Posted in Teacher Resource

Hack a Banana…Make a Keyboard

I was recently able to play with the Makey Makey products and it was an incredible experience. For all that I cannot stand the way banana’s taste, they do make an excellent space bar substitute. Using a laptop, the Makey Makey and some fruits, marshmallows and candy peanuts (because, really, who eats those?) I learned how to create a circuit -and more importantly, how to make the circuit work. As I was working though my own experience with the piano app, I found myself forgetting to “ground” the circuit. My background is in literature, so my overall knowledge related to science, and therefore, circuits, is minimal, but my dad has some background in electronics – enough that I’ve picked up some things over the years. One of those things is of course knowing about grounding. With the Makey Makey you, or your students, act as the grounding. You, or your students, complete the circuit. You literally become a part of the lesson, a part of the demonstration. Without you, without your students engaging with the Makey Makey, it doesn’t work. This is the next phase of interaction, engagement in the classroom. Your students can be up out of thier seats, moving around, engaging with the technology, engaging with each other and engaging with you while also learning or applying what they already know about circuits. These types of interactions create meaningful experiences for your students, ones they want to go home and tell their parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, anyone about. While engaging in play, at any educational level, they are learning. When the piano doesn’t play, they can work with their peers to find a solution – remembering perhaps as I often do, to ground their circuit.

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