Arduino Bootcamp for Teachers

Testimonials

Graduates of the Arduino Bootcamp for Teachers have kindly provided these testimonials describing their experience.

We hope they will be useful to you, and help me make a well-informed decision to participate.

I would like to provide you with my short review of Arduino Boot Camp for Teachers by Peter Dalmaris. Firstly, if you are inclined to read only the first paragraph of reviews, it was great and I strongly recommend it.

Like many others, I have a few Arduino boards lying about, I see one on my desk right now, it came with a tank chassis I ordered to use as a platform for an arm. I am sure that if you look around you will find one near you, they have become nearly ubiquitous. However, I really haven’t done much with any of them.

To give you a better understanding of who I am, so you can understand the perspective that I am writing from, I teach Computer Apps (Word Processing, Photoshop, and Spreadsheets), and Robotics at a Middle School in the United States. Outside of the US I taught “A” level Economics and GCSE computer basics.

My main interest in this class was to add a higher level Robotics course (Robotics 2). The state I teach in has no Robotics curriculum or standard scheme of work for Robotics or Robotics 2, both of which are one semester classes.

The result is that I am developing the curriculum and scheme of work with the expectation, created by my administration that it will be used by my entire district (the bit about the whole district was communicated after I started the course . . . but no pressure, right. . .). As you can see, the level of what I needed was pretty high.

I am probably at a worse starting point than many reading this review. My last formal coding class was a course in Pascal. If that alone doesn’t tell you how long ago it was, I will make the math easy for you, it was in the 80s’. However, before you stop reading thinking “coding class” I do want to let you know that this class was more than that.

In addition to coding, which is done in a derivative of “C”, but not exactly “C,” the course also includes an electronics refresher. If these two words, coding and electronics, have turned you off, understand the Peter goes over these in the detail needed to complete the class. Further, if you read the linked material, you will be in a position to answer student questions.

Peter uses very good schematics as he presents the electronics. The only thing I would have liked to see different was to have the lecture on pulling switches up, or down, a bit more obviously titled, as I found myself going back to that lecture later and it was a bit hard to find. I recommend bookmarking that particular lecture. If you are like me, you will find yourself going back to it.

Something that was particularly helpful was the series of lectures, lessons, and activities, involving external libraries. Again, this is something that will be presented in the class. In a nutshell, it provides a means of adding to the commands available in order to address specific needs.

The quizzes and lectures would work well in a flipped classroom. Seeing as the course comes with rights to use the quizzes I am in the process of moving them to the learning management system that I use.

In all, I recommend this class. In particular I recommend it if you have a basic understanding of electronics but may be a bit rusty. Do the words: LED, Diode, and Resistor have meaning to you? If you said yes then you passed that test. The same with programming skill, if you can form a single sentence that uses both the word “code” and the word “instruction” then you are ready.

It is worth the effort you put into it and you will be better prepared to introduce your students to programs the take information from, and act on, the world outside of the computer. And, it is fun.

- Robert Crawford, MBA, Eisenhower Middle School