Option 2: Develop a Course Outline
My original topic of study was gamification but that was a very broad category. I narrowed it down to the specific topic within gamification: programming with Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots. I decided to focus on this topic because it is relevant to what I am planning to do in my classroom when our robots arrive.
My sixth grade class is soon going to have a two Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robots (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/about-ev3). One of my students wrote a grant through the Riverside Enhancing Education Fund and it was fully funded. Due to the limited amount of time we have in the classroom to work on fun things such as designing and programming robots, I decided that the best way to teach my students this course would be in a hybrid format. They will learn the basics online and then come and apply what they have learned with the robots.
I have struggled with making the decisions for the creation of this course because I do not have enough experience with programming to know exactly what I need to teach my students. However, there is a lot of research on the Lego Mindstorms and how well they support the learning. I found a lot of articles specific to the research on Legos.
I am going to develop a course outline for a hybrid course Programming Introduction- Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot. This course will teach students what the components of the EV3 kit are and what they do. They will also learn the programming language that they will use to program the EV3. Finally, they will program the robot to complete a variety of challenges (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program).
Each time students complete a session online, they will be able to meet with their group and apply what they have learned with the program and the EV3 Robot.
|EV3 Software http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/download-software||Content-Student Interactions|
|YouTube- I will choose videos that show students specific and clear examples of the content, I will create videos to interact with students, students will create videos of their work and post it.||Content-Student Interaction, Teacher-Student Interaction, Content- Student Interaction
http://youtu.be/rla4NSfPmM4 example video
|QuickTime Screencasts||Teacher-Student Interactions|
|Teacher- Student Interactions|
|Student Blog- www.kidblog.org||Content-Student Interactions|
|Gooru Learning Collection||Content- Student and Teacher-Student Interactions|
|Google Docs||Student-Content Interaction|
|Google Forms||Assessment, Student-Teacher Interaction|
Sessions- 6 Week Course (half of a trimester)
|Session 1||Introduction to Lego Mindstorms EV3|
|Session 2||Sensors and Motors, Lego Technic Pieces|
|Session 3||Programming with EV3 Language|
|Session 4||Action Programming Blocks|
|Session 5||Advanced Programming Blocks|
Findings of Preliminary Investigation
I was excited to find many scholarly articles about Lego Mindstorms and how they can help students collaborate as they work cooperatively, improve their problem-solving skills, and how learning to program when they are young can lead to successful programming careers. One thing I found interesting is that the EV3 can be used with students as young as kindergarten, and for undergraduate engineering students for the same outcomes.
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