the Month Karyn Cutler

One of Evo’s strengths is putting the “A” in STEAM.  Art is expressed in a multitude of ways, including painting, drawing, music, dance, just to name a few. While Evo inherently incorporates art into the classroom with its use of Color Codes, OzoBlockly offers even more ability to incorporate art into STEM.

Our Educator of the Month for January used OzoBlockly with her seventh grade class to create a choreographed dance with their Evos. Needless to say, her students did such a fantastic job, and we had to pick her brain a bit about this fun lesson!

Tell us about yourself! What is your job and what inspired you to get into the career you have? 

Hi! I started my teaching career in 2001 as a primary classroom teacher. Being a self-taught techie I started using technology in my classroom whenever possible, whether it was publishing stories using a word processing program or creating art projects on Kid Pix. When the opportunity presented itself to teach technology I jumped right in. I love the high level of student engagement, use of critical thinking skills, and creativity that comes from my students during tech time.

How did you think of creating the project?

We have a really great related arts team at Deal School. Our music teacher, Mrs. Bloomquist, and I love coming up with collaborative projects that integrate the arts and technology. We were throwing ideas around one day over lunch and when she started explaining how her students use SoundTrap to create compositions, I thought it would be fun to have the students create dance routines to the beat using OzoBlockly. 

What was the most challenging part about facilitating this lesson, and how did you overcome that obstacle?

The most challenging part of facilitating this project was the inevitability of students having to overcome failure. It took a lot of trial and error on the coding side of the project and that is very frustrating for students. I talk a lot about persistence and the idea that learning from failure creates success.  It’s always extremely rewarding to see how proud the students are of their work once they work through their problems and have a finished product.

Can you share with us an example of how your project combined creativity and coding?

Students were tasked with choosing a composition they had already created in SoundTrap or creating a new one. The goal was to create a short dance using OzoBlockly that matched the beat of the music. Those were the basic guidelines that were given to them. They were in charge of deciding which coding blocks they wanted to include to make their project successful. 

What is your favorite Color Code or block of code in OzoBlockly? Did you use it in your creation, and if so how did you incorporate it? 

Of course, the disco code is my favorite! Students especially love using this one in dance routines.

In addition to having a blast with Ozobots, what do you want kids who may recreate your project to take away from it? 

Don’t be afraid to experiment and fail. Learning from your mistakes is all part of the process.

Besides creating with code, what is your favorite hobby or interest to geek out about in your free time?

Our school just purchased a Glowforge laser cutter this year. I have been experimenting with different design programs and materials to gain a better understanding of how to maximize its use in the classroom.

To check out more of Karyn Cutler’s variety of Ozobot projects, follow her on Twitter! And don’t forget…

Coding is Creative!

Tech skills alone don’t spur big ideas—creative visions do. That’s why education at home and in the classroom should span science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (think STEAM, not STEM). Whether you see yourself as a future artist, astronaut, or entrepreneur, our goal at Ozobot is to kick start your creativity and coding skills with playtime that strengthens your whole mind.

To learn more,explore Ozobot’s 2 Ways to Code:

OzoBlockly >

Color Codes >

For Educators and Students:

OzoBlockly Basic Training >

Color Codes Basic Training >

150+ STEAM Lessons >

Educator of the Month – Official Rules

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