Are you interested in simultaneously investigating two technology products deeply connected to constructionist education theories? Or have you been having trouble getting the Lego Mindstorms NXT to work with the OLPC XO laptop?
Either way, the Lego WeDo, which Lego announced in June of this year, has just been made available for pre-release purchase at the Lego Education Store. It will ship in January of 2009 which will be just right for those people just setting up their G1G1 2008 XO laptops.
I was worried that this was just a fantastic promotional photo opportunity and that I might find, upon buying the WeDo, that like too many software products, it would only work with the much discussed Windows XO. But myself and Mike Lee have both verified from Lego Education that the software does indeed work with the OLPC XO with the shipped OS and Sugar! Tim Lankford, at Lego Education confirms:
The WeDo software application has been engineered to install on the modified Liunx OS currently used on the OLPC XO laptop. The modified custom Linux OS running on the XO is the only Liunx OS that the WeDo software is compatible with.
The Lego Education online catalog is not the easiest site to navigate, but from what I can tell the basic set that comes with all the Lego pieces and the software is set LEGO Education WeD Robotics Construction Set and Software Combo, W991479.
Although I would be very interested in seeing what is on the LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Activity Pack, W909580, I am reluctant to add another $129.95 to my purchase.
Brett Stevens is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He and his 4.75 year old daughter, Greta, love the XO (especially Speak and Memorize) and they also love playing Lego together. He uses Teapot's Ubuntu for the XO when not using the XO with Greta.