You can start programming the EV3 just like the older NXT with the provided graphical block language called EV3 lab which is based on the Scratch language.
As a sidenote, the EV name stands for Evolution.
Now the EV3 has a newer programming software environment but you can use it the same way that you use NXT-G by moving blocks which represent motors and sensors etc around the screen and copying the program back to your brick which would then move the motors and sensors that are attached to it.
You can download the EV3 app to your cellphone and control your EV3 robot or do some of the programming there by moving the blocks that represent motors and sensors around the screen.
You program the EV3 with the block language just like you do the older versions of the Mindstorm kits.
You could also program the EV3 in languages like C/C++ and Python.
For Python you could use BrickPi along with the Raspberry Pi computer instead of the EV3 brick.
You add blocks to the screen that represent the motors and sensors and you add some logic blocks to make the program wait or loop or make a decision.
Each of the blocks have parameters that you can change.
A sensor could have 3 positions or conditions like touched/bumped and released. The color sensors could identify 7 colors and light intensities. The infrared detector could detect objects and track and find them. The remote ir beacon could control the robot.
The motors were servo motors and you could control them to either spining either direction at a certain speed for a certain amount of time or or a certain number of rotations or at some set degrees of rotation.
The medium motor spinned sfaster and the large motor spinned slower and could be used for grippers.
You could get an extension on the Internet that would allow you to program in C/C++ and there are various ways to work with Python with your EV3.
Later when you start to work with a microcontroller like the Arduino you will see that the process is the same. You write the program called the Sketch on your computer which then copies the program to your arduino microcontroller which is attached to the computer with a USB cable.
Of course the motors and sensors are attached to your arduino and once the program is copied over from the computer, you can disconnect the arduino and it is free to roam around the room or do whatever the program tells it to do.
You can go onto our Video lessons section in the Fall 2021 where we will put some videos that actually show how to put together a program using the Mindstorm kits.
(under construction AUg 30, 2021)