52 January 2014
The Arduino Classroom:
■ BY JOE PARDUE SMILEY’S WORKSHOP
C PROGRAMMING - HARDWARE - PROJECTS
That is exactly what is going to happen over the next
who-knows-how-many articles: a formal curriculum starting
with Arduino 101 where you learn computing and
electronics basics much like you’d learn if you took a
standard semester-based introductory course. After that,
we’ll take this base of knowledge and use it as a platform
to move up to Arduino 102 where we will learn how to
turn an idea into a product. From there, we’ll move on to
Arduino 103 where we’ll learn to design and build a data
logger and a robot, thus completing a solid introduction to
the fundamental concepts of computing and electronics as
they apply to microcontrollers and embedded systems.
To help in this, I’ve started www.arduinoclassroom.com
where each of these magazine articles will be presented
along with laboratories, exercises, quizzes, and a forum.
Now instead of being a passive reader, you get a chance to
have some interaction and to talk back.
But First ... HELP!
Sure. I’m going to create a magazine/Internet based
classroom that will bridge the gap between real classes and
all the stuff the Internet has to offer and I’m going to do it
all by my lonesome. Not! I’m not that talented (or crazy).
This is only going to work if I get help from students and
teachers. I’ll need some novices to decide to be dedicated
students and tell me where they are having difficulties with
this stuff. Also, I’ll definitely need some teachers to wade
through this and offer suggestions as how this can be done
better to meet what they know are the real needs.
So far, I’ve got my most excellent friend Jay Flanders
helping out. Jay taught electronics at Kaskaskia College in
For a few years now, this
column has wandered
around the world of AVR
folks in various aspects of
C programming and
systems. I have received
lots of great feedback and
one thing that seems
apparent is that many
want a more formal
approach to learning this
stuff. Getting everything
in bits and pieces just
isn't cutting it for some.
The Internet is
overflowing with informal
cookbook projects and
tutorials to solve every
little problem, but what
seems lacking are stepwise approaches like one might get in a regular
classroom. If you are making LEDs blink just fine but have a nagging
doubt whether you really know what you’re doing, then maybe it’s time
to follow a curriculum that can take you through each step so that
when you finish, you'll know you've covered all the bases.
■ FIGURE 1: The
Arduino Uno R3.