Best Practices for Using the Classroom App with VEX GO

When preparing to teach with VEX GO in your classroom, it is important to be sure you have updated the firmware and named your robots using the VEX Classroom app prior to the first time you use them with students. This simple organizational step will allow you to get started teaching with GO quickly and easily. This article contains suggestions for how to get up and running quickly and easily in your classroom as well as information about how to use the Classroom App in different situations.

These steps are important to follow before you bring VEX GO into your classroom so that you and your students can have the ideal experience. Updating Brains beforehand allows you to ensure students can remain focused on the coding and activity within the classroom rather than needing to introduce a new process. It can also be said that pairing unnamed Brains with VEXcode GO during class time can be a difficult process. Students will be unable to easily determine which robot is theirs and may connect to a different group's robot. 

Before beginning, ensure you have downloaded the VEX Classroom App. The VEX Classroom App is available on the following platforms:

Note: This app is intended for educator use to prepare VEX GO Brains. Do not download the VEX Classroom App to student devices.


Scenario 1: Getting Started with Your Classroom Bundle Using the VEX Classroom App

After removing your VEX GO Kits from your boxes, you will need to do various tasks to help keep your bundles organized and ready for use. This includes charging Batteries, labeling Kits, updating firmware, and naming the Brains. In this scenario, you will update all of the GO Brains at once using the Classroom App.

Note: If you have more than 15 VEX GO Kits, you may want to split the following steps into multiple sessions.

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Begin by opening each Kit and placing the Batteries on chargers. If you purchased a Classroom Bundle, the chargers will be located in the extra parts bin.

For more information on using the VEX GO Battery, see this article.

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While waiting for the charge, define your labeling system and begin to label your VEX GO Kits and Brains. Use a sticker label or piece of tape and a marker for labeling.

By ensuring the name of the Brain is visible and clear, it will help students when they need to connect their VEX GO Brain to their devices or when cleaning up their Kit at the end of the day.

Do not be afraid to have only simple names like 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. You can name them based off of storybook characters or base the names on what your students are currently learning about in class.

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Ensure that while labeling the Brain, you keep the Smart Ports, Smart Port labels, and center button clear.

After labeling your Kits and Brains and charging Batteries, bring all of the items to a central location. This could be a large table or counter where you can see all of the elements at one time.

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Plug in the Batteries to the Brains and turn them on. If you need assistance getting these connected and turning on the Brains, see this article.

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Open the VEX Classroom App. Because you have up to 15 VEX GO Brains turned on, you should see the same number of Brains inside of the app. 

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Before you can name the Brains, they will need to be updated. Select "Update All Devices" at the top of the screen, and you will see each Brain begin the update process.

This will update the Brains one at a time, so you will see the progress bar move through each Brain individually. Each update can take up to 2 minutes to complete. For more information about updating the firmware on multiple Brains with the VEX Classroom App, see this article.

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After the Brain's have been updated, you can begin to name the Brain's so that their labels match their name within the VEX Classroom App and VEXcode GO. All VEX GO Brains begin with the same name - "VEXGO." You need to locate the Brain in order to distinguish the Brains from one another in the Classroom App.

To begin, open the first Brain in the list and locate it. 

For more information on how to locate a Brain in the Classroom App, see this article.

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Find the label on the Brain that has been located and rename the Brain to match.

See this article for more information about naming a Brain in the Classroom App

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Place this Brain and Battery back in their Kit and repeat the locate and rename process for the remaining Brain's. 


Scenario 2: Updating One Robot at a Time Using the VEX Classroom App

After removing your VEX GO Kits from your boxes, you will need to do various tasks to help keep your bundles organized and ready for use. This includes charging Batteries, labeling Kits, updating firmware, and naming the Brains. In this scenario, you will update your GO Brains one at a time using the Classroom App. You can also complete the setup process for a VEX GO Classroom Bundle with a single charged Battery, by plugging in the same Battery to each of the GO Brains while updating.

This can be useful if there is a stretch of time between when you are unpacking your Classroom Bundle and using them in your classroom or when you do not want to use the 'Locate' function.

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Begin by opening each Kit and placing one Battery on the charger. For more information on using the VEX GO Battery, see this article.

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While waiting for the charge, define your labeling system and begin to label your VEX GO Kits and Brains. Use a sticker label or piece of tape and a marker for labeling.

By ensuring the name of the Brain is visible and clear, it will help students when they need to connect their VEX GO Brain to their devices or when cleaning up their Kit at the end of the day.

Screen_Shot_2022-06-20_at_4.44.47_PM.png

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Ensure that while labeling the Brain, you keep the Smart Ports, Smart Port labels, and center button clear.

After labeling your Kits and Brains and charging the Battery, bring all of the items to a central location. This could be a large table or counter where you can see all of the elements at one time.

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Plug in the Battery to the first Brain and turn it on. If you need assistance getting these connected and turning on the Brain, see this article.

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Open the VEX Classroom App. Because you have a single VEX GO Brain turned on, you should see the only that Brain inside of the app. All VEX GO Brains begin with the same name - "VEXGO."

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Before you can name the Brain, it will need to be updated. Select the robot from the list to open the menu. For more information about updating firmware with the VEX Classroom App, see this article.

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After the Brain's have been updated, you can begin to name the Brain so that the label matches its name within the VEX Classroom App and VEXcode GO.

To begin, open the first Brain in the list and rename it. For more information on how to rename a Brain in the Classroom App, see this article.

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Place this Brain and back in its corresponding Kit, plug the Battery into the next Brain, and repeat the update and rename process for the remaining Brain's. 


Scenario 3: Using the Classroom App to Find a Misplaced Robot

Students may come to you during class time concerned because they lost track of which robot is theirs. Sometimes students peel off the labeling tape, or get distracted and forget which robot they were working with. Bring the whole class to attention and open the Classroom App. 

Please note that this situation assumes that you have already named your devices and know which groups are using each Kit. 

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Ensure that all groups have their Brains turned on. Then look in at the Classroom App and look for the missing Brain in the list.

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If the Brain appears, then another group may have mistakenly used the robot. Select the Brain and then the 'Locate' button to locate the missing robot.

Once the specific GO Brain is located, the button on top of the Brain will turn yellow. Turn it into a classroom search and have everyone look out for the yellow Brain!

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus