Makey Makey is an electronic invention kit that allows people of all ages to use everyday objects and combine them with the internet. Makey Makey allows one to take a conductive material and turn that material into a keyboard control. Some of the controls that Makey Makey allows us to use are the spacebar, left click of the mouse, and the arrow keys.
An Introduction to Makey Makey
Affordances of Makey Makey Kits
- Users can decide what they want to play and how they want to play
- Room for creativity and adaptations
- Can be used on all computers
- Easy to use
- Inexpensive (approximately $50)
Challenges of Makey Makey Kits
- Wires are too short limiting the area of use
- In order for the device to work, it always has to be “grounded”. This means that the person has to physically hold one wire in their hand
- The kit contains a limited number of alligator clips, you may have to purchase extra clips
- Doesn’t work on iPads; Must be tied to a laptop
- Set up can be challenging especially to re-assign letter keys
- Items used to replace keys have to be conductive
You can make your own stuff to use with Makey Makey:
- Fruit (ex. banana)
- Some plants (as long as they’re not too dry)
- Metal (copper wire, tinfoil, coins)
- Pencil graphite
You can use a coding software such as Scratch to get the students involved with coding and play a game using the Makey Makey.
Primary (Grade 1 – 3)
–> Overall Expectations C1 – Creating and Performing: apply the creative process to create and perform music for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music
– C1.3 create simple compositions for a specific purpose and a familiar audience
–> Overall Expectation D1 – Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to produce a variety of two- and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings;
– D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges
Junior (Grade 4 – 6)
Understanding Matter & Energy: Electricity and Electrical Devices
Overall Expectations #2 – Investigate the characteristics of static and current electricity, and construct simple circuits.
– 2.2 – Design and build series and parallel circuits, draw labelled diagrams identifying the components used in each, and describe the role of each component in the circuit.
– 2.6 – Use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including current, battery, circuit, transform, static, electrostatic, and energy, in oral and written communication.
– 3.6 – Explain the functions of the components of a simple electrical circuit.
– Scratch is a programming language and online community where students learn how to code and share their interactive stories, animations and games with people around the world.
– Just like how you would build things physically with LEGO blocks, Scratch use the block based metaphor to build programs.
– They also use critical skills: (color and changing sprites), problem solving, mathematical and computational ideas, design process iteratively (repeating a process to achieve a desired goal) and fluency.
– Scratch Mission: to “support approaches to coding that engage young people in thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, and working collaboratively — essential skills for everyone in today’s society”.
Scratch and Education
With Scratch students learn to,
– Formulate a problem as they determine how to use the elements in Scratch to construct their story – creating plot, setting, sequencing, and perspective
– Logically organize and analyze data by creating blocks of code to create and design settings
– Represent the data (story content) through the movement of sprites—the characters in scratch. The source of sprites can be from Scratch’s extensive library, an online image, a cropped photo, or an original drawing in Paint (an online drawing program within Scratch)
– Use algorithmic thinking as they create code to make sprites move and communicate
– Identify, analyze, and implement solutions in the ordered steps they created to make the program work as they envision
– Transfer this problem-solving process to other situations as they tackle more complex animation challenges within Scratch and elsewhere in their lives.
Digital storytelling involves combining digital media (images, voice narration, music, text, or motion) to tell a story. Over the past few years, digital storytelling has become an increasingly popular and effective way for students to meet a range of learning goals in the classroom.
- Create short stories related to a piece of literature
- Create and/or illustrate a math problem
- Research and report about a career
- Research and report about a historic figure, scientist
- Illustrate a current event
- Game-based approach to learning
- Help students to learn through projects
- Integrate STEM with language arts, social studies, visual arts, computer science and foreign languages
Scratchers can create autobiographies, family histories, vacation journals, fantasies, and fairytales that give a new voice to their interests and talents that traditional writing and publishing may not able to provide.
Thus, Scratch can act as an amazing digital storytelling tool.
Primary (Grade 1 – 3)
–> People and Environments: Global Communities
– B3. identify and locate various physical features and selected communities around the world, and describe some aspects of people’s ways of life in those communities
Understanding Life Systems
– 1.1 Assess ways in which plants are important to humans and other living things, taking different points of view into consideration and suggest ways in which humans can protect plants
–> Number Sense and Numeration
– Relate multiplication of one-digit numbers and division by one-digit divisors to real life situations, using a variety of tools and strategies
Junior (Grade 4 – 6)
–> Heritage and Identity: Early Societies, 3000 BCE–1500 CE
– A1.2 compare aspects of the daily lives of different groups in an early society (and explain how differences were related to the social organization of that society
– B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining issues and themes in fiction and non-fiction sources from diverse communities, times and places
–> Visual Arts
– D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
–> 2.1 Write longer and more complex texts using a variety of forms
– Scratch is used in over 150 countries and is available in over 40 languages. This is great for teachers that are working with bilingual or ESL students.
– Scratch can be used across the various Canadian curricula.
– A major advantage of scratch is that it is a free program so that people can access and utilize scratch for both personal and academic use.
– The stronger your knowledge base on Scratch the more effective your STEAM integration
– Scratch Advanced users would benefit from engaging in an active online community which would in turn lead to an improvement in their social and academic prowess.
– There are many online tutorials accessible for teachers and students.
– Scratch cannot be used on mobile devices.
– Users require training to effectively use Scratch’s Advanced features. This issue extends to both the teacher and student.
– Students with lower attention spans may be frustrated by the absent of immediate feedback.
– Despite having no inherent cost, Scratch is expensive for classrooms as each student require their own device for usage.
– Scratch is not accessible to those with physical impairments.