Using EV3 in the classroom can be a daunting task especially when you have anything up to 20 sets at your disposal. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your kit from teachers and trainers from all over the globe.
- Rechargeable Battery: Think about having monitors that put the battery on charge after each session. There is nothing worse than running out of juice halfway through a session.
- AA batteries: Keep spares in your desk drawer. I used to keep around 20xAA safely hidden away in the event of a battery running out of power. Some people also use rechargeable AA batteries.
Keeping the kit organised
People organise their kit in the classroom in many different ways. Here are but just a few:-
- Labelling kit. If you have more than one kit in your classroom number the kits. That includes the boxes, trays and all the major components such as the programmable brick, sensors, motors etc.
- Use the sorting overview try to put pieces correctly in the trays. Some people photocopy that sheet and stick the images in the bottom of each tray section so students can easily sort their LEGO.
- Some schools put all the individual pieces in their own containers. Students come and ‘pick’ the items they need.
- Other have the exact elements sorted out in smaller boxes.
- Pre-build driving bases reduce build time.
- Have student monitors that on a regular basis take an inventory of the kit. You can then replenish any pieces that have gone missing.
- Losing pieces can be a problem. Keep a LEGO elements ‘found’ box at the front of the room. Any pieces found at the end of the session can be put in here. The next class using the kits have a place to go a search for missing components before asking the teacher.
- Get students (and yourself) to start learning the terminology of pieces. It helps when identifying pieces. There is an element survey in the software. It’s a PDF that can be printed.
- As soon as possible rename your EV3 programmable brick. This will help if you intend to use Bluetooth at a later stage.
- Every term consider updating the firmware. This keeps your brick up to date and also deletes all the work the students have downloaded. This is a great way of wiping the brick clean.