Two years ago I introduced coding to my 4th and 5th grade students. I was new to it myself so we were all learning together. I couldn't believe how interested and excited the kids were and how quickly they embraced the world of coding. Now, two years later all the students at my school have experienced coding and they are all hooked. From kindergarten up through 5th grade, everyone loves to code and excitedly asks each day if we will be coding. It is so exciting to see their enthusiasm and creativity. We have all learned and grown together through this new world of coding.
Today my students are learning to code on many platforms.
We use programs on the computer like Scratch and with robots such as Lego MindStorms, Lego WeDo and Vex IQ. Coding is such a great way to learn logical step by step thinking. It's also a great way to collaborate in teams. The students strategize and work together to build code, and then they help each other find the bugs or flaws in their code. Critical thinking, decision making and debugging are all critical steps involved in coding.
The physical VEX IQ robots are expensive and therefore having the virtual world software available allows more students to learn to code and work with the VEX IQ robots without having to have a physical robot to test their code. We will be involved in VEX IQ robotics competitions with other schools next year and this software will really boost the students ability to become better coders of the VEX.
Robot Virtual Worlds is a high-end simulation environment that enables students, without robots, to learn programming.
Research has shown that learning to program in the RVW is more efficient than learning to program using physical robots.
During the 2018-2019 school year I will be teaching the VEX IQ curriculum to the 4th and 5th graders. The software is free, but testing it requires a robot and we do not have the funds to purchase that many robots to allow both 4th and 5th grade classes to learn to use the VEX IQ. This Virtual World Software subscription will allow me to teach the students the coding of the robots which they then will test on virtual robots in a virtual world. They can then take this knowledge and transfer it to the actual physical robots that we do have for our competition club.
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