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Author Topic: Classroom Kit - I need your help.  (Read 4381 times)
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I am currently trying to build a Arduino Kit that will make teaching and learning simple in a classroom setting.  Please go to ArduinoKit.US for more information and please share the project with your friends.  This would be a great tool for clubs, classes and indviduals to have many common parts and tools readily available.

Thank for looking,
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I see the kickstarter project did`nt make it, will the circuit board layout be open source?

Maybe a kit of parts would be cheaper?
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I was unable to raise the funds necessary for a 250 board run on KickStarter.  I based my price on US assembly and production and I am working on some other ideas.

A simple kit of parts would be cheaper.  There are many various kits of parts available and I don't simply want to add to the collection.  The idea of my kit will keep all the parts contained and easy to hook them up for projects.  Additionally, a collection of parts will not last very long in a classroom or typical adolescence learning process. 

I am planning on trying to produce the kit with outsourcing and possibly run it on KickStarter again.  I will have a firm design and prototype already built for examination and purchasing.

I'm working on the details now.
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A solution for low-cost classroom teaching materials is a low-cost Starter Kit like these:  http://goo.gl/xyiVf  

I think that using real components and understanding how to connect them is a big plus if learners are to continue on their own.

HOWEVER, 10 or 12 students using breadboards for the first time can be a BIG connection headache in the classroom. So an alternative is the plug-in approach with Electronic Bricks like these:  http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ElectronicBrickStarterSet

Many schools and Universities are using one or both of these approaches successfully.

Also, see the free INFO  on the ArduinoInfo WIKI here - http://arduinoinfo.info   Many schools are using this, and a more specific learning sequence document will be ready soon.

Let me know if I can answer any questions about these.


DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...

NOTE: Arduino is Open Source. Anyone can build their own compatible copy if they want. The UNO schematic and PC Board layout files are here:  http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardUno
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 11:49:13 am by terryking228 » Logged

Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

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it is incredile how someone continues to promote their clones made in China in this forum.
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Arduino will become a great platform for mobile robots just by adding a motor shiels to it. Arduino is also easy to adapt as it uses add-on "shields".
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I'm in two minds about the usefulness of that....

On the one hand it's great to have all the goodies on one board and connectable with those plugs so that students can learn about the modules and components. And on that note, none of the bigger more expensive bits can get lost, which in a class is an important aspect.

But on the other, it's not practical in the sense that you can't stick it on top of say a small robot like Pololu's Zumo where you would need just say the Uno and a handful of sensors. Nor can you attach the Lilypad to a shirt or backpack if it's permanently attached to the board.

I guess if the point is not to build a practical project (eg a moving robot that senses the wall and avoids it, as opposed to the same sensors and activators wired up and working on a static board) then that doesn't matter; but I can't see why one wouldn't want to build a practical project.

So on balance I'd lean away from this towards the traditional "box of bits"....
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Jimbo, that's a good explanation of the tradeoffs between a more integrated approach and a more modular ad-hoc one.

If you want to build a robot and you know that from the outset, and if you want DC drive motors, for example, an integrated Arduino-compatible board like this is a good solution: http://goo.gl/nksiG  Russell Cameron has designed many Robotic products and brought together what he saw as the most important capabilities for a small robot: FET Motor Drivers, IR receiver, accelerometer  etc. See the details here: http://goo.gl/vsqXr 

The other end of the spectrum is the "Box of Bits" you mention. One approach is this: http://goo.gl/WTny5  In a classroom environment I have found that 8 students with breadboards means half of the class time is spent fixing connection problems. That creates frustration all around and makes the whole experience much less positive.

The "Box of Bits" of "Electronic Bricks" is used by several Universities and schools. Later when individual projects are done by students, they introduce the breadboard and "Little bits" that need proper connections, pullup resistors etc. 

Students see lots of fully-integrated designs: Their cellphones, laptops, video games, toasters, car dashboards.  If they are to become designers they need to see the Bits and learn how to bring them together to make systems.


DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...
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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

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For classroom you could start with a free simulator which is also open source:
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,132710.msg998492.html
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