On Teaching Wireless Communication – with a Raspberry Pi

Smartphones, PCs, Televisions, internet, cellular networks, Wifi, Bluetooth; we have seen dramatic increase in complexity of devices, servies, and technologies while theay are easier and easier to use. A huge step forward to enable use of technology not only to nerds and geeks, this trend also results in the fact that nearly nobody understands and nobody can explain his kids how these devices and systems work. Teaching and explaining wireless communication gets more and more complicated, as we lack simple examples and devices. Some decades ago, it was easily possible to disassemble and debug your TV, Radio, or other electrical equipment, make some experiments or try to fix it.

The current PISA report in Germany revealed, that students are good in Math and Science, but are heavily lacking interest in these fields. One of the projects targeted at fueling interest in programming and computers is the Raspberry Pi as simple learning platform for anything related to computing. The success is amazing, now having sold 10 million devices of the Raspberry Pi and fueling huge interest in the making and creating things.

There are plenty of cool and fun projects on the webpages like hackster.io. With these ideas, plans, and descriptions, a rewarding project can be very easily built. Questions on the basic principles of the project can follow, which can be answered by a friend, relative, or teacher. On the second hand, it’s very easy to experiment and to explore. The combination of getting started easily, rewarding projects and room for experimentation makes the major success of the Pi.

In the next couple of posts I will write how to use the Raspberry Pi together with cheap Hardware and open source software to conduct projects and experiments to learn something about wireless communication.

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