LEGO WeDo is a robotics hardware and software platform specifically designed for Kindergarten to Grade 2 students. As with other LEGO Education products it follows the 4 C’s process – Connect to a story, Construct a model, Contemplate its function, and Continue improving its design.
There are multiple ways to guide the students along the learning path. One example is by choosing an activity from the 12 themed options. Students then follow the build process step by step using the same LEGO instructions we have grown accustomed to, as they work collaboratively in learning described by Dr Seymour Papert as Constructionism. The fun and learning is enhanced when the programming of the models is introduced. Students quickly learn the simple click-and-drag icons to activate a motor, which might also be dependent on a sensor, in a logical and sequential schema.
For the more capable, and even older students of Grades 3 & 4, LEGO’s WeDo programming platform also allows for mathematical operations and display effects, as a stepping-stone to game design and entertainment.
What I love about LEGO WeDo, aside from it being tactile and engaging, is that it encourages students to persevere when solving problems. As a teacher, there is no greater satisfaction than a child fist-pumping the air when they finally see the efforts of their labour re-created in front of their eyes.
And thanks to MIT, LEGO WeDo sensors also work with “Scratch” (at least up to v1.4)!
By John Burfoot