Jan 15, 2009

WeDo

I don’t normally blog about something without trying it out first. However, I could not resist this one:At last LEGO has released the WeDo range of products via the LEGO Education channel. 

Many of us here at TheNXTStep blog are very passionate about the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. However, we also work with the community and schools – and well aware of the challenges faced by educators when working with the NXT kits in a classroom type environment.

So the WeDo offering has a lot of significance to us. If you are involved with a school that has already invested in MINDSTORMS NXT, the WeDo kits are an excellent addition to leverage that investment even further. I personally think this is a fantastic learning aid for 7 – 15 year old school children – especially given we have three children of our own in this age range.

The activity pack (which can also be bought separate) allow children to explore four different themes – Amazing Mechanisms, Wild Animals, Play Soccer, and Adventure Stories... So kids can create simple machines, program models they design and create, measure time and distance etc. It comes with 12 activities (each lasting about 2 hours) together with Teacher notes and building instructions.

The question is, what is the most cost effective way to purchase this, if you are a school? Perhaps your LEGO Education rep can help you. I personally think the LEGO® Education WeDo™ Robotics – Getting Started Package is really perfect for an average sized class room (i.e. about 24 children) working in pairs:


What do you think? I especially want to hear from anyone working with children or anyone working in the Education sector.

BlueToothKiwi

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

$1800 is a lot of money for many schools!

BlueToothKiwi said...

Anonymous - Yeah - sure. $1800 is a lot of money for an individual. But $1800 is also tiny compared to what the schools normally spends on ICT (laptops in classrooms, servers, and Infrastructure). And we are talking about buying something for the WHOLE classroom that should last 3 years or more if well looked after.

They do have a cheaper bulk package - for 8 students working in pairs.

$629.95: LEGO ® Education WeDo™ Robotics Center Pac

Or just one for the teacher to try out (but minus Robotics Activity Pack):

$139.95: LEGO® Education WeDo™ Robotics Construction Set and Software Combo

Jim Kelly said...

My only comment right now concerns the age range - I've seen the WeDo kit and I'm doubting any child over age 10 or 11 is probably going to be interested.

Don't get me wrong - I liked what I saw, especially the easy-to-use software, but this product has a very specific (and small) age range as its target audience.

Laurens Valk said...

I agree with Jim here. I think I was told that WeDo was for kids aged 7- 10. After that age, it's going to be more interesting to invest in NXTs.

Recently I've started a robotics class at our school. There are 12 kids working in groups of 3. Each group has got acces to one Edu NXT set, a resource set and a laptop for programming. Tomorrow is the second lesson in which I'm introducing programming. It was great to see the kids building last week. I wish I took pictures - May do that with the next group.

I've noticed that over here, the money is often there, but there's no one willing or capable of starting out with something new. Furthermore, it is even possible that teachers do not even know the possibilities in education with LEGO.
I'm currently working on curriculum for getting started building and programming with Mindstorms. I would like to get more Dutch schools involved with Mindstorms.

Back to the WeDO... When I got a WeDo some time ago, I gave it to my younger brother (8) as a christmas gift. - He didn't seem to be interested, but that's probably because he is the gamer type.

I do see possibilities to use this in the classroom, but only with young kids (<11).

Laurens

BlueToothKiwi said...

Thanks Laurens and Jim about the feedback regarding age range.

Anonymous said...

I love Lego products and think that the NXT is the best product that Lego has ever produced.

I understand that Lego is trying to "grow the market" for youth robotics and they are to be congratulated for that as well.

However, I have serious doubts about WeDo. It looks like a product in search of a market. I don't think it will capture the sustained interest of parents, teachers or younger children.

IMrobotics said...

I really don't know WeDo really focus on, instead of 9645 or Junior NXT set. Currently on the 7 to 9 ages we have 9645 class,after this is NXT class. The age after 9 will few have interest on WeDo, it's too simple for them. I like WeDo myself,but I don't know where I should put it in.

Anonymous said...

The WeDo set is perfect for my 7 year old daughter, which I found NXT too complicated for her both for building and programming. My 9 year old son also likes WeDo in addition to NXT. Perfect for children ages 7-9, both for building and programming.

danlevy said...

Does anyone here know whether WeDo and NXT can interoperate? Can the WeDo software be used to control the NXT? Can the NXT software operate a WeDo controller and sensors? I

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