Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to install or download any software?
No. Our platform is entirely web-based and requires only an internet connection and a web browser. Everything is already set up for you. All you need to do is create an account and sign in every time you and your students want to use Bomberbot.
What are the minimum technical requirements for Bomberbot?
Bomberbot works best in the most recent versions of Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer 11+. If you are on Windows XP, make sure you are using the latest version of Google Chrome. Bomberbot works well on computers, laptops, Chromebooks and tablets. We recommend an internet connection speed of 1M bps or higher.
What browser settings are required for Bomberbot?
Make sure that your cookies settings are enabled and ad-block is disabled. In your school security settings, add www.bomberbot.com to the allowed websites.
What age is recommended?
Bomberbot is targeted at children aged 8 to 14 without prior experience in programming. However, we have also seen younger and older children benefit from the game-based learning in Bomberbot, as well as students who have used other visual and block based programming languages.
What programming language does Bomberbot teach?
What do children learn from playing Bomberbot?
Throughout the program, Bomberbot teaches programming fundamentals through classroom instruction, computational thinking through gameplay and algorithmic thinking through creating pseudocode to solve problems in a step by step manner. These programming concepts include sequences, loops, algorithms, conditionals, functions, and variables. It also includes important programming practices such as debugging, testing, and collaboration. More advanced topics include recursive functions, nested loops, modular programming, and much more.
Where do the topics for your lessons come from?
The standards for our lessons come from the UK, the first country to have a national computer science curriculum for elementary school, launched in September 2014. We then break down these standards into smaller lesson objectives that can be taught in one single session. Our second year curriculum builds upon these concepts and teaches more advanced applications of using various programming logic blocks together (ex: nested functions and loops).
How many lessons does Bomberbot have?
Bomberbot currently offers 21 lessons divided in 2 years. Before the start of the school year 2017 / 2018, Bomberbot will also offer a third year. Sign up here to get free access to our lesson materials for 30 days.
How long does each lesson take?
Each lesson is designed for an average duration of 50-60 minutes. However, it is also possible to break up the lesson into two sessions. The first session will include the instruction and unplugged activity. The second session will be reserved for solving levels in the online game. Students can also work individually on this during the week. In this case, you can start of the next lesson by discussing the levels played.
How often should I give Bomberbot lessons?
We recommend giving one Bomberbot lesson a week. However, some teachers may give Bomberbot lessons every other week. You are free to adjust the frequency of the lessons to best fit the needs of your classroom.
How long does it take to complete the program?
You can complete the lessons in the course of a semester or one year, but it depends on the frequency of your scheduled lessons.
How much time should students spend on the Bomberbot game?
In class, students can spend approximately 20-30 minutes on the computer playing the game to complete the “recommended” levels. If they finish early, they can play bonus levels. In your Progress Tracking tool, you will see that students who complete all of the recommended levels will have a checkmark in the progress bar. Students can also take extra time to create levels or play at home.
What is the best way to prepare for Bomberbot lessons?
We recommend by starting to read the lesson plan and look at the presentation. Afterwards, play the missions yourself and take a look at the answer guides if needed. Preparing for a Bomberbot lessons takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
I don’t have the time to give the all the lessons in class right now. What can I do?
There are many creative strategies to incorporate programming into the school day, such as making programming part of school electives, or part of a rotational program, such as “Workshop Weeks,” which are offered in some schools. In this elective or rotational model, children can choose which workshop or class they would like to participate in. Bomberbot can also be a “choice” activity for students during their free time. You can also incorporate programming into the math curriculum, especially with variables, data types, and data representation, as well as the science curriculum, with concepts of testing and debugging. If all else fails, there are several options to also provide Bomberbot lessons outside of the normal school day (see below).
How can I offer Bomberbot lessons outside of school?
Afterschool lessons can be offered to students who are interested in programming, for example, once a week on a Wednesday afternoon. You can teach the classes yourself or with other colleagues. Often times there are also enthusiastic and highly involved parents that are interested in giving programming lessons in their free time. If parents are interested in offering lessons for their children but neither you nor the parents have time to provide the lessons yourself, it is also possible to hire a third party to teach the lessons.
