VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+) provides dynamic STEM professional development and training for all VEX platforms. Each VEX PD+ offering works with the other components to create a flexible and adaptive professional learning environment.
You can curate your experience with VEX PD+ to complete professional development at your pace — when and where you are available, and in ways that fit your unique needs. Contribute to the VEX PD+ community through PLC discussions and help reshape STEM Education.
- See this article for an overview of VEX VEX PD+ Offerings.
- See this article for more information on the PLC and for instructions on how to introduce yourself to the community.
Keisha is the STEM teacher at an upper elementary school. She has been teaching with VEX GO and her principal recently purchased a subscription for VEX PD+ to support her in her teaching this school year. She immediately began looking through the VEX PD+ offerings while preparing for her classes. Keisha knew that she would be working with larger groups this year, so she followed up by watching the “Organizing Group Work” video and started asking questions in the PLC Community. How did other teachers organize their students and provide scaffolding for group work with larger groups?
Through her PLC discussions she learned that other teachers had great success using the Robotics Roles and Routines sheets as a starting point for organizing group work, but that they modified these student-facing printables to suit the needs of their classrooms. Keisha knew that she was going to teach the Code Base as her first STEM Lab Unit so she customized the Robotics Roles & Routines slides and printables for her students. She reorganized these resources to map out the responsibilities for 3 group members instead of two. This small change made a big difference for her class. She saw the students work together more effectively because they knew exactly who was doing what in their group.
She shared her customized Robotics Roles & Routines slide and printable in the PLC and even shared some great photos of her students collaborating. Other PLC members started sharing their versions of the Robotics Roles & Routines for other STEM Labs and soon they had a number of variations of these resources for an array of different grouping scenarios.
The VEX team saw how teachers were creating this series of resources and worked with these PLC members to create a new STEM Library video on different ways to customize the Roles and Routines resources to suit your needs. Keisha's questions became a catalyst for creating new, relevant resources for teachers!
Joel recently began a new position as a Middle School Robotics teacher. His class is new, so most of his students are new to robotics. However, he has a handful of students that have participated on a robotics team, so they have much more experience. He is looking for ways to engage his new students, while also providing opportunities that would challenge the more experienced students. He inherited VEX IQ (generation 1) materials and his principal purchased a subscription for the VEX PD+ to support him. He started looking through the VEX IQ videos in the Professional Development Library. He immediately started to feel more relaxed and excited to teach with VEX IQ after watching and following along with the Getting Started and Your First Project in VEXcode IQ videos. He even planned his first STEM Lab and watched the Driving Forward and Reverse Video that walked him through the lab and provided pro-tips for implementing the lab with his students.
Even with this preparation, Joel was still unsure about engaging his students with such disparate levels of experience. He started a discussion in the PLC and got feedback from other teachers — and even members of the VEX Education team, who shared strategies for organizing student groups and providing opportunities for the experienced students to mentor their classmates, add levels to the STEM Lab or lesson that would have the experienced students iterate further on their projects and even shared some Community Lessons that could be used as extension activities.
After several months, several teachers from this discussion made plans to attend the Annual VEX Educators Conference. During the conference they attended workshops together, and for the first time they were able to attend the VEX Robotics World Championship. Joel and several of the teachers came back from the conference motivated to start afterschool robotics clubs where they would mentor a VIQC team.