Today myself and Sarah set about using the UDOO kit but it provided many more obstacles that we had initially anticipated. Having both used Arduino before, we just expected that when you connect the UDOO Kit and downloaded some form of programming software, we would be able to use it immediately. However, that reality didn’t ensue. Instead it turned out to be a much more complicated set up.
Outcomes from experimentation:
- On the homepage of the website there is not enough information about how to use it
- the language used to explain how to use it or even what it is, is aimed at someone who is experienced in this area and who is from an engineering background. It isn’t simple enough for a person who has never used this equipment before to get started, e.g. a teacher would be lost!
- The UDOO Kit requires a Micro-SD Card to work and if it is not already pre-loaded, the user has to load an operating system on to it before starting any tutorials.
- They use the word “image” a lot but it is not clear what they mean by image. Do they mean an actual .jpg style image or is “image” a metaphor for something else?
- When comparing the Arduino forums with the UDOO forums, the arduino forums are much more active, which broader post topics and much more posts in each forum. There are a number of forums/tutorials available including the Arduino Forum, Instructables and Spark Fun. In contrast the UDOO forums are much less active, with less posts and the titles of the posts are much more specific and technical. Again they are not simple enough for a first-time user to understand. They may seem intimidating to a new beginner who may give up before they have even started.
- Teachers may not understand any of the language. There will also be a difference in the technical ability and the understanding of technical language between the teachers
- The UDOO Kit is to be used as a computer which will connect to a monitor or Digital TV. A keyboard and mouse can connect to the UDOO Kit. This wasn’t clear to us until we visited the linux forum for further information.
- It is clear on the website which programming software we should use. Processing is what we are familiar with but any forums which covered the topic couldn’t get processing to work with it.
Questions that arose:
- How do UDOO envisage the UDOO Kit being used? is it a stand alone device that they will give to users and they just want them to mess about with it? Or they envisage that it will be built into an object or a project to complete a larger or greater task?
- How do we train teachers how to use such a technology when we are struggling to understand it ourselves? It would require a whole new step-by-step process in a language that teachers could understand.
- How do we get teachers to use it? Do we give the boards to them as is or do we build something with them first that the teachers will then use?
- Why does UDOO have to be used? Why can’t the Arduino board be used to carry out user scenarios and experiments? It is much more popular and easier to use.
- Does an Arduino Board or a UDOO Kit have to be used? Why are they the main piece of technology mentioned? Virtual reality and augmented reality might be of greater use in the classroom.
- We have to remember that this project is based at 14-16 year olds so the projects have to be of use to them. It is much harder to get a teenager engaged than it is a young child. Will the use of a UDOO kit appeal to them? And what about the students who have no interest in this engineering/computer side of things? How do we engage them?
Once we familiarize ourselves more with the UDOO Kit, a first possible observation would be to get create a study where we get teachers using the kit and we observe them. It would be interesting to see what they do, hear what they have to say, how do they interact with one another, is one teacher leading the rest, are any teachers not actively taking part in using the kit, how long do they use the kit before they encounter a problem, do they ask many questions etc.
Next Monday myself and Sarah will sit down and try and perform a few of the tutorials/projects that are available on the UDOO website. We will see how easy it is to create them, what problems we face, how long it takes each of us to complete a task etc. This will provide useful information on how beneficial the UDOO kit actually is.