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Making Hard Fun at Home

Page history last edited by Josh Burker 4 years, 11 months ago

 

MakerFaireNYC2015Presentation.pdf

 

- Bricolage

  • It is oftentimes expedient and effective to work with materials that you already have and are comfortable cutting, molding, programming, painting, etc.
  • Lévi-Strauss, cited in Mindstorms, stated: "learning consists of building up a set of materials and tools that one can handle and manipulate"
  • Concept of a DIY approach of making use of what you have and the skills you currently possess to get the job done
  • Depending on the project and the participants, there is the potential for operation within Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, where the skills needed for the project or the materials available are just beyond one's current abilities. However, with guidance and facilitation, one can increase one's knowledge and skills by participation in the activity.
  • Clothes pin, masking tape, LEGO WeDo distance sensor, conductive copper tape, alligator clip, MaKey MaKey, wooden ramps, foam pipe wrapper, dowels
  • We will return to this, but I want to keep you in suspense and in your seats until the end of my talk

 

- Dr. Seymour Papert's "microworlds"

  • It is tempting to help, but letting children test false theories of how it might work is way more powerful
  • Allow people to follow "false theories" as they test their hypotheses about why the world works
    • this is uncomfortable for a learner accustomed to looking to the teacher in the room as the possessor of the keys to knowledge and somebody who can help them with an answer when they get stuck working through a problem
    • it can be uncomfortable for a teacher unaccustomed to watching students struggle as they seek to organize, gain footing, and start making progress towards an established goal creates a learning environment where the teacher does not need to be an expert on the subject and can learn alongside the students because the teacher is testing false theories and puzzling how to construct, program, debug, iterate, and reach a goal, too
      • The goal might end up being different from originally planned but the work and product represents the knowledge constructed by the student, is personally meaningful to the student, and if built using the concept of bricolage, is well constructed and aesthetically pleasing the the maker.
  • Our job as educators is to "create an intellectual environment less dominated than the school's by the criteria of true and false" (133)
  • A microworld is where a student gets to know an idea like you would a person (136)
    • spend time with it
    • try different combinations of tools and materials you have on hand to work with the idea, construct knowledge of the idea
    • fight, maybe break up for a bit, but come back to the idea with a fresh perspective

 

- Frame projects around Jay Silver's prompt: "I wonder?"

 

- I wonder how to leverage what we have at home to create meaningful maker projects?

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Ability to install software
  • Common items from around the house
  • Each prompt is open-ended and not a "recipe" to follow. Rather, you should consider the prompt and the investigation as jumping off points to further exploration and questions that arise from the investigations. 
    • There is potential for further making the deeper the investigation goes: each project could potentially move from bits to atoms.

 

- I wonder if it reflective? Glowdoodle

  • http://glowdoodle.com
  • Computer with a web cam
  • Aluminum foil, jewelry, toys, mirrors
  • Slows down the exposure on the web cam and leaves a lasting trail of light
  • You can also download it for the Mac or PC
    • Downloaded version allows you to save your doodles
    • If you are into watching your world melt, you can press the 't' key on the keyboard and live paint with the light
  • The blog also contains a downloadable version where you can build an animated drawing
  • Your investigations might lead to realizing that you can also paint with a light source
  • Write your name in lights
  • Write a poem, one word on a notecard, shuffle, and write the poem in light
  • Create a night sky then use Paintbrush to create constellations and creation stories
  • Use a projector and a canvas drop cloth, invite the neighbor kid over to Glowdoodle on the side of your house

 

- I wonder how shapes can make a design? TurtleArt

  • Computer
  • http://turtleart.org
  • Put yourself in the turtle's shoes: get up from your computer and walk around the room when you are trying to get the turtle to draw a shape
  • Think algorithmically: create a shape that expresses over time
  • Follow Papert's advice to create small tools that add up to create something complex
    • systemic thinking
    • Lopez Stained Glass procedure
  • Make a t-shirt from your design
    • Print on iron-on paper
  • Make a tool with your design
    • an artifact that allows the user to create complex work that would otherwise be impossible
    • These tiles are Logo procedures visualized in clay
    • Brian Silverman called this project a great math problem
    • More complex than a fourth grader could produce by hand
    • Aesthetic choice is extremely important when considering technology projects that engage girls and encourage them to participate in tech clubs or maker clubs.

 

- I wonder how to draw a song? Plink

  • http://dinahmoelabs.com/_plink/
  • Computer and browser 
  • Different colors are different sounds. 
  • Multiplayer: collaborate with other people on the Internet
  • Composing on the fly
  • Communicating through sound, design, rhythm

 

- There are many other free applications that encourage a constructionist exploration of the world and testing of children's hypotheses

  • Scratch
  • Turtle Blocks
  • BeetleBlocks
  • MK-1
  • Isle of Tune

 

-I purposefully kept the requirements for this talk to software, since all of the software I talked about is free and easy to acquire

  • needing to wait for a piece of hardware to arrive can dash enthusiasm or miss the child's moment of inquiry 

 

- If I had money to buy one hardware item to supplement my child's explorations, it would be the MaKey MaKey

  • Musical instruments: 
    • build from cardboard, aluminum foil, conductive copper tape
    • program the sounds in Scratch (I still like 1.4 because it has nearly 130 sounds)
    • compose a song by noodling with your instrument for a while then creating a pattern you like
    • figure out a way to write down the song
    • be creative: my favorite instrument so far had sheet music that was swatches of color that corresponded with colored parts of her instrument, a horror movie music maker
    • somebody else performs your song with your instrument and sheet music
  • Bricolage marble machine
    • conductive copper tape on the ramps
    • marble made conductive by wrapping in aluminum foil or copper tape
    • Scratch plays notes or triggers WeDo or does something on the screen or posts data to the cloud
      • in the words of a workshop student, you can do anything with Scratch

 

- We have an opportunity to engage learners of all ages by emphasizing creativity, not consumption

- Questions or comments?

 

Copyright 2015 Josh Burker

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