Digital Technologies- Programmable Toys 16/1/2018

As part of our second lesson of the digital literacy module we explored the use of programmable toys in education and the many benefits of its use. The use of programmable toys was first introduced to education in the 1960s when the programme Logo was created. The game allowed children to learn very complex programming in an entertaining and engaging way. However, since the 1960s the use of technology in the classroom has continued to rapidly increase. Beauchamp, G provides evidence to this statement ” the walls of the classroom and the home have been expanded by social media, the cloud, wikis, podcasts, video- conferencing etc”. (Beauchamp, G. 2017, p.2) Thus, with the ever-growing popularisation of technology in society and in education it is vital to myself as a student teacher to continue to educate myself on the ways I might incorporate the use of programmable toys into future lessons and the benefits that I will see when doing so.

The programmable toy we focused on throughout the lesson was Bee-Bot. The lesson begun with us reviewing the advantages and benefit of using programmable toys such as Bee-Bots in the classroom and the impact of doing so on young learners. After this we turned to the lesson task where all students were instructed to design an activity for young learners that incorporated the use of Bee-Bots with a numeracy lesson as well as following other curriculum outcomes. My group designed a treasure hunt game (see attached photos) which challenged learners to take their Bee-bot on their boat one space at a time to find the treasure while answering questions on the 3 times table, they may only progress if the answer is right as each card with an answer that instructs them where to go next.

As a learner using Bee-Bots for the first time in the task we created I found them to be fun and interactive. It presented the learner (myself and other members of my group) with the challenge of moving the Bee-Bot around while encouraging our problem-solving skills by presenting the task of finding the treasure.  It also provided us as the learners with full control over our learning while instantly showing us if we were right or wrong in our direction of the Bee-Bot.

From the perception of a student teacher I feel it was be greatly beneficial to introduce programmable toys and Bee-Bots into future class lessons. After today’s lesson I feel the use of programmable toys in the classroom has multiple advantages for both educators and learners. Programmable toys encourage interactive responsive learning which heightens the learners understanding and enjoyment of the activity while allowing both learner and teacher to clearly identify instantly if the learner understands the activity. Educator Alison Lydon detailed her thoughts and findings after she introduced Bee-Bots during a lesson, she wrote that the children “gained independence faster than I anticipated. Twelve out of twenty-eight were able to use the Bee-Bot without any adult help after the initial instructions.” (Lydon, 2008, p.2). In addition, Bee-Bot as well as other programmable toys can be linked with multiple curriculum outcomes and lessons such as literacy and numeracy. The National Centre for Technology in Education found that the use of floor robots in classrooms contributed to the development of the children’s skills such as ” logical sequencing, measuring, comparing lengths, space orientation and expressing concepts in words”. (2012, p.1). Our task we created today follows the Curriculum for Excellence Technology and Numeracy outcomes:

” I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts” as it encourages the young learners to practice their math skills while also familiarising them directions such as north, south, east and west.”- TCH-101a

“I can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division when solving problems, making best use of the mental strategies and written skills I have developed.”- MNU 1-03a

Prior to the lesson I had no knowledge of programmable toys or their significant impact on education and was not educated on the many ways Bee-Bots could be used in numeracy and literacy lessons.  However, after completing the lesson, I feel I have gained the knowledge and skills to use programmable toys when appropriate to enhance my learners’ enjoyment and understanding of the content I am teaching.


Beauchamp, G (2017) Computing and ICT in the primary school : from pedagogy to practice. Second Edition. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge.

Lydon, A (2008) ICTopus Article – Sharing Good Practice: Robots in Early Education. [Online] Available: [Accessed: 16 January 2018]

National centre for Technology in Education (2012). NCTE ICT in the Classroom: Floor robots- focus on literacy & numeracy lessons (Primary). [Online] Available: [Accessed: 16 January 2018]


Digital Technology Introduction 9/1/2018

Prior to my introduction to the Digital Technology module my knowledge and experience with technology was limited. My definition of digital technology mentioned the electronically equipment solely while neglecting its significance within modern society and the benefits of its use, specifically in today’s classrooms. However, by the end of the lesson I was introduced to a wider definition from Education Scotland “Digital technology is a term used to describe those digital applications, services and resources which are used to: find, analyse, create, communicate and use information in a digital context” (Education Scotland 2015).

The use of digital technology in classrooms is becoming increasingly promoted. This is a result of the Scottish Governments intent to introduce and increase the use of digital technology within Scottish classrooms to improve learning for 3-18-year olds. The Government published the “Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of digital technologies” report in 2016 to showcase their aims for digital technology education and the possible benefits of its use. The report stated that Digital Technology can “enhance learning and teaching” and “lead to improved educational outcomes” (Scottish Government 2016). The report detailed evidence of the benefits of the use of digital literacy for an example secondary school. The school found that by introducing e-portfolios to all learners from S1-S3, the learners were able to post and critique their work while monitoring their progress efficiently. As a result, the school found that the digital literacy of both teachers and learners has significantly improved. Moreover, the use of digital technology enhances learner’s enjoyment of lesson as it relates the educational content to technology they are familiar and have experience with. Additionally, with digital technology becoming increasingly significant today, by preparing our young learners with the skill and knowledge of digital literacy we are providing them with the expertise to succeed in todays workforce.

Furthermore, the report educated me on the multiple benefits of digital technology for educators which I previously uniformed on.  Firstly, digital technology provides educators with an extensive variety of educational materials they can use for their own lessons. Additionally, because of digital technology educators can mark student’s papers easily and efficiently through use of sites such as ‘’ which allows learners to submit their work electronically and anonymously. This is an effective method of marking as it eliminates the possibility of paperwork becoming lost or damaged while eliminating potential bias of marking through anonymity. Lastly, the use of Glow blogs provides an online meeting tool that connects educators, so they may exchange materials and participate in curriculum discussions.

To conclude, I am optimistic that my study of digital technology will continue to enhance my understanding and skills as a student teacher that I can apply to future lessons. As a result, I am confident my learners understanding, and enjoyment of my lessons will be enhanced while their digital literacy will continuously progress.

Reference List:

Scottish Government. (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. Edinburgh. Scottish Government (Online) Available:  [Accessed: 9 January 2018]

Education Scotland (2015). Consultation on the development of a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. (Online) Available: [Accessed: 9 January 2018]