The Maker Movement- Week 8

Love electronics? Have a passion in making new things from scratch? Want to be the next top innovator? Well, then I’m sure you’ve heard of the Maker Movement.

What is the maker movement?

According to Techopedia, “the maker movement is a trend in which individuals create and market products that are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronics from a computer related device.” The purpose of this movement was to give rise to the increasing number of people employing DIY (do it yourself) and DIWO (do it with others) to develop unique technology products. This brought out a number of technology products and solutions by individuals who worked without supportive infrastructure.

In class

Today, Dr. James Humberstone introduced us to various types of technology that came under the umbrella of the Maker Movement. We’ve looked at LittleBits, MakeyMakey and Scratch.

Assembling the parts into the right order
  • LittleBits- Electronic Building Blocks

LittleBits is a library of modular electronics in which its colourful and snap together magnets engages students to learn and prototype. With various parts such as the power, microphone, keyboard, oscillator and sequencer, students learn how music is created when they organise and align the pieces correctly. Dr. James Humberstone has also provided us with his very own teaching resource on LittleBits.

Dr. James Humberstone’s teaching resource- LittleBits
  • MakeyMakey

The MakeyMakey is an invention kit for an electronic invention tool that allows students to interact and connect objects to computer programs. There are many MakeyMakey kits but today, we looked at the MakeyMakey bongos.

Above: Me playing around with the MakeyMakey bongo kit

All we needed to make this work was a controller, 4 alligator clips and 4 everyday objects (in this case paper, iPhone case, metallic end of a pencil and ruler). To make sounds I had to connect the alligator clips onto the controller and to the object. Once I connected the wires together and tapped on the object the wire was connected to, the sound of a bongo was heard.

  • Scratch

ScratchJr is a friendly coding program which helps students to program their own interactive stories, games and animation! This easy to understand coding offers students a range of effects they could use to create what they want.

Above: Experimenting with various effects and audio

Use in the classroom

The programs that we tried out today were great teaching resources we could use with our students! Not only does it teach students music, but it also combines the arts, technology, science, engineering and maths (STEAM)! Also, its interactive, fun, challenging and creative!

Scratch, MakeyMakey and LittleBits provide students a range of different ways in which music can be created. In particular, I love the idea of the ‘hands on’ making and experimenting process that offers students to apply musical and technological concepts to problem solve with their peers.

This can also be a great project idea for primary to stage 4 students (years 7 and 8)!

References:

Techopedia (2019). What is the Maker Movement? Retrieved September 29, 2019, from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/28408/maker-movement

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