Those of you who know us, know that we are a strange little construct. We are tiny island city state, with no natural resources, save a population made up of varied ethnic and cultural groups. In such a small state, the issues of bread and butter / life and death are very real to us. The solutions we have adopted for our society may not suit everyone. Some of you may know the weirder quirks like the ban on sale of chewing gum (yes, you read it correctly). Don't get us wrong though, we make no excuses for the choices we have made. But having said this, one of the things we have are trying to correct, is that in our emphasis on efficiency and economic output, we have lost a sense of creativity and thinking out of the box. Our children learn much by rote, they seldom challenge their teachers, and creativity is often left in the realm of art or avant garde.
Our only resource is our people and our children. We love the theme on education because it is so pertinent to us. Our project is a learning tool meant to encourage in children ( and adults too - this topic to be mentioned in a future post) an interest in self learning, a sense that learning goes well beyond school textbooks, and that their creativity can benefit themselves and the larger world.
We have chosen Home Automation to be our learning tool. We are calling it a learning tool and not a teaching tool quite deliberately. Our concept is to create a set of simple modules that can have plug and play capabilities. The idea is to start with simple concepts that can be demonstrated easily with the modules. These concepts have been brewing for sometime and we will elaborate in a later post. Alongside the modules, we will recommend exactly the same hardware replicated in breadboard fashion. This will give complete transparency between the finished module and the breadboard instances. The suggested lesson plans will also be discussed with local educators and posted in future.
This project is to be open-source. The PCB layouts, the casings and accessories and the firmware will be made available. The wonderful Arduino environment will be used as a starting point. However we envisage simplified hardware based on the opensource "open device cloud" initiative to be developed for this project.