Stage 1: investigating an input device
- 1. Tell students that they will first be investigating a range of input devices.
- 2. Organise students into groups and have a lucky dip to select their device (they will treating hardware together with any enabling software).
paper tape, punchcards, keyboard, joystick, game controller, accelerometer, microphone and speech recognition, intelligent assistants, graphics tablet, scanner, stylus, touchscreen, webcam
- 3. Ask students to then assign the following tasks among members of the group:
- Identify the needs the device fulfils.
- By whom, where, when and why it was invented?
- What is the cost of the device?
- How has the design evolved over time (eg rolling ball, optical, wired versus wireless mice).
- 4. Have each group prepare a short presentation. In particular, they should identify the need(s) fulfilled by each of the devices
Stage 2: creating an input device
- 1. Ask students to create their own input device for a smartphone.
- 2. Assist students to construct a Cardboard VR viewer (possibly one between two). Teacher assists with construction of Cardboard VR kits. Note that a barcode accompanies most VR kits and needs to be used to adjust the settings of the stereo vision.
- 3. Ask students to explore VRSE app’s VR movie Clouds Over Sidra using a smartphone. Should a viewer be unavailable, these VR experiences can be experienced via a data projector using the handheld mobile device as an input device by moving around and tilting.
- Identify with your class what need this input device fulfils (immersive user involvement; relinquishes camera control to viewer; user controls viewport; different viewers have different experiences dependent on where they point camera).
- Conduct a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to interaction with data.
- 4. Ask students to investigate other VR apps and explore navigation in these.
- Have students locate an application which allows for interaction by users. How is this achieved?
- 5. Ask students to imagine what might be an ideal input device for a desktop computer. This activity provides an opportunity for students to brainstorm and design their own devices that they think might be realised in the future.
- Have the class discuss these ideas and vote on which is the most ‘ideal’. Students can demonstrate their understanding of what makes a good input device by attempting to justify their designs.