Lego WeDo Robotics and Coding in the Elementary Grades

Course Number:  EDU 5627 C09
Instructor: David Wells, M.Ed.
Location: Underhill I.D. School, Jericho, VT
Dates and Times: The course begins with a one-day residency at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, VT on Saturday, November 4 and continues online from November 8 through December 6
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $1,275 includes two Lego WeDo 2.0 kits

Note: Please register online. Purchase order or payment of $1,250, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701. If you wish to pay by credit card, please call the Center for Schools at (802) 770-7060.

Course Description

Engage your students with coding and robotics while reinforcing core concepts that you are already teaching. Skills such as attending to precision, using structure and reasoning and developing perseverance can all be taught through computer coding and designing robotics. Participants in this course will learn the essentials of coding and robotics through lessons that can be taught in grades K-6 and beyond in an easy to access “block based” interface and Lego robotics kits. Suitable for beginning and intermediate skill levels, participants will leave this course with plans that they can use to integrate coding and robotics into their lessons. Two Lego WeDo 2.0 robotics kits are included with tuition.

Course Objectives

As a result of active participation in this course, participants will:

1. Understand the fundamental concepts of computer coding and robotics.
2. Understand how coding and robotics connects with existing curriculum.
3. Be able to write computer code and develop simple games and robotic applications.
4. Utilize simple robotic construction kits which to support computer science and engineering practices.

Course Outline

Week One: One day residency in Berlin

● Introduction to computer coding & robotics
● Hands on work with block based computer coding
● Hands on work with computer science theory
● Building connections between computer coding, robotics and curriculum

Reading prior to week one:
Kafai and Burke, chapters 1 & 2
Cracking the Code: The push to teach computer computer science in classrooms (video)

Week Two: Developing Your Own Coding Skills 

Readings: Kafai and Burke, chapter 3
Assigned Learning Task:
Use Code.org “Play Lab” to create a story or game to share with the class

Forum Response:
Reflection on challenges and successes in building your own project with code

Week Three: Building a Robot with Lego WeDo

Assigned Learning Task:
Use the Lego WeDo robotics kits to create a project based learning task for students.

Readings: 
Kafai and Burke, chapter 3

Forum Response:
Why won’t my robot fly? Anticipating misconceptions with robotics.

Week Four: Computer Science Fundamentals 

Readings: 
Kafai and Burke, chapter 7
Various “Unplugged Activities” from the Code.org Curriculum Guide

Assigned Learning Task:
Choose specific “Unplugged Activities” which you might use to integrate computer science into current lessons that you are teaching. 

Forum Response:
Describe how you chose particular computer science activities to integrate into your lesson and how this choice will increase student understanding.

Week Five: Using Coding & Robotics skills to build an authentic project based lesson.

Readings: 
Larmer & Mergendoller, Giving Students Meaningful Work, Educational Leadership September 2010, Volume 68, Number 1, Pages 34-37 

Puentedura, R. (2008). As We May Teach: Educational Technology, From Theory Into Practice

Assigned Learning Task:
Describe a meaningful lesson for students which integrates computer coding and/or robotics that you would teach.

Forum Response:
What makes a task authentic?

Week Six: Sharing & Feedback

● In this last week of the course, you will integrate what you have learned into a curriculum unit with a computer science focus. Your unit will be a “thumbnail sketch” of an actual unit. This should be a unit that you have actually taught before or plan to teach in the future. You can base your unit on the lesson that you already discussed in class or you can start fresh. 

Forum Response:
Submit your unit for peer feedback.

Assigned Learning Task:
Submit your unit to the instructor.

Required Texts

Costs of readings, if any, are not included in the course tuition.

Required Readings:

Code.org Curriculum Handbook

Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning) by Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke, 2014

Larmer & Mergendoller, Giving Students Meaningful Work, Educational Leadership September 2010, Volume 68, Number 1, Pages 34-37 

Puentedura, R. (2008). As We May Teach: Educational Technology, From Theory Into Practice

For additional course information

David Wells, M.Ed.
(802) 661-4049

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 770-7060

Register online now!