Lego Boost – A hands on approach to coding in the classroom!


Subject:
Digital Technologies

Strand
:
Design and Technology

Sub-strand: Design and technologies process and production skills

Bands: 3 to 7

 

 

Boost is Lego’s latest introduction of Lego robotics to 2017. Boost is a step up from Lego’s Mindstorms and WeDo 2.0 robotics kits, introducing movement to Lego. Boost gives students the opportunity to engage in the active learning process, whereby students construct their own learning. Boost is not only fun, but it’s also educational. Using the software available on the Lego Boost website, teachers can tailor learning experiences which are relevant, hands on and fun, while learning the fundamentals of coding and computational thinking.

 How?

Boost has over 60 different coding activities available. Teachers can select the activity they would like to incorporate into their learning experience from the Boost App, available for most Android and Apple devices. Coding with Lego is easy, students demonstrate their problem solving skills and ability to think critically by programming their Lego Boost creation to suit the learning task. Boost Lego has special bricks including a motor and sensors, which gauge surrounding colours and distance from objects in its path.

 

LEGO Boost isn’t available until August 2017, however children and adults are bursting to try this new technology!

Content Descriptors

Year 3 to Year 4

  • Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP015)
  • Select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and use safe work practices to make designed solutions (ACTDEP016)
  • Plan a sequence of production steps when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP018)

Year 5 to Year 6

  • Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP025)
  • Select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and apply safe procedures to make designed solutions (ACTDEP026)
  • Develop project plans that include consideration of resources when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP028)

Year 7 to Year 8

  • Critique needs or opportunities for designing and investigate, analyse and select from a range of materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to develop design ideas (ACTDEP035)
  • Select and justify choices of materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to effectively and safely make designed solutions (ACTDEP037)
  • Use project management processes when working individually and collaboratively to coordinate production of designed solutions (ACTDEP039

General capabilities 

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social capability
  • Information and Communication Technology

 

Further Information

Lego Boost CNN Report

LEGO Boost Official Website

LEGO WeDo Official website

Bits and Bricks

Youtube – Boost LEGO in Education

Youtube – WeDo LEGO in Education

Lego Computer Coding Activities

 

 

By Emily Richardson

Edison Robot

Edison Robot

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: F-6

Strand: Both Digital Technologies processes and production skills and Design and Technologies

Sub strand: The Edison Robots can be used across all ages and many strands and sub strands of the Western Australian Curriculum.

Link to the resource:

http:// meetedison.com

https://www.mindmeister.com/823700803#

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Literacy, Numeracy

Links to other learning areas:

Science, Mathematics, English, The Arts

Interesting information about this resource:

Western Australia’s Scitech hold inexpensive Professional Learning workshops throughout the year which enable teachers to upskill themselves not only on the technology supplied by the Department of Education in the new technology kits but also more (ie Beebots, Dash and Dot robots, Edison robots, Makey Makey kits, Sphero robots, Hummingbird robotics kits, mBots, Lego EV3, LittleBits). Scitech workshops are often recognised by the Teachers Registration Board of WA as professional learning hours.

Qualified staff from Scitech will also attend schools and run incursions introducing the Edison Robots to the students and teaching them the basics.

Edison Robots have wheel encoders which allow Edison to travel specific distances at exact speeds. Edison is able to  turn to specific angles (using EdPyApp.com) and drive straight. It has a clutch in each gear box that prevents damage to the gears if the wheels are forced around. It has long range obstacle detection and a clap sensor. Edison comes with graphical programming software (EdWare) and newer software is often realised to complement EdWare ie EdPy – a free Python based programming environment for Edison which is designed to introduce students to a written programming language.

Other features of the Edison Robots are:

  • FREE robotics lesson plans
  • FREE robotics activity mat
  • FREE EdBooks
  • LEGO® compatible
  • Easy to use – suitable for all ages

A classroom activity using this resource:
Introducing the Edison Robots into the lower primary classes as a “toy” not only gains the students’ interest but it also enables the teacher to use computational language within the classroom in a less intimidating game situation.      

In small groups the teacher can guide the students to design a bulldozer using Lego pieces attached to the Edison Robot. Once designed and built they can then use the programming software (with the help of the teacher) to instruct the bulldozer to move extra Lego pieces from one area to another. Ideas are only limited by the imagination, you can even program it to do a drawing by attaching a pencil!

