Design a system with which students in a classroom setting can interact in real-time with projected prompts or verbal questions from an instructor.
Freescale integrated 802.15.4 (ZigBee) radio and microcontroller system on chip (SoC) components, PCB-trace antenna, Freescale MAC, ANSI C and Code Warrior.
Children growing up in the digital age of computers, MP3 players, and game devices learn differently than students of the past. To keep students engaged in learning, schools are investing in forms of technology that are familiar to children and intuitive to use. Educators realize that high-tech devices provide interactive feedback to enhance the learning experience, make learning more student-centered, and help keep children interested in the curriculum.
A global provider of wireless, interconnected audio-visual equipment approached Tecnova to design and commercialize a hand-held device for use by students. The device is battery powered, contains an LCD display, an integrated keypad and uses a custom wireless communication protocol on top of the Freescale MAC. Students participate in real time learning by using the keypad to answer questions shown on the LCD display. The hand-held remote provides instant feedback to both the teacher and student. If the students are well versed on a topic, new information can be presented. If the subject matter is not well understood, the teacher can dynamically alter the curriculum to provide more instruction.
Tecnova delivered a fully functional, FCC approved, “cool” wireless student response system for use in the modern classroom. Communications hardware and firmware are based on Freescale components. A proprietary protocol guards against sniffing or “spoofing” the transmission, and a unique firmware implementation provides exceptional radio distance and long battery life in typical settings. Tecnova’s experience in aesthetics, ergonomics, and packaging design resulted in an easy-to-learn, comfortable handheld device.
The “out of the box” device supports over 200 remote units as well as multiple PCs, with each PC connected to a base station transceiver. Remote units automatically select an appropriate base station (i.e. classroom) and establish a link. Once established, the remote unit only communicates with the selected base station using the proprietary frequency allocation algorithm.