Posted in Apps, Cross-Curricular Computing Links, KS1, KS2, Programming Devices

The Bee-Bot app: My latest computing discovery uncovered

I downloaded the Bee-Bot App to further develop my knowledge and understanding of useful apps to use within the classroom for KS1 and this app is brilliant. A gem in fact.

The Bee-Bot App:

The Bee-Bot app is free and perfectly compliments the physical programming device, the popular Bee-Bot. A lesson idea could be to have a group of children working on the Bee-Bot app, whilst another group uses the physical programming device to keep every child busy.

Setting up the Bee-Bot App:

It was simple to download from the app store and once downloaded can be accessed straight away. It’s easy to use and very appealing to young children due to the cute animation and bright colours. There’s no log in or sign up details required so if parents have access to an iPad or iPhone at home, it’s a great app to download.

My Personal Experience of the Bee-Bot App:

Personally I LOVE this app.  I sat and played all the levels, admittedly some levels are a bit tricky if you try and programme the Bee-Bot to reach the flower all in one go but if you break the algorithm down into smaller chunks, levels can be achieved quite quickly.

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The instructional page, detailing the aim of the level

The functions to programme the Bee-Bot character are identical to those on the physical Bee-Bot.

bee-bot-app-instructions
Instructions on how to program the character

I love the fact that there are different games/challenges within the app. The Bee-Bot has to reach a flower on some levels, heard sheep into a pen and collect eggs from chickens in other levels. The variation definitely kept me interested. There is also a second Bee-Bot app; Bee-Bot Pyramid, in which you must programme the device around pyramid themed maps trying to avoid the moving mummies (a potential cross-curricular link to History there).

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Stealing the eggs from the chickens game
bee-bot-app-easy
Reaching the flower game

Another aspect of the app I love is the fact that it can be completed individually or as groups as the Bee-Bot character can be programmed in one go or by using step by step instructions. A competition between table groups within the classroom or year group could even be set up to try and get the quickest completion time on particular levels.

Potential Cross-Curricular Links:

The could be used in conjunction with a maths lesson in which the children measure and draw up routes for the physical Bee-Bots by using the app as a guide. This could be enhanced further during a geography lesson whereby children could draw a map of their local area (once again using the app as a guide) and programme the physical Bee-Bot to visit certain places such as the library, school and hospital etc.

Assessment for Learning:

The app automatically saves the time taken and level completed on the specific device. Therefore, as long as the children always use the same iPad when accessing the app, the teacher can assess a child’s individual or group progress on the iPads. However, the actual algorithms the child inputted are not saved once the clear button has been pressed or level achieved, so even if a child successfully completes all the levels they may have inputted each movement singularly and therefore are not building up their ability to programme larger algorithms. This would then be hard to compare against a child who may have only completed a few levels but tried really hard to programme the whole route in one go.

Furthermore, if a child did complete all the levels, the 3 star rating system could be used as a secondary extrinsic motivator by pushing the child to try and achieve 3 stars on every single level.

bee-bot-app-challenge-selector
An overview of the levels completed and the 3 star rating system

Overall, I LOVE this app as it links to the physical devices whilst incorporating the use of iPads into the programming knowledge of the child. It is easy to monitor when children are exploring the app, has many cross-curricular links and also can be integrated into many different teaching and learning styles within the classroom. Similarly, the game like challenge feature will engage the children alongside the amazing animations and graphics, hopefully giving children the determination to succeed.

My advice: Download it now. A potential KS1/lower KS2 iPad necessity.

 

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