I have 3 classes working with Lego Mindstorms right now; senior Year 11 & 12 IPT are using the older NXT2.0 version and Year 7 Digital Technology are using the new EV3 version. The EV3 is better, looks nicer and it is more powerful than the NXT2.0. This is a good comparison blog post: EV3 and NXT: Difference and Compatibility
The Year 11 and Year 12 Information Processing Technology (IPT) students are working with the school’s old Mindstorm NXT2.0 robots. All of the NXT2.0 were left in a BIG, disorganised mess from the previous year! Fortunately my students are motivated to do well, so after a couple of lessons we managed to find all of the appropriate parts for every group in the class (working in pairs). Their assessment task requires that they create a robot that relates to (or is a basic model of) a real robotic use in society today.
I only have 2 students in my Year 7 Digital Technology class! These 2 students LOVE being in such a small class. We learn a LOT and since there are only 2 kids it’s easy for me to share my son’s EV3 robot with them. It was fun to see how excited they were when I brought the EV3 to class! I let them choose what they would build; they chose to build the EV3D4 which looks a bit like R2D2 from Star Wars. I like this choice because it includes all 3 sensors; touch, colour and infrared.
It was really interesting watching these two 12 year olds start to build. One student took over the building of the robot while the other gave positive verbal support or found a Lego piece. Interestingly, the student that is showing leadership at this point is not the one I had expected. By the middle of our 2nd building lesson I showed them how they could build different parts at the same time by using 2 laptops for viewing the instructions.
The EV3D4 build should be completed this week and then we will start using the software to program the robot. We will also download the Robot Commander App so that we can integrate the use of our smartphones in class. There are also some EV3 games which we might play for fun.