Exploring Computer Programming with Dash and Dot

Recently my class was able to get its hands on a set of Dash and Dot. We only used Dash but saw what we could do with Dot. For those who do not know what I am talking about, Dash and Dot are a pair of robots that help students learn about the basics of computer programming, from the very basics of direction programming, to complex block coding, Dash and Dot do it all!

Check out this video as to what Dash and Dot can do to inspire your students or children.

While our time with Dash and Dot have been short, we did a quick introduction lesson, where I showed students a code that I used to program Dash to wonder around the classroom and detect movements to move around on his own. We then had students come up and experiment with ways to get Dash to move to different points in the room.

In addition to help students see the other ways that computer programming can be used later in life I used Dash and Dot as a positive behavior reinforcement. In relation to Classdojo, if students received enough positive points students would get a certain amount of time to code Dash. This worked great with my students with ADHD to get them to focus on solving a problem and working through the incorporated challenges that the iPad apps for Dash and Dot have. Students can work at different levels and work at their own pace to solve fun puzzles for Dash to solve using computer programming!

While Dash and Dot are awesome tools to help teach programming, I would probably only recommend using this with very small groups of students or as something students could use at home. The Dash and Dot can be pretty expensive, Dot is less expensive, and there can be more accessories that go with them. You can find the prices located on their website and at online resellers such as Amazon.

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2 responses to “Exploring Computer Programming with Dash and Dot

  1. What app did you use for teaching Dash and Dot? Do you have ideas that how teachers can incorporate it into the curriculum?

    • For the older students and the more advanced students I would reccomend using “blockly”, it is the most robust part of the computer programming for Dash and Dot. This app teaches students procedural coding and the basics into more advanced coding Another app for younger students would be “Wonder”. This would be for grades maybe 1st but more likely 2nd and 3rd grade. There is no actual code but connect different procedures for Dash to carry out and have story lines, characters, and themes that go along with the challenges that increase in difficultly.

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