How to use this resource:

The Edison Robot can be purchased through https://meetedison.com, this site is also where information on using this resource is found.

The programming can be done using numerous free software applications and is easy to do due to the drag and drop graphical icons.

The robots are able to be updated with the free firmware updates that will fix bugs or add new functionality.

Cato’s Hike: A Programming Adventure

Cato’s Hike: A Programming Adventure

Cato’s Hike unlocks the hidden programmer in students of all ages by allowing them to use a range of programming commands to take their character on an adventure.  These commands range from beginner level commands such as; walk, jump or turn, to more advanced commands such as; loops, go-to , if/then, branches, and chaining. 

About Cato’s Hike

Cost: $7.99 or explore Cato’s Hike Lite FREE

Cato’s Hike is a visually appealing application centred around a little character (Cato) who cannot take steps and actions on his own. The purpose of this app is for students (or any users) to use basic programming skills to direct Cato on his hike and to help him overcome obstacles. It teaches children the fundamentals of programming and how to think about solving complex problems in such a simple way. The game begins with 12 clear step by step tutorials to teach the users programming techniques such as walking, jumping and turning, progressing on to the more complex techniques such as loops, branches and chaining. Children can then complete up to 60 current levels, ranging from beginners to more advanced levels. Each of these levels teaches new concepts about programming in such a way that children will not even know they are learning.

Some other features:

  • Colourful and clear designed ‘cards’ to use for programming
  • Visual manual for parents/teachers
  • Map editor to create your own maps and puzzles
  • Email puzzle solutions to share with others
  • Sound effects and music

Here is a short clip of the character following a programmed sequence:

Subject: Technologies
Strand
: Digital Technologies
Substrand: Processes and production skills

Content descriptors

F-1: Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

3-4: Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequenceof steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

5-6: Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)

Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)

  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking

Links to other learning areas

  • English
  • Mathematics

Application Link

Cato’s Hike-
https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/catos-hike-programming-logic/id574335479?mt=8 

Cato’s Hike Lite FREE-
https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/catos-hike-lite-programming/id580699267?mt=8 

 

 

CODINGAME

CODINGAME

Subject: Digital Technology

Year Level: 6

Strands:Digital Technologies: knowledge and understanding

Digital Technologies: Process and Production skills

Sub strands:Investigate and Define

Representation and Production skills

What is it?

Codingame is the latest way to improve your programming skills while having fun. Codingame is a program that successfully turns learning and practicing coding into a game. It is a fun way to learn about complex topics that motivates students to learn quickly. Through this program students are able to solve challenging problems, learn new concepts and become inspired to learn more about programming and coding. This is a continual education tool and although it isn’t the perfect tool for beginners it is great at advancing students knowledge and skills.

How is it used?

Codingame is used and can be found though the link to the resource. The program has different options of how to play the ‘game’. Students are able to participate in fun challenges while learning pure code. These coding games are turn based, and the game is scored. The score is generated based on the code and how it meets the game specifications.

Link to the resource

https://codingame.com/start

Content Descriptor Examples

Data is represented using codes (ACTDIK015)

Create and communicate information, including online collaborative projects, using agreed social, ethical and technical protocols (codes of conduct) (ACTDIP022)

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities

Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capability

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Literacy

Numeracy

Links to other learning areas

English

Mathematics

Skills developed

Practice pure code

Problem solving skills

Competition

Learn the language

Software knowledge

 

 

Lego Education

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 3

Strands: Digital Technologies

Image retrieved from https://education.lego.com/en-au/product

Links to the resource:

https://education.lego.com/en-us

https://education.lego.com/en-au/product

Links to other learning areas

Science

Mathematics

 

As an educator, have you ever felt something missing from your teaching, that one thing that connects you to your students’ thoughts and imaginations? Do you facilitate students’ expression of creativity and inventiveness? Is your planning reflective of opportunities for students to articulate their inspirations and aspirations? For generations, Lego has endorsed the importance of accelerating childrens’ imaginations through creative play. With the mission statement of ‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ Lego has moved from the confines of our homes and into the classroom with Lego Education.

Lego Education introduces WeDo 2.0, a valuable resource where students are encouraged to explore and build brick by brick, and then innovate through computers and coding. From the moment they begin building, students are engaged in the process of computational thinking, using digital software to problem solve as well as their curious imaginations to create. To begin with, students follow instructions of what to build, how to build it and step by step sequencing using the accompanying computer program. Once they understand the basic framework of Lego Education, they are then free to explore using their imaginations to create.

