Coding Dash and Dot is a matter of simply selecting the appropriate free app for the age group. There are 5 different apps to choose from and range from the very simple remote control like app for the Preps to the Wonder or Blockly apps for the upper primary years. Each app is summarised below.
STEMshare supplies Dash and Dot with a set of Wonder Worksop student challenge cards to provide tasks and guidance for self paced units of work designed to teach the principles of coding. The set is ordered into sections based on coding functionality and skill level. Also supplied is a Learn to Code Curriculum guide for the teacher which includes access to free lesson plans, suggested coding solutions for each of the cards, time guidelines, hints and tips, detailed explanations of the task, cross curricular connections and possible discussion questions. The curriculum pack also has templates for student worksheets, troubleshooting and problem solving tips and evaluation rubrics.
The Go app enables the students to name their robot, personalise the colours and greeting, drive the robot via the screen and discover what sounds, lighting sequences and moves Dash can make.
The Path app has a series of challenges to follow in order to learn the sequencing steps options available. Each successfully completed challenge unlocks further functionality to keep the children learning and engaged.
The Xylo app works with the xylophone attachment for Dash. Start with the supplied sample songs and progress to program Dash to play your own musical composition with an accompanying dance move for those with a little creative flair. Introduce basic programming skills by adding in loops for the chorus.
The Blockly app can be used to create your own free coding projects or can be used to teach the students how to code via a series of guided lessons designed to teach the students how to develop a program by adding functionality one step at a time. Blockly can be programmed to respond to events, sounds and environmental sensor triggers by simply dragging blocks of code to the canvas and snap to a “When” block. Run the program and see what happens. Then get creative with multitude of options available to code Dash and Dot, even respond to each other.
The Wonder app is a little different to the block based coding of Blockly and Scratch. It works by dragging Dash and Dot behaviour functions onto the programming canvas and ordering those behaviour functions by linking them up with cues to progress from one state to the next, referred to as a state machine. Cues can be triggered by a sound of a hand clap, a timer, a button press or a detected obstacle. There are a number of tutorials by way of challenges where the app will teach the students how to code in a logical stepped progression. Progression through each challenge unlocks further advanced behaviours and cues to use in the free play area where students can program anything they can dream of getting Dash and Dot to do.