Teaching is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Teaching is sometimes made even more difficult when well-meaning, but unrealistic, expectations are placed upon teachers. When I first started teaching educational robotics, I was often told that I could “learn with my students.” Not knowing the answer as to why the robot wouldn’t drive straight or why a program didn’t work as expected was a good thing to model for students. Those observations may indeed be true, for some teachers, but for me it caused me to feel unprepared and apprehensive.
Recent research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that what I was experiencing is the norm for many teachers as they try to adopt new technologies in their classrooms. The research indicates that teachers want to be able to show competence relative to others, while also wanting to avoid failure. To many, these results are not surprising. However, many teachers are asked to do things that directly conflict with what the research tells us. For example, many teachers are being asked to incorporate computer science into their teaching day, but few, if any, of these teachers are computer scientists.
There are two types of VEX Educator Certification courses available now to classroom teachers: the VEX IQ Educator Certification and the V5 Educator Certification. Each course is free. All you need to get started is a VEX Account.
At VEX Robotics, we realize that the true change-agents in education are classroom teachers. Additionally, we also recognize that teachers need the tools and training in order to feel confident and prepared in their classrooms. To that end, we are proud to share our Educator Certification Program. VEX now offers free, online training that helps educators at all different ability levels. By the end of the VEX Certified Educator program, you will be fully prepared to implement VEX Robotics into your classroom and become a technology and innovation leader within your school and community.
Because we know that your life is busy, the VEX Educator Certification program allows you to learn where, when, and how you want. All the lessons are self-paced and the certification program keeps track of your progress. Can’t log in for a few days? No problem. The certification program will let you know right where you left off.
The V5 and VEX IQ Educator Certification Programs each contain 10 units. Units cover everything from getting started with your robot, to construction techniques, to VEX Competitions. Each unit contains a number of lessons. Many units contain a lesson on implementing Educational Robotics.
Topics covered in these lessons include teaching computer science with a VEX robot, organizing your classroom, and effective troubleshooting strategies. Each Unit and Lesson features content from STEM Labs and the Knowledge Base. We’ve organized all of this information for you and present it in a clear and logical way. If you are asking yourself, “How do I get started?” the answer is to get started right here, with the VEX Certified Educators program.
At the end of each lesson and unit, there is a small quiz that you can use as a formative assessment. Since this is a formative assessment, you are not “penalized” if you get an incorrect answer. Instead, you can retry the question, or see the correct answer. The formative assessment helps build both your confidence and skill as you progress throughout the course.
Move through the course at your own pace. If you have the time, go through each lesson and complete all of the materials. If you are more experienced with VEX Robotics or you don’t have a lot of time, then go straight to the lesson and unit quizzes. We’ve had educators become certified in a matter of hours. This program was designed to help novices that are completely new to robotics, while also providing new insights to more experienced educators.
After you have taken each of the unit quizzes, the certification exam now becomes unlocked for you. The exam consists of 30 questions. A score of 70% or above is needed to pass. If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, no problem. After 24 hours, you can retake the exam. When you do pass the exam, you can share your certificate on your preferred social media channels. Also, the number, of course, hours are listed on each certificate, so you can turn it into your school for continuing education credit.
This free service is great for furthering your personal education and learning the VEX Robotics platforms, but the benefits don’t stop there! Once certified, you will gain access to a growing community of educators and resources available to enhance or supplement your existing material, for a truly unique classroom experience. There isn’t any risk, and the price of admission is free, so why not get VEX Certified?
If you want to join the thousands of teachers who have already taken the VEX Certification classes and join a network of uniquely trained and talented educational professionals, then follow this link to start your certification process!