Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Importance of Documentation

I just read about cognitive load theory, developed by John Sweller, a professor at New South Wales Australia.  It's the notion that people can only hold seven pieces of information in their heads at one time.

According to SLJ's "The Cognitive Connection," May 2015, recent research claims that we might be holding less, maybe 2 or 4 things (pg. 25).  With that in mind, I recently tried to recreate a "talking skull" with the Sparkfun Arduino kit that I made last Halloween (with hands on help from our local maker at the time). It was much easier said than done.

I thought I had taken detailed pictures of the breadboard layout but upon recreation, I was flummoxed. I completely forgot how to do this! I should have taken the shots from above and clearly labeled the wires. I also should have taken a photo of the entire thing. I had a few white wires, one from the PR motion sensor, another from the servo. Which was which?



So I shot a video, surely I shot up close on the Arduino itself for the skull! NOPE!


Arduino Halloween from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.

After all that I realized that I had written down better details for the blog post I did last Halloween or I would have been in trouble for sure!

When I was finished with the bread boarding, I uploaded my saved code in the Arduino program and it is saying SD Fat does not name a type. I have no idea where to go from here because my actual code knowledge is minimal.  I'm still trying to google the answer.  My point is with maker projects, especially in our age of multi tasking, the brain can only hold so much. It is important to take detailed notes, photos and video. That way, if you don't touch the project for a year, you have an easy jumping off point. Now if you have a cadre of 10 or 12 tweens surrounding you, that may be easier said than done, but it's important to take the time after and add tips for making the next project smoother. 

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