Published on January 13th, 2015 | by What2Learn0
Designing control systems
It would be good practice to get pupils to build on the understanding they have developed using tools like FlowGrid by getting them to design flow charts to represent a range of other systems. They will need to be encouraged to think carefully about all of the inputs, outputs, decisions and processes which go into each system before trying to create a representational flowchart.
Although such flowcharts can be created in standard office packages it is preferable to use a more bespoke tool. This will make it faster and easier for pupils to create high quality products. An excellent, free online tool which is highly recommended for creation of such flowcharts is ‘Gliffy’ (www.gliffy.com). Gliffy provides a drag-and-drop interface and a full library of all required flowchart symbols. It is also easy to annotate all steps of your flowchart.
Two lessons on this should prove more than sufficient. Depending on the class you have, it may be a good idea to start with a system which is not even technology-related. For example, creating a flowchart to represent ‘making a cup of tea’ provides opportunities to cover inputs, outputs, processes and decisions within a scenario that all will be comfortable with. From there you can then move into scenarios more specific to the subject, such as:
- Using a self-scan checkout at a supermarket
- Controlling a car park barrier
- Using a cash machine