What is Open Hardware?

Open hardware is a category of devices, often very small and inexpensive, that are licensed so that users are able to use, copy, and adapt them however they want. The hardware design, along with any driving software, are typically all released as an open-source package. Although open hardware is not as well known as open software, there are several promising open hardware projects (e.g., Arduino, FreeRunner), in which users share information about how to build their own boards with the possibility of adapting or modifying them to specific user needs. The wide availability of small, low cost sensors such as accelerometers; GPS; pressure, temperature, and humidity sensors; cameras in a variety of spectrums; and even more, makes open hardware a very promising and inexpensive way to both innovate and teach concepts with real-world applications.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • As the makers movement takes hold and students are asked to create more than memorize this will become more important. It is not in the short term. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 12, 2015
  • Open hardware, such as Arduino, can easily cover cross curriculum (eg, electronics, automation, robotics and programming). It is widely used in most high schools.
    For younger students teacher can use similar tools appropriate to their age like http://blog.arduino.cc/2013/11/22/teach-programming-logic-to-kids-with-primo/ - nada4web nada4web Feb 20, 2015
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Adding onto low cost is the idea that students can make things that were once prohibitively expensive bringing more possibilities to schools. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 12, 2015
  • This hardware has a very good software support and computer data acquisition and parts can be easily combined.
    Another example is on http://123d.circuits.io/. Combination with conductive ink can be great for expand of the teaching. - nada4web nada4web Feb 20, 2015
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Students making instead of consuming is an idea that is taking hold. This shifts from a teacher centered to a more student centered classroom. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 12, 2015
  • see above ((1), (2)) - nada4web nada4web Feb 20, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.