TekBot's TekPet boards will be provided in your lab kits, and our tutorials will refer to programming and using this board. The board includes an AT90USB646 AVR microcontroller, as well as a dual DC motor driver chip, and breakout push terminals. The computers in the lab have a driver issue, and so cannot be used to program the microcontrollers provided yet, however, for those of you who wish to get started writing code for your microcontrollers, the linked tutorial 1 will help you get started on a Windows machine. The AT90USB646 is recognized by any PC with the correct driver files installed, and can be programmed directly over USB.
Once you are able to load programs onto you board, you are ready to start writing code for your microcontroller. A simple first functional program to code is one that sets the state of an output pin. Here is a simple tutorial 2 on how to set the state of an output pin. Output pins can be used for tasks such as driving LEDs and turning on transistors. Your board includes a motor driver that can be controlled using output pins from the microcontroller. Here is a tutorial 3 that will walk you through using your board to control a DC motor.