Tech Class 1 – Tuesday June 29, 2010
Today’s class was the first for Education 4752; specialized technology education. An overview of the course was given, with topics such as Integrated Systems, Robotic Systems Technology, Grade 8 Control, and Grade 9 Energy and Power programs being the focus of the course. All of these programs are currently being used in the Newfoundland and Labrador Education system, and it is great to see that material we will cover in this course will actually be relevant to our future as potential technology teachers. Some technology courses in the past seemed to veer away from actually material done in the current K-12 curriculum. This one on the other hand seems very beneficial.
After going over course material and evaluation, we jumped right into hands on activity. In pairs, we were given our hardware kits, and we began playing with the equipment. We got familiar with some of the parts in our sets and followed a few simple activities. We used some batteries, lights, and phidget pieces and a computer to turn lights on and off, and to activate a rotating wheel. To finish off the day, we made a modified car using bubble pad, wire, paper clips, a phidget board, and a computer. With the help of the computer and the programming (visual basic), along with all the other pieces, we were able to make this modified car move on the floor. We controlled the movement of the car with the computer program and move it forwards, backwards, right and left. One problem we did come across was a wiring malfunction. When we tried to move the car to the right, it would move to the left, and vice versa. Once we troubleshooted the problem, with the help of our teacher we finally came to the solution that we had our wires put into the wrong positive and negative places on the phidget board. Something as little as this completely fooled up the programming and it goes to show how particular the program is. Looking forward we will be more careful, and pay closer attention to the steps to make whatever it is we will be making.