Featured Educators

Meet our Ozobot educator superstars! These are teachers who bring Ozobot into the classroom in many new inventive ways we couldn’t even have imagined. We are so excited to share their stories and their work with you!

Dr. Richard Born

Associate Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University

Bio:

Prior to his work at the university level, Rich taught physics, computer science, and earth science for fourteen years at Kaneland High School in Maple Park, Illinois. Rich earned his B.S. in Physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Physics at Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to his retirement in 2010, as an Associate Professor, Rich taught discrete-event simulation modeling, business applications of geographic information systems, and computer programming in Visual Basic and JavaScript at Northern Illinois University for 25 years.

Since his retirement he has been a regular contributor to Vernier Software and Technology’s biannual newsletter the Caliper, specializing in physics, environmental, and engineering applications. Rich also considers himself to be a maker, having created more than 40 littleBits STEM projects and lessons in physics, mathematics, and computer science, many of which are Arduino-based.

In his spare time, Rich enjoys taking his two Schnauzers for daily walks, attending his granddaughter’s music and sports events, and participating as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League in DeKalb County, Illinois. Rich’s interests in art are in the areas of fine-art photography and scanography.

What is your favorite part about being an educator?

Although I have taught a small number of online courses, nothing replaces what can be achieved with face-to-face, in the classroom, teaching. What a joy it is to see the expression on a student’s face when he or she has just grasped a complex concept. What a joy it is to see the students actively setting-up an apparatus for a science experiment. What a joy it is to observe a student who has worked for a long time on a computer program, finally getting rid of the last bug and finding their algorithm working perfectly.

What interests you most about Ozobot?

I see Ozobot as a potential leader in STEM education, not only at the grade-school level but also in junior and senior high schools. Ozobot’s ability to make independent, random decisions at intersections allows these students to study random variables and probability distributions and use these distributions to solve complex, real-life business problems.

How do you see Ozobot affecting the way students and kids learn the most?

I have always been a believer in the idea that students can benefit from programming. Programming teaches patience, attention to detail, and logical thinking. With Ozobot’s colorful Color Code language, programming can begin at a very early age, long before writing textual code would be reasonable. Young minds can be creative and do so in a way that is fun and enjoyable!

Linda McClure, M.Ed.

Technology Coordinator, Bancroft Middle School, LBUSD
Teacher, Educational Technology Magnet Grades 6-8

Q and A:
Are you teaching anywhere? If so, tell us more about it, for example which school district you are teaching at and what grades you are teaching.

I have been teaching for 21 years, most of those years have been spent teaching technology. For the last eleven years, I have co-chaired the technology magnet program at a middle school in Long Beach, California. In addition to teaching advanced technology full time, I am responsible for writing the curriculum district wide. Our curriculum ranges from introduction to technology to advanced code writing, 3D printing, graphic and web design. Some of my past jobs have included elementary school technology coordinator and university adjunct faculty.

Are you involved in any after school programs?

Currently I am running the Makerspace at my middle school as an after school club. Because I have five 3D printers in my computer lab, I have been working to introduce the students who are not in the computer classes to code writing and 3D printing.

What is your favorite part about being an educator?

My favorite part about being an educator is the kids. I love that I get to be in the classroom everyday. I’m very lucky that I get to teach technology, something that most of my students really love. I have the ability and resources to make my classes really fun and motivating, allowing all students access to information they may struggle with under other circumstances. With my curriculum there is always a new technology, software, method, game, or technique to explore. I’m always learning new things and it is never boring!

What interests you most about Ozobot? How do you see Ozobot affecting the way students and kids learn the most?

Ozobot approaches teaching code writing in a new way. There are many apps out there that teach code writing, but Ozobots are tactile and kids need that. I have some kids who are great at code writing and any program is going to work for them. But there are a lot of students who will understand code writing better if they approach it three dimensionally. That is where a system like Ozobot can really make a difference. When kids can see the application of the code, put their hands on an object, program it and see how it works coding makes so much more sense.

Mrs. Kristin Hicks

5th grade teacher

Q and A:
Are you teaching anywhere? If so, tell us more about it, for example which school district you are teaching at and what grades you are teaching.

I am currently teaching 5th grade at Tierra Linda Elementary School in the Pleasant Valley School District located in Camarillo, CA. I have been a teacher in this district for over 25 years.

Are you involved in any after school programs?

I have been involved in code club, math club and performing arts classes after school. Next year I will definitely be providing a coding with Ozobots class which I am super excited about!

What is your favorite part about being an educator?

My ultimate favorite part of teaching is giving students a safe environment to explore and try new things and seeing them build confidence in themselves that translates into a lifelong learner.

What interests you most about Ozobot?

What interests me about Ozobots is that they can be so simple yet complex! You can use colors to code, build mazes, compete, learn programming, and the list goes on. Simple to complex higher level thinking – the possibilities are endless!! Such versatility is what makes Ozobot very appealing to me and my students. We grow as we learn, that’s how it should be, something that grows with us.

How do you see Ozobot affecting the way students and kids learn the most?

First, with Ozobots my students WANT to learn!! They use communication and collaboration to discuss new and inventive ways to code. They use higher level thinking skills to push themselves to create their own learning. Anyone can benefit from learning with an Ozobot and I think for the first time I do believe one size fits all! One Ozobot can fit all children because it is designed to let the learner learn and grow.

Rachel Sattin

Elementary School Teacher

Bio:

I have been teaching for the past 14 years with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). Although I have taught from Kindergarten to Grade 6, I am currently teaching grade 5 and 6 students. As well, I am involved heavily with exploring new technologies for the classroom and how to help my colleagues incorporate them into their classrooms. I hope to continue this work throughout my career.

As an educator, I am a lifelong learner. The ever changing world around us allows me to continue my own learning alongside my students. As I teach new concepts and skills, I learn about their perspectives and have the opportunity to see things in a new light. I very much enjoy what each day in the classroom brings to both teaching and learning.

Technology and digital citizenship are an integral part of my classroom, and my school. After all, we are living in the 21st century and have to prepare our students for a world and jobs that do not yet exist. It is an exciting time to teach and learn.

After randomly discovering Ozobots in a search for robots that I could connect to my iPad, I quickly realized their potential in the classroom. They have enhanced my lessons on such concepts as area and perimeter, probability and statistics, problem solving, and logical thinking. I use them to help students build their critical thinking and problem solving skills around various curricular math concepts. I look forward to seeing what technology has in store for us in the future.