Digital Leaders at their Finest!

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by AlwaysComputing in Lesson Ideas | Makey Makey | Thoughts

After an utterly miserable and stressful morning my afternoon brought me back round to feeling human again! It was one of those afternoon where you remember why you got into teaching in the first place.

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Lets forget about the morning and concentrate on the good! I got into ICT club after school to find that the entire network was down (again) apart from a few admin accounts. I instantly saw this as an excellent learning opportunity with the Makey Makey boards, either that or it was just the excuse I was looking for to get them out again!!

Every week the year 5 & 6 digital leaders, along with some amazing adult helpers, take a group of year 1 & 2 pupils and working on their ICT skills. They lead the learning and have regular meetings to think about what they want to cover in that half term. Pupils teaching pupil, fantastic to see!

This week, with the network issues, they took the lead and explain how the Makey board works, and what kind of things that can get it to control. Then moved on to showing them how the board can be used with a simple soft pencil and a lot of sketching. Working in small teams they created the pieces, then took turns (hard enough on a good day!) at connecting their pictures and playing a tune on a piano app I created.

Their understanding of the board, and how is actually interacts with the computer, was fantastic in the end. They understood enough to know that they all conduct electricity, and therefore could all join together to complete the circuit and make a sound. So we even saw some team work! As you can see in the pictures above the atmosphere in the room was brill, and really hit the spot with the latest buzz phrase at school at the moment; ‘Pupils have a real thirst for learning’.

The final highlight at the end of the lesson came when they showed me their mucky fingers! The board works best on this activity when you use a really soft pencil. They higher the graphite in the lead, the better it conducts (I use an 8b pencil). This meant that after 30 mins of running their fingers over the drawings they were covered! Finger, palms and sleeves all shimmering in silver!

What’s your best example of pupils teaching pupils? Do it always work with activities like this? Please like/share/comment!

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