This week at the big Consumer Electronics Show LEGO Education announced a new product WeDo 2.0. In the press release they called it a “New wireless, tablet-ready robot-based learning system for elementary science curriculum [that] teaches science and coding in a hands-on way” I noticed it said science before coding and found that interesting.
The WeDo 2.0 is designed for the younger grades – grades 2 through 4 – while the earlier NXT and related products are for older grades – middle and high school. They seem to see this product as fitting in to science classes not stand alone computer classes. I like this idea. I think we should use coding and related tools as ways to teach other subjects and not just as independent and unrelated topics. LEGO is also supplying
Featuring curriculum that contains 40+ hours of lessons and activities built on key science standards for 2nd-4th grades, WeDo 2.0 enables students to engage with the science practices and engineering habits of mind by testing multiple designs through eight guided and eight open-ended projects. For example, in the “Drop and Rescue” project, students are challenged to design a device to reduce the impacts on humans, animals and the environment after an area has been damaged by a weather-related hazard. Students can prototype solutions to a challenge where there is no single right answer helping teach creativity and problem-solving skills. This also enables educators to tailor lessons to meet all students’ needs, no matter their abilities.
Richt now software for the WeDo 2.0 is available for iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. ChromeBook support is coming and later this year a Scratch interface will be available. That should work well in schools that already use Scratch with older students.
More information is available at www.LEGOeducation.us/WeDo
BTW This has been added to my list of robots for teaching programming post.