Last week I had one of those lessons again. The ones where you get the kids going, take a step back and watch as massive learning begins. I got the kids set up with a Makey Makey and a few bits and bobs and told them I wanted a games controller making. Obviously I sold this to the kids as me wanting them to create a new Xbox style remote which hooked them immediately! The ability to make a controller for a game using an old cut up cardboard box and a few split pins is brilliant for the pupils. To give them something to work with they spent 10 mins creating a simple little game using 2DIY by 2SimpleSoftware. Quick to do and the only controls you need to play it are up, down, left and right. Makes things loads easier when the kids have only been using the Makey board for a few weeks.
— Matt Moore (@AlwaysComputing) January 28, 2015
After talking through my expectations and what they had to use I took a big step back. Floated around the room and tried my best not to get involved with the pupils. The discussions going on round the room were brilliant. Children talking about what wires they’ll need, where the connections should be, and trying to work out why things weren’t working. It was the mistakes that gave me the best bits of conversation for assessment. Pupils using logical reasoning to work out their mistakes and look for a fix. Is it a problem with their controller, or was it something wrong with the programming in their game? You can see from the pictures above how engrossed the pupils were, and I struggled to tear them away from the kits at the end of the lesson.
I really would recommend these boards to any primary school. The creativity, independent learning and computational thinking they generate more than repays the cost of the kit! Next week I think I might see if I can trust them to use the copper tape….