Chibitronics

Edin Ibric

ACTIVITY #3 - Reflecting on the Tool

Reflection

I am a very big fan of this tool to help students learn about circuits using the constructivist approach to learning. I remember learning about circuits in when I was in high school and from what I recall it was mostly using or drawing diagrams of the circuits and various components to demonstrate how the circuits work. I’m not sure if it was for budget reasons or not but we never had the opportunity to work with our hands to experience how to actually make working circuits and different combinations. It was very unfortunate because the learning experience was so limiting when you can’t actually see the circuit work and not actually seeing the real components that make up the circuit it’s kind of hard to really imagine how all these pieces fit together to make a working circuit. On top of that, if you made a mistake you don’t really have the opportunity to experiment and try to figure out if it worked or not because you’re kind of stuck working on the theory behind the concepts so you’re not really constructing or experiencing that construction of knowledge that you would have by working with your hands and conducting tests based on theories and diagrams to see how and why it work or didn’t work. This is where Chibitronics is so valuable in my opinion to help with understanding circuits and not just knowing how to replicate a diagram of a working circuit.

Sketchbook & Scaffolding

The sketchbook that comes with the starter pack is an such a fun and engaging way to create these circuits and gain more than just knowledge but build that foundational understanding of what circuits are all about through a scaffolded learning experience. It provides a great deal of motivation because of each tutorial builds in complexity and functionality and just being able to see it work and begin to understand some of the practical uses of these circuits and help me think of my own ideas for creative applications of circuits and their components.

Constraints

The constraints that I can see with this tool is that it is fairly limited beyond adding some advanced functionality on it’s own. As simple as it is to create different combinations and uses for the components and things, without some intelligence to drive the functions further it may get a little boring after making things light up over and over. The good thing is that it may motivate someone to take it further and combine it with other tools that can give Chibitronics the intelligence it needs to make some amazing things.

Personal Use

I have some ideas of things I’d like to try with Chibitronics, especially when thinking of how I might be able to trigger the lights to create some interesting effects on my drumset when I perform live. I’d love to create a patterns of lights that would be on the bass drum of my drumset that light up in different shape patterns with the lights depending on what drum or cymbal I strike. If I could combine that with the intelligence of arduinos I could potentially create some interesting light shows to add to the music being performed by having kind of a light show on the drums. This is actually a project I would like to attempt at some point soon to see if I can make it work.