San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1165.1 - 25.1165.17
So Many Educational Microcontroller Platforms, so Little Time!To teach a basic microcontroller course at early stages of the electrical and computer engineeringtechnology program is very challenging since many students can come already knowing aplatform that they have used in high school or that they have used as hobbyists. On the majorityof the cases the students have not been exposed to any microcontroller platform at all and theworst part is that they want to learn how to develop smartphone or tablet like applications rightaway and turning on LEDs does not impress them anymore. If we survey the number of differentmicrocontroller platforms available to teach students we find: CISC and RISC architectures;platforms that could be programmed very efficiently in assembly language or using very highlevel languages; platforms that do not have any open source libraries to perform input/outputinterfaces and other ones that have a complete set of libraries, other platforms hide all themicrocontroller architecture and just focus on applications.What is a good platform that could offer good exposure to microcontroller architectures; easyassembly language and high level programming languages; graphical system programming andconfiguration; and at the same time that allow students to apply it for project based learning?Another very important factor is that are affordable for students to buy and experiment with itwithout worrying to damage it?In this paper we give an example on one microcontroller platform that has been selected to teacha microcontroller based course that has all of the above treats and has been used for the lastcouple years in an electrical and computer engineering technology department. In addition, wewill go to the other spectrum in which we present a success case of a project application of thisplatform with a non-electrical/computer student that went from idea to implementation in a verysystematic way with a not very steep learning curve and was able to assimilate and target hisdesired application.Embedded systems are ubiquitous and that is the reason we should expose engineeringtechnology students at an early stage of their program with tools that will lead them to ideation,innovation, energy awareness, problem solving and in the future to become part of a verycompetitive workforce.
Mondragon, A. F., & Becker-Gomez, A. (2012, June), So Many Educational Microcontroller Platforms, So Little Time! Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21922
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