YOU are facilitating their learning of design and digital technologies as they imagine, create and play. YOU are providing valuable moments for your students to access digital technology in a meaningful way, with determination and purpose.

How to use this resource

Students follow the steps to assemble their creations.

Teacher assists in connecting to an iPad or laptop.

Log into the LEGO Education software.

Students use coding to manipulate and control their creation.

 

 

Scratch Project Editor

Coding using a sequence of steps

Subject: Technologies

Year Levels: 3-6

Strand: Digital Technologies: Processes and production skills

Sub strand: Digital Implementation: Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)

Link to the resource:

https://scratch.mit.edu

Cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Numeracy

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Critical and Creative thinking

Links to other learning areas:

Mathematics, Science

A classroom activity using this resource:

This resource is a great way to introduce, or extend, students’ ability to code and develop their design and computational thinking skills. The resource can be as simplified or extensive as each student requires, making it suitable for a large variety of age groups. Students maintain engagement as they create a sequencing of operations that are of interest to them, including character choice, setting, movements, etc. Students are required to generate a sequence of animations by choosing individual steps to create a whole animation. It encourages students to use their systematic, creative and logical thinking skills, and to identify how to break down and evaluate coding skills. Students can easily access this site using computers, iPads or mobile phones. It provides clear instructions and hints for how to create a wonderful animation.

How to use this resource:

Firstly, you will need to visit the website provided above. You will come to the home page.

You then need to select “Create” at the top

Then it is simple. Select your aviator, and plan a sequence of animations for this aviator by using the codes available. You can change the settings, change the aviator, change the type of actions performed by the aviator.

There are tutorials on the right hand side if you need assistance.

Add aviators, movements and sounds to create your fun animation.

You will require wifi to operate this website.

Run Marco!

Resource: Run Marco!

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: Foundation – year 2

Strand: Digital Technologies processes and production skills

Sub Strand: Using digital systems

2.5 Follow, describe, represent and play with a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems.

Link To Resource:

Website: https://www.allcancode.com/web

Cross curriculum priority and General Capabilities:

Critical and creative thinking (CCT) and Information and Communication Technology capability (ICT)

Links to other learning areas:

English and Mathematics

Content Descriptors: Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems

Content Elaboration: experimenting with very simple, step-by-step procedures to explore programmable devices. For example providing instructions to physical or virtual objects or robotic devices to move in an intended manner, such as following a path around the classroom

About the resource:

Run Marco is an effective teaching resource used within the classroom when introducing younger students to the concept of coding. The program features visual instructions to guide Marco through a series of levels as he tries to discover himself. It offers endless adventuring which supports learning in a range of computer programming concepts, including sequence of commands, iterations, conditions, functions and algorithms. Run Marco is a colourful, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable program that both teachers and students can enjoy discovering. Being available on both iPad and Android also makes it extremely convenient to use in the classroom.

Resource used in the classroom:

  • Run Marco can be incorporated into mathematics, it requires students to work on their counting up when directing Marco to the target. This fun and engaging activity also facilitates diverse learners.
  • In literacy students can further elaborate, writing about the journey/adventures Marco is experiences during their quest.
  • Run Marco offers embedded coaching to support students making it easier for teachers to run in the classroom.
  • Teachers and students can also build their own games for other peers to try. This also supports developing critical and creative thinking.

By Felice Crisp

References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2016). Taken from website:http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

https://www.allcancode.com/web/schools

CODE Artist

Subject: Digital technologies

Year level: 5

Strand: Digital technologies processes and production skills

Sub strand: Digital implementation

Link to resource: https://studio.code.org/s/artist/stage/1/puzzle/1

Cross curricular priorities and general capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Numeracy,  Information and Communication Technology, Literacy.

Link to other learning areas: Art, mathematics.

A classroom activity using this resource:

Students could use this activity to create an artwork that incorporates geometric shapes and patterns into mathematics lessons. Incorporation of Art and Numeracy subject areas within a technological context allows for computational thinking, differentiation, engagement and motivates students to become creative, scaffolding critical thinking opportunities. Teachers could encourage students to first engage with the tutorial as they follow the step by step introduction, and then ask students to create their own code that others have to explore. This activity could also be used flexibly as students can create visual representations (via shapes) of chosen concepts in other learning areas they are currently involved in. This resource is available on iPad, iPhone and computers.

