CS in Schools Account

Running Classes Online

What video conferencing software should I use?

There are many different video conferencing options available. The most popular are ZoomGoogle Meet and Microsoft Teams. Each of these solutions has their own features, limitations, pros and cons and support documentation.

In general, you should use whatever software is provided or recommended by your school or organisation. Google Meet is a simple and free option that you can access via your CS in Schools account. Zoom is currently free to K-12 schools in Australia and other countries due to the COVID-19 situation. If your organisation does not provide software and has no preference on what is used, you should choose the software that you are most comfortable using, that has the features you want, and that is available to you.

We recommend exploring the features and documentation of each solution to learn how to use them effectively and what specific features might benefit your classroom. You can find support for ZoomGoogle Meet and Microsoft Teams at the following locations:

For more information on choosing the platform that is right for you and your classroom, please contact Zach Wingrave at zach@csinschools.com.

How can I share materials with students?

All of our resources and Repl.it are already online, so access is no problem. You can provide convenient access to materials by using the shortcut URLs listed at year8.io, e.g. year8.io/1s to share the Lesson 1 presentation slides, or year8.io/1w for the Lesson 1 student worksheet.

You will need to provide your own links if you have downloaded our materials and made changes to them; consider using a URL shortening service such as bit.ly before sending these to students. You can share links via email, your LMS, or by using the chat function built into your video conferencing software of choice.

You can also share materials with the class by sharing your screen. Some software has the ability to share computer audio as well, allowing you to share a video with the class from your computer with sound.

Can I run the Year 8 programme online?

Yes! It is entirely possible to run our Year 8 programme completely online. In fact, very little changes from running in-person! The best way to run classes online is to have everyone (teacher, volunteer and students) dialled into a video conference call using software such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams.

To use this software, participants will need a microphone, headphones and (optionally) a webcam. The vast majority of laptops come equipped with a built-in microphone and webcam, and third-party solutions are cheaply available at electronics stores. We recommend the use of headphones in order to prevent feedback from speakers that are too close to the microphone.

When running the class online, we recommend the following tips and tricks:

  • If your software of choice has different roles and user permissions, give your volunteer/teacher co-host capabilities so that they can help you manage the call.
  • Have everyone except the teacher and volunteer muted. This prevents chatter between students and background noise from sensitive microphones.
  • Present lesson slides and other materials using screen-share. In some software, you can also share audio from your computer to play videos with sound.
  • Have students share their screen with you if they need help with their code. Be specific in your directions: use line numbers and unambiguous language when directing them around their screen e.g. “At the top of your screen, above the Run button…” or “On line 34, your print command has a typo…”.
  • Have a separate video call available for students who need help with their code. This allows you to work with students individually or in small groups without disturbing the rest of the class.

Edison Troubleshooting

What is the difference between edpyapp.com and low.edpyapp.com?

You may need to use low.edpyapp.com instead of edpyapp.com to program the robot. This version of the site is identical to edpyapp.com, but will compile the audio file differently so that Edison can hear the signal on a laptop with low volume output. Note: this louder signal is more susceptible to sound enhancement issues.

You may wish to make a copy of any lesson slides and student worksheets that refer to edpyapp.com and change the link to low.edpyapp.com so as not to confuse students. You may also wish to write the low.edpyapp.com address on the whiteboard as a reminder to students.

For more information on low.edpyapp.com, consider the official EdPyApp documentation.

How do I know Edison loaded my program correctly?

Edison plays a different sound depending on whether the program loaded successfully or if the program failed to load. These sounds can be heard here.

In addition to listening for the success sound, consider adding a known behaviour to your program that is not related to the task at hand. For example, have Edison turn 360 degrees, flash both lights for one second, or play a beep. This way, you can verify that your program was loaded successfully based on whether or not Edison performs this behaviour when you press the play button.

You should put this behaviour at the top of your program (underneath the setup code of course) so that it is the first thing Edison does. Consider the following code for the options listed above:

# Have Edison turn 360 degrees
Ed.Drive(Ed.SPIN_RIGHT, Ed.SPEED_FULL, 360)

# Flash both lights for 1 second.
Ed.RightLed(Ed.ON)
Ed.LeftLed(Ed.ON)
Ed.TimeWait(1, Ed.TIME_SECONDS)
Ed.RightLed(Ed.OFF)
Ed.LeftLed(Ed.OFF)

# Play a beep.
Ed.PlayBeep()

For more information on loading programs to Edison, consider the official EdPyApp documentation.

Edison fails immediately when I click Program Edison, what do I do?

Before consulting these steps, try programming Edison 2-3 times. Wait 5-10 seconds after pressing the record button before clicking Program Edison, and be patient. Refresh the page for each attempt and switch between Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.

If you can hear sound when the robot is being programmed and both LED lights are off, but you hear the failure sound effect almost immediately, the problem is generally with sound enhancements. In other words, the robot cannot understand the signal.

In this case, you will need to disable sound enhancements on your computer. The primary and most common sound enhancements are in the form of third party software. Depending on your manufacturer, you should check Windows for the following pieces of software:

Depending on the version of Windows and the version of each software you have installed, the settings to disable and/or uninstall the enhancements may be in different locations in your computer’s settings. Test Edison after each change to see if the changes made so far are sufficient to solve the problem. If you have trouble with this step, please contact Zach Wingrave at zach@csinschools.com.

For more information on disabling sound enhancements, consider the official EdPyApp documentation.

Take special notice of the Disable 3rd party sound enhancements drop down menu.