My students can’t open the mission(s). What’s wrong?
As a teacher you need to give students access to start the next lesson or mission. This way you can control how your students are progressing through the Bomberbot game. Mission 1 is open by default. To open the next mission and begin gameplay, click ‘Lessons’ in the left menu. On the top right corner of each mission image, you will find a settings icon. Click here to open the settings and unlock the current mission per class (lock is now open for column ‘current mission’).
My students can’t play levels in free order. What’s wrong?
In the default gameplay, players must solve the previous level in order to unlock the next one. If you want your students to be able to play any level in any order, you can unlock the level permissions for your class. Click the “Settings” icon on the Mission cover image. To unlock levels, select the checkbox in the column ‘Game levels’.
How can I track the progress of my class after I give the lesson?
Click ‘Progress’ in the left menu and select the class on the top right corner. Select the last lesson you gave on the top left corner and you will be able to see the total number of levels played in the mission, the average score, total time spent, and the last log-in of each child.
How can I track the overall progress of each student individually?
Click on the student name in the progress overview. You will find a summary of how this student did on all Missions.
How should I use the Progress Tool? What does the green checkmark mean?
Each Mission contains a number of recommended levels (on average 8-12) for students to play. Students should finish these levels to fully understand how to apply the programming concept. When students have completed all these levels, their progress bar on the levels will show a green checkmark. Students can continue playing the bonus levels. These levels will not add to the average score, but will show in the total number of levels played (i.e. 23/13 levels), This number demonstrates that your student has played extra levels because he or she is trying to get a better understanding of the programming concept.
The average number of starts students earn show the average amount of stars earned in the recommended levels of that Mission. To get the perfect score, students should play all recommended levels and get an average of 3 stars. Stars earned in the bonus levels to not add to the score.
Can I print a Class or Student Progress report?
Yes, you can do both. To print the progress of your class in one Mission, go to the Progress Tracking tool and click the ‘print pdf’ button to print out the report. To print the progress of one individual student over all missions, click the student name before clicking the ‘print pdf’ button.
I want to try Bomberbot! How can I sign up?
We offer a free pilot for schools and parents. You can sign up on the following page to start your 30 day free trial: http://landing.bomberbot.com/sign-up-for-bomberbot/.
What happens at the end of the pilot?
The pilot automatically ends after 30 days. Pupils will not be able to access their account after the pilot period. As a teacher, you still have access to evaluate the student progress when the pilot has ended. If you want to continue using Bomberbot after the pilot, you can order licences through your account. If you were unable to test the lessons in class during the free pilot, please contact us.
Will my school be charged after the pilot?
No, Bomberbot will never automatically charge schools. Bomberbot will only send an invoice to schools that order licences.
What happens to the student progress after the pilot?
You can continue to access your student progress on Bomberbot after the pilot. Bomberbot will save the student progress for a minimum of three months, in case you decide to order licences after the pilot.
When does the one year licence start?
By default, the licences start when you order them. If you want the licences to start later (for example start of next school year), please send an email to email@example.com after ordering the licences.
Do I need to buy licences for all pilot students?
With Bomberbot, you are completely free to decide which students you want to buy licences for. You could, for example, buy licences for the entire school or class or even for a few kids.
I would like my child to have programming lessons in school. What can I do?
You can tell your school all about Bomberbot! Download our guide here. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you tell us your school’s or teacher’s email address, we can contact them ourselves.
My child spends so much time on the computer already. Shouldn’t he or she be playing outside?
On average, children spend several hours a week on digital devices playing games and watching videos that are not educational. We believe in quality of time spent on the computer, not quantity. Children’s time on technology is better spent learning how to create technology and understanding how it works. Bomberbot’s pedagogical model blends traditional teacher-led classroom instruction with a digital solution that lets children learn in a fun, self-paced way.