How to use this resource:

Open the link presented above.

  • Read the introductory bubble that help to introduce the game.
  • Choose the block with the correct action on it and place it into the work space.

  • Press the orange button labelled “run” and see if you are correct.

  • If you are incorrect, follow the hint and prompts until you correctly place the blocks
  • Continue onto the next shape, developing your shapes skill set and artistic flare.

 

Coding Basics and Commands – An Inside Look at Cargo-Bot – JOSH GARDINER

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 6

Strand: Processes and Production Skills

Sub Strand: Digital Implementation

Content Descriptor: Implement and use simple visual programming environments that include branching (decisions), iteration (repetition) and user input (ACTDIP020)

Link to the Resource:

https://twolivesleft.com/CargoBot/

 

Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT)
  • Personal and Social Capability (PSC)

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science

A Classroom Activity Using this Resource:

Cargo-Bot is a fantastic tool to introduce your students to coding through everyone’s favourite form of gambling; the claw machine. That machine that always look so easy to play, so easy to win, how could you possibly lose?

Claw machines aside; Cargo-Bot is an intuitive piece of software that sees your students applying simple movement commands in a sequence to reach a target or end goal. This follows the simple path of what coding is. A list of commands that will result in a specific outcome.

This piece of software introduces students to these basic concepts. They have to apply certain understandings to reach the end goal.

The students can explore and interact with the software in a safe environment as it provides a visual learning experience; you can see what commands are being performed and you can adjust where needed to complete the correct series of commands.

How to Use this Resource:

  • Cargo-Bot is exclusive to Apple iPad formats.
  • Once you have downloaded the app.
  • Launch the app on your device.
  • The software follows a progressive system in that it the levels start of simple and become more complex as your progress through the levels.
  • You can monitor your progress and improve on your previous scores by achieving efficient commands.
  • Play in collaboration with others or individually to reinforce specific skills.

 

By Josh Gardiner

Pre-service Teacher

Edith Cowan University

Perth, Western Australia.

Get OPTIMISTIC with BIT the OZOBOT!

Subject:

Digital Technologies

Year Level:

Can be used at all ages but activity recommended for Years 3-4.

Strand:

Processes and Production Skills

Sub-Strand:

Digital Implementation

Content Descriptors:

Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)

Links to other learning areas:

Design and Technology – working collaboratively to communicate ideas using drawings and technical vocabulary.

General Capabilities:

Literacy – developed through the use of language to confidently communicate ideas with peers.

Numeracy – developed through the use of mental strategies for multiplication facts.

Information and Communication Technology – developed through its use to access, create and communicate ideas in a solution based and collaborative manner.

Critical and Creative Thinking – developed through the generation and evaluation of ideas during the game creating process. .

About the Resource:

Ozobot Bit is an extremely engaging and versatile way to teach computational thinking in your classroom today! Its versatility can be attributed to its highly programmable, yet simple concept. The robot can be controlled with OzoCodes that comprise of lines and colours. The detection of these sequence of colours result in pre-programmed reactions. Once students have mastered that, they can progress to the visual block-based editor – OzoBlockly. Its multiple features and modes can turn even the most doubtful coders into a coding master. The robots progressive concepts ensure systematic learning that works its way from basic to advanced learners.

Cost: $54 – remember collaborative learning means that only a couple would be required for each classroom. Lessons, workshops and activities can be accessed and downloaded for free via the following link: http://ozobot.com/stem-education/stem-lessons

Classroom Activity:

Objective – students will work in groups to create a Noughts & Crosses Multiplication Math Game using the Ozobot Bit. The game will consist of multiplication problems in each square which they will be required to answer and then have Ozobot Bit move to the square they have answered using the colour coding they have previously worked together to encrypt.

Tips & Tricks – Provide the students with your own version of the game to play first. – Make sure students are aware of technical vocabulary prior to commencing the activity – this really helps them! – Have the students work together to create their own version of the game using their own original multiplication problems (or any recall facts you are working on) – using Ozobot Bit of course! – The best part is, you can adapt the game to whatever maths concept you are teaching and progress to the visual based block editor once students are ready!

Link to Resource:

http://ozobot.com/products/ozobot-bit

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZHh_1EqfU&feature=youtu.be

http://ozobot.com/products/ozobot-bit