Edison doesn’t play any sound when I click Program Edison, what do I do?

Before consulting these steps, try programming Edison 2-3 times. Wait 5-10 seconds after pressing the record button before clicking Program Edison, and be patient. Refresh the page for each attempt and switch between Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.

If you cannot hear anything when the robot is being programmed, and both LED lights remain solidly on (i.e. not flashing), then the problem is generally with low sound volume. In other words, the robot cannot hear the signal at all.

In this case, please use low.edpyapp.com instead of edpyapp.com to program the robot. This version of the site is identical to edpyapp.com, but will compile the audio file differently so that Edison can hear the signal on a laptop with low volume output. Note: this louder signal is more susceptible to sound enhancement issues.

You may wish to make a copy of any lesson slides and student worksheets that refer to edpyapp.com and change the link to low.edpyapp.com so as not to confuse students. You may also wish to write the low.edpyapp.com address on the whiteboard as a reminder to students.

For more information on low.edpyapp.com, consider the official EdPyApp documentation.

Repl.it & Account Setup

Repl.it & the Classroom

I can’t find my Repl.it classroom, what do I do?

Your Repl.it classrooms can always be found at repl.it/teacher. This page lists all classrooms that you have created, and those which you have been added to as a collaborator. As a teacher, you should have created the classroom on your Repl.it account, following the instructions found in the teacher preparation slides in Lesson 1.

If you cannot see the classroom listed on your teacher dashboard at repl.it/teacher, check with your volunteer to see if they have set up the classroom on their account. If you have multiple Repl.it accounts, ensure you are logged in with your CS in Schools email. You can check this by navigating to repl.it/account and checking the email address listed under the My Account menu underneath your profile information.

For more information on managing classrooms, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

How do I add my volunteer to the classroom?

From the classroom page, scroll down to the Teachers section. Click the Collaborate button on the right hand side and enter your volunteer’s CS in Schools email address. They will receive an email at this address inviting them to join the classroom. Once your volunteer follows this link they will be listed as a teacher and will be able to find the classroom at repl.it/teacher on their account.

For more information on managing classrooms, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

How can I use Repl.it in my reporting/LMS?

Repl.it classrooms provide a structure for assessment using assignments. You can read more about assignment submission workflow here. You may still wish to reflect these results in your school’s own reporting or learning management system. How you do this is entirely up to you as a teacher. We make the following suggestions (note that these suggestions are neither exhaustive nor prescriptive):

  • Download a spreadsheet (.csv) of student results from Repl.it and upload into your LMS for whole-class progress. You can then select individual student rows for student-specific information. The spreadsheet is available from the classroom page under the Student Overview section. Click the Enrolled link to show the list of students who are enrolled, and click the Export as CSV button above the list of names. You will receive an email to your Repl.it registered email address containing the .csv attachment.
  • Capture student submission URLs for references to individual assignment attempts. These can be found by navigating to student submissions via the classroom page, either per student or per assignment. The URL will be of the form repl.it/teacher/submissions/<submission_id>. Note that this URL will only be visible to you if you are logged in as a teacher and have access to that classroom; other teachers and parents will not be able to view this link.

For more information on exporting classroom data, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

Can I set up multiple classrooms on Repl.it?

Yes! This is done by cloning an existing classroom. From repl.it/teacher, click the three dots on the bottom right hand corner of the classroom you wish to clone, and click the Clone option. Give your new classroom a name and click Okay. Repeat this process for as many classes as you need.

We recommend you rename each classroom you create so that you can easily differentiate between them. You may also which to change the picture and description of each class for your own benefit. To do this, click the three dots on the bottom right hand corner of the classroom you wish to edit, and click the Edit option. Change whatever values you want here and click Save.

For more information on managing classrooms, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

Can I enrol myself into the classroom as a student?

Yes! In fact, we highly encourage you to do this. Simply follow the steps for enrolling students from the teacher preparation slides in Lesson 1, but when you get to the step of copying the invitation URL, just paste it into a new tab instead.

Since you are already logged into a Repl.it account, this link will automatically redirect you to repl.it/student, where you will see the new classroom that you’ve just enrolled into. You can always alternate between the teacher and student views by switching between repl.it/teacher and repl.it/student. You may want to ask your volunteer if they can provide feedback to your assignment submissions as you complete each task.

You may see other classrooms here, you can either ignore these or unenrol from them by clicking the Unenrol button from the three dots menu on the bottom right hand corner of the classroom.

For more information on managing classrooms, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

Repl.it & Assignments

How can I share my students’ work with parents/other teachers?

Have students export their assignment to a public Repl, and share the link from there. Above the Run button on a given assignment, click the Export to Repl button. In the page that loads, students can share their Repl in a variety of ways from the Share button at the top of the page. We have also created a video guide explaining this process which you can view at year7.io/sharing.

Can I add my own assignment to the Repl.it classroom?

Yes! Once you have imported our version of the classroom, you are free to alter it however you like to suit your needs. You may add your own assignments, edit existing ones, make use of projects, or experiment with automatic marking.

To add your own assignment, simply click the Create Assignment button on the right hand side of the classroom page. Write up your instructions on the right hand side (be sure to use the formatting options available) and provide any startup code in the code editor on the left hand side. Click Next and select your publishing and marking options. If you publish the assignment immediately, it will be available for students the next time they load the classroom page.

For more information on assignments, consider the official Repl.it documentation.

Contact

For more information, please contact Zach Wingrave at zach@csinschools.com.