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There was once a time when education was bound to learn what was available within textbooks because that was the only resource that students had access to. However, in today’s world of Robotics, we’ve seen entire education system has seen a massive shift. The introduction of LEGO education Wedo 2.0 has brought about with it a wave of change that has slowly but surely cemented its place in the world of education.
When you hear the words LEGO, your brain automatically thinks of the sets we would collect as kids for mere entertainment. So, it’s not a surprise if you’re confused as to how the whole education aspect fits into this.
What Is LEGO Education?
In an attempt to create meaningful learning experiences for students that can not only build confidence within their skills. Also, to help them view the world in a completely different light. LEGO introduced LEGO Education – a program focused on helping both students and teachers to create a well-rounded educational experience with STEM learning being the foundation for it all.
With the introduction of their hands-on tools, LEGO education hopes to make learning more playful, engaging, and relevant. Also, developing student’s ability for critical thinking, communication, and skills such as coding and robotics.
Alongside their particular LEGO sets. LEGO Education is also home to multiple solutions that feature easy-to-follow lesson plans aligning with national curriculum standards. These individual lessons consist of both guided and open-ended methods to help support students at each learning level. Since they’re focused on STEM learning, the lesson plans bring together instructional models, building instructions, and assessment tools. This is to ensure that anyone who interacts with the material has every aspect covered.
LEGO Education Wedo 2.0
In 2016, LEGO Education launched the WeDo 2.0. A step up from the early set introduced in 2009 as part of the WeDo Robotics Construction Set, aiming at children aged 7-9. The set combined LEGO bricks with one motor, two sensors, and a hub that connected the model to a computer. With simply drag and drop visual programming, the software brings the model to life. It is through this rather simple process that children learn about complex topics in the fields of physics, engineering, and programming. While developing motor and cognitive skills through building robots, and what’s the most fun part about all of this? They get to play around with LEGO bricks.
This simple yet versatile tool has helped instill STEM learning into regular schooling and help students discover the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics on their own at a young age. Through engaging with the tool, students see a spike in their curiosity. This leads them to further pursue STEM-centric education to build a holistic understanding of the world around them while also building upon vital cognitive and motor skills.
The LEGO WeDo 2.0 Robotics Kit
WeDo 2.0 aims at introducing students to robotics, engineering, and programming. But, this time around it also goes a step further with the hopes to use this as a tool to teach STEM in general.
The kit itself comes with several LEGO bricks and includes a Bluetooth low energy-based hub. This connects to a motor, along with motion and tilt sensors that all come together as part of the package. As far as software is concerned, it uses a drag-and-drop interface that helps to write basic applications that can connect directly to the hub and its particular sensors.
If this wasn’t enough, LEGO also offers schools an individualized curriculum with over 40 hours of lessons that are built by key science standards typically included in the curriculum. These lessons include basic engineering projects. Such as building a small truck for learning about recycling. Maybe using LEGO bricks to help build an understanding with regards to plants and pollination.
All in all, the curriculum coupled with the tools cover life, physical, earth, and space sciences as well as engineering. Hence, providing a well-rounded educational experience for students. This is also accompanied by an eLearning program targeted at teachers to help them become accustomed to the tool itself. Also, to become better adept at helping students make the most of the tools.
With an intuitive coding experience that makes the process in fact fun by helping students see their creations come to life right before their eyes. The LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 provides an unmatched learning experience. Not only does it help students learn so much at such a young age. But, it also instills in them the passion to discover the world of STEM further and build on their skills and experiences.
Programming LEGO WeDo 2.0
Unlike the earlier iteration, LEGO WeDo 2.0 does not require the user to purchase the software separately. Instead, the dedicated software for this is actually downloadable for free from the official LEGO website.
The sets can program themselves using a computer, or a tablet that features the right parameters. Since the WeDo 2.0 Smarthub connects to the control device via Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth 4.0). Your particular device must have access to this technology through either a built-in or an external BLE module.
Once the initial setup is fully done, the installation and running of the application is a rather smooth and hassle-free process. While some older machines might have a difficult time adjusting to the software and running it. It would work seamlessly on most without any such concerns or major issues.
Programming WeDo 2.0 On Tablets
The interface of the LEGO app seems to suggest that the coding software indicates the design is for devices with a touch screen – not only can you scroll left and right. Also, enter data through touch-typing. This seems to suggest that the new software prefers tablets. Therefore, we can use it on them.
However, don’t think that this can work on any tablet because the hardware requirements are slightly higher than regular to maintain a decent user experience. You can find exact requirements on various online sources and even the LEGO Education website if you’re looking to purchase one to use.
Is It Worth It?
While this is a great educational tool. It obviously doesn’t come cheap – priced around the $200 mark, this is an investment that would leave many asking “is it worth it?”
The simple answer to that is, yes.
In today’s world where technology dominates almost every other field and the world of digital has taken over a variety of sectors. There is an immense need for the students of today to embark on holistic learning experiences that hold the potential to teach them skills that can be beneficial for them in the long run.
By investing in a service that offers STEM learning. Also, helps build a strong foundation for student’s future growth and learning. You’d be helping your student to become a well-rounded individual that can not only sustain the growth around him. But, also utilize it to their advantage by investing their time, skills, and resources in a variety of areas.