New development tools with LEGO Education - from Microsoft, MIT and not only
Of the six LEGO cubes measuring 2x? 915 million different combinations can be collected. But in LEGO Education, designing from cubes is only part of the job. Even projects for preschoolers here include programming, albeit in the simplest form.
We strive to ensure that the flexibility of the LEGO Education software platform is comparable to its flexibility at the hardware level. And in this we are helped by our partners - Microsoft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute for Integrated Circuits of the Fraunhofer Society, as well as developers from Russia. In this post, we will talk about new programming tools with which the capabilities of LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 and WeDo 2.0 become wider.
MakeCode Is a free browser platform, with which you can create programs for multiple devices, from Arduino to robots in Minecraft. Since March in this list and LEGO Mindstorms EV3 .
In the main MakeCode window, you can compose a program for EV3 from blocks. The shape of the blocks tells you how to set them, the variables are exposed by lists in the windows inside. There is a demonstration of the program on the left in real time. From a colorful graphical editor, you can jump to jаvascript in one click - there will also be a live demonstration and a choice of functions.
The MakeCode editor works from the browser and does not require an active Internet connection - it is completely loaded into the cache. The created program can be downloaded in UF2 format and immediately downloaded to the EV3 block. Or to share for viewing. Exporting and importing UF2-files, you can do joint projects.
Scratch Is a visual programming environment developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for junior and high school. Scratch objects are sprites, which can change the appearance and behavior using scripts. The program in Scratch runs on a field of 480x360 pixels.
Beta version of Scratch ???r3r3109.
So far, the second version of Scratch is relevant, where you can only work with virtual objects. But on January ? 201? the release of Scratch 3.0 is planned, which will become much more interesting. There will be extensions for working with physical objects - with devices for drawing, recording audio and video, as well as with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and WeDo 2.0. WeDo 2.0 is the "younger brother" of EV? which will allow us to use LEGO Education already in primary school.
Beta version of Scratch ???r3r3129. is already available, but there are no extensions in it yet. Like MakeCode, Scratch is implemented as a free browser application. Scratch, in principle, is more functional than MakeCode - there are tools for working with graphics and sound. On the other hand, now MakeCode is much more closely integrated with LEGO Education. But we have not yet seen how the Scratch extensions work - perhaps this function will only appear to the release.
Open Roberta Is a project of the Institute of Integrated Circuits of the Fraunhofer Society, inspired by the successes of the Scratch environment. Programs written with Open Roberta have their own semantics and syntax and work through their firmware. It can be installed on the SD-card and run instead of the original firmware EV3. On the one hand, this creates additional difficulties. On the other hand, thanks to this, Open Roberta is compatible with NXT sets that were released before EV3. This year, we also added WeDo to the list of supported systems.
The educational platform " Codwards "Is not a programming environment, as everything described above. This is a teaching and methodical complex that helps children to develop digital skills through learning the basics of programming. The "Codwards" + LEGO Education program is designed for schoolchildren of 7-12 years old and consists of 8 lessons, combines methodological materials for teachers, as well as an online platform and a workbook for students. All the acquired knowledge is fixed with the help of LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 kits.
[i] Fragment of the demonstration lesson "Codwards"
For the course, a variant of the CoffeeScript language with simplified syntax was developed. It is not used outside the platform, since it is designed solely to assimilate common concepts of programming languages. Now the structure of "Codeards" includes two programming modules and ICT for 32 lessons, which are accompanied by two practical modules for 8 lessons, where students work with LEGO Education WeDo 2.0. The output of the new module with its own development environment (computer games, STEM disciplines) is planned, designed to consolidate the skills of the project work.
You can create additional software and even hardware components for LEGO Education Mindstorms EV3 yourself. For this we are we provide all necessary resources: development packages and firmware source code. WeDo 2.0 is also an open platform - you can download a development package for creating software that is compatible with the WeDo 2.0 smart hub, and managing other components.
LEGO Education Mindstorms EV3 has its own programming environment , built on the notation LabView - the engineering language, the most common in design bureaus. And the basic software with the built-in programming language for WeDo 2.0 can be downloaded hence .
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