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Videos / Makey Makey in the Classroom

Sam's tips for educators interested with using Makey Makey in the classroom. Makey Makey enables a swathe of creative projects that are perfect for both guided and unguided learning. We explore a few ideas for use in the classroom

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Hey Guys, Sam here from Core Electronics and today we're going to taking a look at using the Makey Makey in the Classroom, that's right this video is for you, educators, it's for students it's for anyone who is involved in the learning process. Now in case you don't know what the Makey Makey is, go and check out some of our other tutorials, we've got a great one called an Introduction to Makey Makey, what it is and a few ways you can use it. We've looked at programming it to use capacitive touch, using standard resistive touch and today we're going to be looking at how it adds to the classroom. So we've put together a fantastic educators pack, comes with 18 Makey Makeys, 18 Jumper Wires, 18 sets of Ribbon Cable, 18 micro-USB cables, everything you need to get started plus over 100m of Adhesive Copper Foil Tape. Now what that is awesome for is you can actually use the tape to make your own circuits, you can tape it on top of a table like this, onto a classroom desk, onto paper, onto a Christmas card, onto anything you like and it's going to work so that's fantastic.

So in your kit you will get the makey makey board, we've got our alligator clip jumper leads, we've got our standard ribbon cable jumper leads, these just fit into these back headers like this, so you can go ahead and connect them up any way you like. And obviously your USB cable, plus that tape I was talking about. Now this means that not only can 1 person have fun with the Makey Makey but you can connect them up to different computers, create the most creative projects you can think of. So why is the Makey Makey so great for classrooms?

Well it's simple, it's incredibly simple to use, in fact I can take this board that is brand new out the box, plug it in, to my computer here, I'll leave that on top so you can see, now I'll turn it over to the top surface of the board so you can see the pads. Now I'm going to take these 2 oranges, and just connect them up to our Makey Makey board using the alligator clips, there we go. Now I'm going to take another Alligator clip, I'll use the black one, as we are connecting them to Earth, to our ground pins. Okay, now, when I hold this and touch one of the Oranges a circuit is going to flow through me, it's very safe, there's no current passing through it that is going to damage anything, so we can simply touch and as you can see we have the lights triggering, it's triggering the up and down arrows on our page, scrolling through it. It's so simple, that took 30 seconds to set up and already I am controlling the computer with oranges. It's not only simple but incredibly powerful, on this board we've got an ATMega32u4 Micro Controller. This is from the same line of microcontrollers that power the Arduino boards, so it is compatible with the IDE, it's straightforward to get started (check out the other tutorials for guidance on that). But there isn't a lot on the board, it's really simple but really powerful. You have output pins that you can control motors and lights from, based off the Input pins, you can reprogram and remap the pins, you can use capacitive touch on it you can do so many things with it, that it is just such a great learning tool.

It's also really hands on, so the way Makey Makey works is designed to be intuitive, it's designed to encourage touch, it's designed to encourage makers, inventors, kids, DIY enthusiasts to just play with it, to look and think "What can I connect up to this, can I make a banana piano, could I make a water based page scroller, could I start youtube videos based on when I am eating my breakfast, can I do all those things?". We've got some great videos down at the bottom of the article for awesome project ideas, we will always be putting more up, check out our Ideas tutorial specifically for awesome projects you can do in the classroom, but the pricing on it is fantastic, you can 18 of these kits for under $1000.00, and they are also so versatile because you can program them.

Now a few things you can do with the Makey Makey, there's the infamous banana Piano, which the Makey Makey inventors themselves created, everyone has done it. It's a great project, you can see educators creating musical paintings, using conductive paint, connecting the alligator clips up and making music off that. You've got drum machines, so many things you can do with the makey makey, it's great for educators, for the classroom, great for students, they are going to love it, it is so easy to get started, there's no programming required if you just want to use it using the standard resistive touch, you don't even have to write a single line of code to be your own inventor. You can use it with online apps, for musical instruments, but it does have that power and versatility if you want to go a bit further with it and use it for basic coding and advanced coding anything like that, we have heaps of examples on our website. So check those out, that's all today for the Educators Kits for Makey Makey in the Classroom, fantastic bit of gear, highly recommend you check them out for your students and you can take that into the classroom and encourage kids to be inventors. So thanks,guys, Sam here, as always, thanks for watching and we will see you next time.

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