When preparing to teach with VEX 123 in your classroom, it is important to be sure you have updated the firmware and named your VEX 123 Robots and VEX Coders 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 123 quickly and easily. This article contains suggestions for how to get up and running quickly and easily in your classroom.
These steps are important to follow before you bring VEX 123 into your classroom so that you and your students can have the ideal experience. Updating 123 Robots and Coders beforehand allows you to ensure students can remain focused on the coding and activity within the classroom rather than needing to introduce devices to update the robots and Coders. It can also be said that pairing robots and Coders during class time can be a difficult process. Coders will attempt to pair with any robot within its connection range and they could easily become mis-paired with a robot across the classroom.
Before beginning, ensure you have downloaded the VEX Classroom App. The VEX Classroom App is available on the following platforms:
- Apple App Store - iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches
- Google Play Store - Android phones and tablets
- Amazon Appstore - Amazon Fire tablets
Note: This app is intended for educator use to prepare VEX 123 Robots and VEX Coders. Do not download the VEX Classroom App to student devices.
Getting Started with Your Classroom Bundle Using the VEX Classroom App
After unpacking your VEX 123 Kits, you will need to do various tasks to help keep your bundles organized and ready for use. This includes charging robots, replacing batteries in Coders, labeling, updating firmware, and naming the robots and Coders. Once you have done this process once, it will make classroom management simpler as you know the names of each robot and Coder as well as how they should be paired together.
Note: Repeat the following process for each set of six 123 Robots and Coders you have. For example, if you have a Classroom Bundle, you have 12 robots and 12 Coders, so repeat the process twice. Your devices may time out if you attempt to do more than six at a time.
Updating and naming 123 Robots
Begin by charging the VEX 123 Robots. Plug each robot in using the cables within the storage case as shown here.
While waiting for the robots to charge, add batteries to your VEX Coders. For information on how to install batteries in the Coder, see this article.
Label your VEX 123 Robots and VEX Coders. Use a sticker label or piece of tape and a marker for labeling. It is recommend to name the 123 Robots and Coders the same names so it is easy to distribute robots and Coders to your students.
It is recommended that you place the label for the 123 Robot on the bottom of the robot between the wheels. It can be difficult to place a label on the top without obscuring the Touch buttons.
Have fun with the names! You can name them based off of storybook characters, relate the names to the color of the robots, or base the names on what your students are currently learning about in class. In this example, the robots and Coders are named after fruit.
You will notice that the VEX Coders also have their labels on the back. It is recommended to put the labels on the back so students are not distracted by the names of their robot and Coder and to help minimize students removing the labels.
Turn on the 123 Robots once they have enough of a charge.
Open the VEX Classroom App. You should see all of the 123 Robots that are currently turned on listed inside of the app.
The default name for the robots is "VEX123."
Before you can name the devices, they will need to be updated. Select "Update All Devices" at the top of the screen, and you will see each item begin the update process.
This will update the robots one at a time, so you will see the progress bar move through each robot individually. Each update can take up to 2 minutes to complete. For more information about updating the firmware on multiple devices with the VEX Classroom App, see this article.
After the robots have been updated, you can begin to name the devices so that their labels match their name within the VEX Classroom App and VEXcode 123.
To begin, open the first 123 Robot in the list and locate it. For more information on how to locate a 123 Robot in the Classroom App, see this article.
After locating the 123 Robot, rename it to match the label.
Continue this process until all 123 Robots are located and named.
Updating and naming Coders
Turn on the VEX Coders. Now that the 123 Robots have been updated and named, the same process can be followed for the Coders.
Coders can also be updated using the "Update All Devices" option at the top of the screen. Or, you can update each Coder individually by selecting the Coder and then selecting "Update."
The default name for VEX Coders is "VEXCDR."
For more information about updating Coder firmware with the VEX Classroom App, see this article.
The same steps for locating and renaming a Coder can be followed. Locate and name each Coder to match its label.
For more information about locating and renaming VEX Coders, see this article.
Continue this process until all Coders are located and named.
Pairing 123 Robots and Coders
Now that all robots and Coders have been named, they can be paired together. Find the robot and Coder with the matching label and follow the steps in this article to pair them.