The easiest way to get started coding is to use the free Lego Education EV3 Lobby software designed specifically to house all the EV3 modules, building instructions, guided learning lessons, core models and coding concepts, advanced expansion models together with student’s own programs and experiments.
The Lobby is well set out with various modules to explain programming concepts in simple, easy to understand, steps. The Robot Educator module lays out the process to follow to teach students how to operate the robot programmatically and builds on the basics one concept at a time. The guided lessons have enough information and guidance to enable most students to learn to code the robots without any teacher input. Each project comes with a completed sample program for the teacher to use as an example as well as hints and troubleshooting tips to help explain the concepts to the students.
EV3 Lobby Software with modules down the left hand side and the associated projects for the selected module down the middle.
Visual drag and drop block based coding with adjustable parameters simple enough for young students to operate yet able to handle complex algorithms as students progress. The programming functions are clearly laid out and colour coded to make it easy for students to find what they need. All functions come with a hover over help system to guide students on setting parameters to make the robot operate in the desired manner. Students can quickly test their code a block or a section at a time and can also run to stop at a certain point in the program. A great debugging/problem solving process skill useful for life beyond robotics and programming.
The EV3 Lobby also has an experiment mode to enable viewing of the robot’s sensor data in oscilloscope mode in real time. Save the data, graph and report on the data and add thresholds from which programs can be written to act on the environmental data. A great maths learning exercise to understand and plot graphs with attached temperature, light, distance and gyro sensors’ data.
The Lego Education website also has a great section with free lesson plans searchable by Subject type, Grade, Duration, Difficulty, Product and Course.
Lesson examples include projects such as designing and programming a cruise control system, line detection system, reversing safety system and an autonomous parking where students design cars which can park themselves without driver intervention. The project explains the requirements, has video examples, building instructions (if required) and possible programming solutions for the task which can be downloaded and opened in the Lobby with the click of a button. There are around 40 EV3 projects to choose from and can be extended or simplified to suit your requirements.