Community Question: What issues have people run into using particle in a class room setting in the past?


#1

This is shamelessly stolen from @rob7’s fantastic Slack channel, but I figured it might gather a few neat answers in this forum over time as well.

We’d like to see what issues have people run into using Particle in a class room setting, and check out any solutions you’ve discovered as well.

I’ll keep the OP in this thread updated with relevant solutions to posted questions as they are answered.


#2

Here are a few examples @rob7 thought up to get us started. Has anyone run into issues like these before? Any helpful tips or tricks?

  • On a monitored school wide wifi network, have people had issues with 30 Argons in a room?
  • How do people streamline configuring a classroom of student accounts?

So far this last one is the only point I’ve seen answered with authority:

Since there is so many resources online about Arduino, where are the differences between Arduino and Particle to be aware of?

Some key differences between Photon and Arduino: The “A”-series pins are about analogRead(). Read the docs to confirm which pins can do analogWrite(). They include Timer objects, which are really handy for many IoT applications.

The answer provided by Bill at WU - STL.


#3

For the Photon, if there is going to be more than just a couple devices being set up at the same time, the initial setup will probably be an issue. If the devices are new in the box, then it’s important to keep a given device in or at least associated with its original box, since the label will tell you part of what SoftAP SSID the device will be broadcasting when in Listening mode.

IMO for a large-ish number of devices that are simultaneously being set up (or for devices that are not new-in-the-box), in the end it’s easier to just have CLI pre-installed (“class prerequisite”) and have the students do particle setup (with the added benefit being that they’ll have all of CLI’s wonderful capabilities on hand).

Also, if the students will not be keeping the device they’re using, they should unclaim the device from their Particle account at the end of the class/workshop.

And – connecting devices to any network that hasn’t been tried before can be problematical, so if I ever do another class/workshop, I will have a cellular/wifi hotspot device on hand.

Finally, Photons and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise networks have turned out to be pretty unfriendly with each other, so I would suggest spending no time trying to get that to work.

And after typing that all in, I remembered that RickK wrote up some notes about this: https://github.com/rickkas7/particle_notes/tree/master/classroom-tips