[OLPC library] Get involved - Measure Activity on the XO

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Apr 9 22:29:54 EDT 2008

2007/9/14 Arjun Sarwal <arjun at laptop.org>:
> Measure Activity on the XO
> (The Activity which converts the XO into an oscilloscope, a spectrum
> analyzer and a data logger !)
[Improvements snipped]
> How can you help ?

I wrote a report some years ago under the title Personal Instruments,
talking about digital oscilliscope boards for PCs, inexpensive
instruments, and data visualization and analysis software. Much has of
course happened since, so the product information I gathered won't
help much today, but many of the companies are still around. I also
wrote a report on Image Processing software.

We should talk to Engineers Without Borders, the Schumacher Institute,
and any societies for teaching science and engineering. Also the
Matlab community.

EWB, the GIS mapping community, and OLPC are in discussions about
community-based environmental monitoring and mapping. Weather, air and
water quality, and whatever else we can get data for.

We should also, as a separate project collect examples of existing
textbooks from every country.

> (1) Help in software development of the activity. There are many refinements
> and features that can further be added. I have put some of the priority ones
> down as tickets in Trac. Have a look at #3435, #3437, #3438 and #3461.

Pipe data in and out of Measure. For example, I would like to be able
to run the software synth and TamTam into Measure to analyze what I
have constructed and the instruments provided, and I would like to run
Measure data through a Matlab-style external program.

Use the stereo input channels as sources for XY plots and for
two-channel input, either in half-screen windows or on the same axes.
The two data sources can be plotted in different colors.

Put time and frequency domain plots in half windows.

Let the user add or subtract signals.

Let the user filter the input data.

> (2) Do projects (and help document them ) around the Measure Activity. Ideas
> ranging from building a low cost ECG system to a low cost intrusion alarm
> system. I've built and tested two ideas illustrating the concept :
> =>'A low cost intrusion alarm system' that makes use of a toy laser that I
> powered from the USB and used a simple LDR (light dependent resistor)
> connected to the MIC_IN. Switch on the bias, set the activity to DC mode;
> observe the voltage change when the light path of laser upon the LDR is cut!
> =>'Temperature' monitoring system that I made simply with an LM35 temp
> sensor, and I powered the sensor from the USB port.
> (3) Help develop content and curriculum around the Measure activity. Science
> experiments, Physics concepts...being able to relate concepts with physical
> phenomena through hands on experiments makes for great learning !

Somebody posted about working on materials for teaching about electricity.

Wikibooks has a very basic lesson:

Demonstrating the properties of waves on an Oscilloscope

> For example, kids can whistle into the mic and using the frequency domain
> display mode in Measure, compare and learn about frequencies...

I play a soprano recorder into the mic at conferences. If I could
carry more instruments on the plane, of course I could do more with
this. But try playing your iPod or other music player into the sound
port and analyzing various instruments and musical genres.

> (4) Want to build a low cost science/physics/chemistry lab ? A tele-health
> monitoring system ? Lots of possibilities to be explored. All new ideas
> welcome!

The Chemistry Collective is a collection of virtual labs,
scenario-based learning activities, and concepts tests which can be
incorporated into a variety of teaching approaches as pre-labs,
alternatives to textbook homework, and in-class activities for
individuals or teams. It is organized by a group of faculty and staff
at Carnegie Mellon University for college and high school teachers who
are interested in using, assessing, and/or creating engaging online
activities for chemistry education.

There are low-cost telemedicine kits from India mentioned on the Wiki
under Telemedicine, and a GSoC project for an EKG using Measure.

Can we interest Mary Lou Jepsen in building a clip-on telescope?

>  (5) Help document such projects and other cool ideas . We would , in
> probability, be going in for Makezine DIY style documentation of such
> projects - with cool illustrations, photographs and explanation...

Also with electronic notebooks containing the code for generating or
gathering data and for analyzing and displaying it, in the manner of
Mathematica, Matlab, and other software.

Talk to other magazines such as Popular Science, etc. Here is a list
from Wikipedia:

Check out The Best of Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar (Hardcover) by Steve Ciarcia.

I just now got more than 13,000 hits on Amazon for "data acquisition".

http://www.librarianchick.com/ put me on to

http://www.thinkquest.org/library/ (Oracle) Over 6,500 websites
created by students around the world who have participated in a
ThinkQuest Competition.

 Electronics: An Online Guide for Beginners
If you are just starting to learn about electronics and looking for a
resource on the net that teaches the basics--then this step-by-step
guide to electronics is the site for you. Learn about current,
voltage, and resistance. How do electrons in the atom make
electricity? What is Ohm's Law? The Projects section lets you learn
more by doing…

The World of Electronics for Children
Our entry addresses several educational objectives. It is of the
utmost importance that we prepare our students to function in the
world of the future. Some of the skills needed for the future and
presently being utilized in this entry are creative problem-solving,
accessing information; synthesizing and sifting that information, and…

> Get in touch with me at arjun at laptop.org for any details/clarifications.
> Looking forward to great collaboration and support from the community.
> sincerely,
> Arjun
> --
> Arjun Sarwal ( arjun at laptop.org )
> _______________________________________________
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Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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