Dot and Dash robots are helping elementary school students learn about computer coding and programing, thanks to the district’s Title I Parent Resource Center.
The resource center purchased the educational robots. The Parent Involvement District Advisory Council – parents and community members who meet at Title One monthly and serve as liaisons between Title 1 and their schools – have been trained to demonstrate the robots to students.
“Coding is the language of the future,” said Parent and Family Engagement Specialist Wanda Wilkinson. “Our students are going to be interacting with robots, computer apps and other technology that uses coding language. We are working to prepare them for that future.”
Wilkinson said 10 parents in West Putnam have been trained to demonstrate the Dot and Dash robots. They used them in seven kindergarten classrooms at Interlachen Elementary School in November for a Thanksgiving presentation that included reading a book and talking about coding.
Kelley Smith Elementary School has a school set of Dot and Dash robots. Students have been working with them during their media center special sessions. “ The Children’s Reading Center Charter School is going to visit Kelley Smith to learn about the Dot and Dash program,” Wilkinson said.
In January, parent volunteers will be trained to set up Dot and Dash learning centers for two kindergarten classes at James A. Long Elementary School.
“They are very motivating,” Wanda Wilkinson. “It’s fun learning for the students.”
Wonder Workshop, the company that produces the Dot and Dash robots, has yearly robotics competition, and they also provide materials and support for after school coding clubs. Wilkinson said the district plans to get involved with that next year.