10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Weekend Ed. Quote ~April 1

This week’s quote is courtesy of innovator, Massimo Banzi, the creator of Arduino. April 2nd is the worldwide Arduino Day. Click this link for more information.

Massimo Banzi quote



More Ed. Quotes


Design Journal 13: Mutual Friends

They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends. ~Thomas Hardy

Coding and electronics in Arduino projects are mutual friends and co-dependent on each other.

Good code cannot run on faulty electronicsSuperb electronics don’t work with bad code.

There is a balance, an interdependence between code and electronics.

We have hit a snag, in these days before Thanksgiving.

The code and electronics are not working together.

They are not playing well together.

The sloganized phrase “Fail Fast” and “Fail Faster” has never been more poignant than today.


I wonder, if I had celebrated Ada Lovelace Day, would my experience be this difficult?


Design Journal 11: A Stitch in Time and Time to Stitch

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney

Time for Stitching:

StitchingI am stitching with gray, connective thread from the various components (LED lights, on/off switch, voice recorder) back to the Ground component on my Voice Playback Integrated Wearable. Each line is distinct and must be sewn separately. The positive loop of the component must always connect back to the Ground. The stitches do not have to be close together as I learned in 4th grade Home Ec class, but the connective thread lines can’t criss-cross or intersect.





Other Design Journal Posts


Design Journal 6-My Arduino Shopping List

Recent studies by Buechley and Hill conclude that Arduino purchasers were 78% male 9% female (p. 202). After today’s order,  I am in the 9%. In addition to my previous order, my project needs a Voice Recorder. There are two vendors that have been recommended as suppliers for the voice recorder and sound file. One vendor is SparkFun

Voice Recorder and Thin Speaker :

thin speaker


Voice Recorder Breakout

These two items are listed at SparkFun under these item numbers:

Another vendor to consider for next time is Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried.  Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and was recently awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year. Limor’s goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 50 employees and a 15,000+ sq ft. factory. Adafruit is more than a webpage or online shopping site. It include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store.
In 2014 Adafruit was ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 “fastest growing private companies”. I really like the web site map for Adafruit. There are forums and a blog. Both encourage collaboration and communication. Every Wednesday there is a live chat at 8:00pm ET. I am slowly moving passed lurker status!
Buechley, L., Hill, B.M. *20100.  LilyPad in the wild: how hardware’s long tail is supporting new engineering and design communities. In Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 199-207.


Design Journal 3-My Arduino Sketch

Here is my (very rough- RISD grads need not worry about competition) sketch for my Arduino project:

My Arduino Project

Now I need to add where the circuits will be placed.

For that, I need to search for the correct parts and go to a MakerSpace.


Other Design Lab posts


Design Journal 1: My Arduino Project Idea

My Arduino project involves a way for my mom to feel close to my dad in the middle of the night or anytime that she misses him. My mom had a stroke earlier this year and it was a debilitating event for her. After an initial rebound, during the last few months, her condition has deteriorated.

My parents are at home together. I have no idea what a marriage of 67 years looks and feels like, but I have observed my parents to be very connected and almost symbiotic (hard to describe). My mom is now on home-based Hospice care and in a hospital bed in their room. My dad, in year 14 of stroke rehab and adjustment, has 24-hour caregivers in his office which we’ve remodeled to house a hospital bed for him.

When mom was in the hospital for so long last winter and spring, I would run videos on my iPhone of Dad talking to her, singing to her, and sometimes delivering parts of old speeches to her (the later would always lull her to sleep). I have forwarded these little phone videos to mom’s caregivers, but for whatever reason she doesn’t see them.

I would like to create an Arduino project for my mom that would be stitched into and cushioned within one of my dad’s old flannel shirts and would hold a light. I would like to wind this around the side of my mom’s hospital bed, like a garland, where she could also have a tiny, little bit of control to touch it and perhaps be reminded of Dad.

Ambitiously, I would also like to use some sort of adaptation to allow mom to hear dad’s voice in the middle of the night. I received a greeting card once that had a recording of a former student’s voice that played when I opened the card. Oscar says that this idea is not too far-fetched.

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