I am running a new course in the fall out of the Art Department at CSU Long Beach called ART 364 Electronics, Mechanics, Kinetics. A not very specific title for an interdisciplinary studio art course that will explore basic electronics, mechanics, and microcontroller programming for studio art majors (lots of light, motion, reactivity, and simple behavior). Last fall I offered a test run of the class and based the curriculum off of Igoe's Physical Computing book and used the PICAXE (http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/) line of microcontrollers. Without an available Windows-PC lab (it IS an art dept) the students were stuck with the 1 or 2 machines I could provide them because of the PICAXE's windows only programming editor.
I do however have a nice Mac lab available (used for a couple video classes) and have been seeing the Arduino pop up everywhere so it seemed like a natural decision to switch my curriculum over to the Arduino platform (and use the Mac lab). The one thing I am going to sorely miss is the PICAXE free 220 page manual which makes learning the code structure and commands very easy for the beginner. (And it makes my job admittedly easier.)
Ok, now I know about the arduino guide that just came out which is a good primer. I have also seen the reference section here and Igoe has some great labs written up over at the NYU Phys Comp site. I have a feeling switching to the Arduino platform is going to require some writing on my part and thats ok. Before I get started putting this stuff together though, I wanted to ask this forum for help pointing to good reference material that might be floating about that I havent seen yet. I would also greatly appreciate any comments, suggestions, or wisdom any of the members might be able to provide as I start up this new Arduino based curriculum.
Many thanks, Brian Evans, CSULB