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Last week my Digital Leaders were given the opportunity to go and show off their work at BMobLe14 in Bradford. With them they took 3 different activities they had created using the MakeyMakey boards. It was brilliant seeing them talk and share their work with other professionals from the region, as well as with other Digital Leaders.

In this post I wanted to share with you the work they produced, and how they set it up so you can have a go yourself. I have posted pics of all the activities and tried to include how they work in the photo gallery above. The 1st activity they set up was a simple music game. Using 2 different boards, running to the same computer, they created 2 ways of playing sounds. Using 2 sheets of cards, staples and a bit of copper tape the pupils made a great little keyboard when paired with a Scratch app. Using the same app they also made some musical art. Using a sheet of A3 paper and a high density pencil (8B) they made shapes and lines that could connect the to board and make amazing sounds. When the other pupils and staff saw this and had a go there were smiles all round. Really simple but really effective.

Another game they made for pupils to use was a simple Frustration/Buzz game. This involved me making the game out of some old firewood and hydraulic tubing (raided my dads garage!), and bending it into shape. The pupils then connected the right wires and made a simple app on Scratch that made a sound when ever the 2 touched. This was another game where we could run 2 from the same board so it made for exciting challenges and competitions at the conference.

The final activity my DL’s produced also used a game created using Kodu. My top leader made a quick single player game on Kodu and then built himself his own Xbox style controller. Using staples and some quick wiring behind the card, it made for an effective gamepad. Just using up, down, left, right, space and the W key he made a working game that everyone had a go at. By the afternoon a few of the wires had come loose which was a shame and he look absolutely gutted. The great thing was afterwards he came up to me and told me 4 different ways he thought would strengthen it.

Overall I had a great day at the conference and the kids left really happy with their work (and a bag full of freebies obviously!). Please share any other ideas you have used in school, or ones you want to try!

 

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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