Technology is often explained in a boring way and not applied to reality, which means that many young people do not continue their training in this area, despite their initial interest”, reflect Adrià Roig and Nil Solà, students of the Master’s in Communications Engineering at university . , of Informatics, Multimedia and Communication Studies at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).
In addition to communication engineering students, Roig and Sola have been recreational teachers for many years, a fact that has given them a different view of education, more based on entertainment and games. This aspect, and the fact that a large number of students initially interested in technology left the field aside because the current education system is theoretical and not very stimulating, led them to develop SensIT. It is a platform that allows the acquisition of basic knowledge of electronics and technology through motivation, to improve the students’ experience and motivate them to be interested in this area.
Electronic Board to Play and Acquire Knowledge
SensIT was initially designed for ESO and high school students, although it is adaptable to different levels and ages – and can also be applied to engineering studies – according to Roig and Sola. It integrates two main components. On the one hand, it has a modular electronic base board with interactive elements that allow you to play and at the same time acquire knowledge about technology in a practical way. The panel includes LED screens, temperature, humidity and proximity sensors, speakers, buttons, switches… The student interacts with the platform and learns technological concepts in a tangible way, through touch and experimentation.
The second element of the solution is an interactive website where it is possible to find the contents of the agenda and display the data generated by the modules connected to the motherboard. All content was made from a gamification point of view, with the support of a teacher who acts as an online mentor for students. “The student is inside a kind of escape room and, to get out, he has to solve puzzles and problems with the help of the electronic board. Among the problems that must be overcome are, for example, programming a code to turn on a series of LEDs, or integrating a numeric keypad on the motherboard, or guessing a password from the measurements of one of the sensors”, explains Young. engineers.
Through their project, Roig and Solà managed to transform technology learning, which normally focuses on memorizing formulas, theorems and abstract knowledge, into a dynamic and fun experience in which the student can learn in a practical and playful way.
Learn Technology as Well as Values
Young students at UOC emphasize that curriculum knowledge is not the only thing a student will take, but rather, “Through the narrative that is created within the platform, they will also develop core values of everyday life such as camaraderie, teamwork, self-improvement and self-learning.” In a world where technology is ubiquitous, especially among young people, Roig and Sula believe that “we must take advantage of these inherent facilities and the proximity of this area so that, in addition to having fun, they can learn with technology and about technology.”
Entrepreneurship Program Finalists
The project was one of eight selected for the 2022 edition of SpinUOC, the entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer program for the UOC community, promoted through the Hubbik platform, and which catalyzes projects by students, alumni, professors, collaborating professors , team researcher and university management .
This project supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which ensures inclusive, equitable and high-quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.