Tag Archives: makeymakey

Virtual Futures

Hello! Ben Neal here, I’m a Creative Coder and Gadgeteer who’s been working with years 5 and 6 to create futuristic computer controllers to navigate around virtual worlds filled with our artwork.

During last term we used the LittleBits kits and MakeyMakeys to create our own Human Interface Devices made from recycled cardboard boxes and padded envelopes to replace the mouse and keyboard.

We made drawings of what we think we’ll look like in the year 2097 and added these to an interactive 3D world around which we can navigate and explore.

Below you can see some screenshots of what we’ve been up to and an animation of a virtual wall full of students work.

Click play to watch the video above

LittleBits kit
LittleBits kit
3d-world
3D World
inventors-schematic-template
Inventor’s Schematic
enviro-cube
Interactive vitual boxes

 

After School Digital Arts and Technology Club

Hi my name is Ashley and I am slowly becoming known in the school as the ‘Makey Makey Man’. I am a digital artist and coder who uses technology to create playful creative works that range from smartphone applications to large scale art gallery light installations.

I have been working after school with Year 4 in our Digital Arts Club to start our exploration of Digital Arts, Creative Technology and using our artistic inventiveness to explore and understand computer programming and building our own interactive objects with a creative and playful outcome.

So far we have made pianos and musical instruments out of bananas! and our bodies. We have built moving flashing ghost drawings for Halloween and designed our inventions of the future.

As part of Back To The Future day we have been designing our own futuristic inventions.

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Makey Makey ?

We have used a Makey Makey , a digital interface that allows us to connect everyday conductive objects such as coins, fruit and ourselves to control content on the computer.

Using resistive electricity we create and connect circuits with these objects to the Makey Makey device so that when connected together by touching the objects with our body, they operate like a switch and simulate the pressing of a key on the computer, such as the spacebar.

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Little Bits ?

LittleBits are a system of digital building blocks that can be combined to create interactive objects. Much like a series of lego blocks these bits are magnetic and stick together. Through experimentation and understanding we can use them to combine multiple inputs and outputs and with a little crafting and imagination we can transform our ideas into working inventions. Each bit has a different function, some are input devices and sensors and others are output devices.

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LittleBits snap together in the following order: (Power -> Input ->Output ) By changing an Input or Output device we can create varying differences in our objects within seconds of experimentation.

In our club we have used LittleBits to make moving flashing objects for Halloween.

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See our devices in action:

Every Child – Becoming Digital Artists

Hi my name is Ashley and I am slowly becoming known in the school as the ‘Makey Makey Man’. I am a digital artist and coder who uses technology to create playful creative works that range from smartphone applications to large scale art gallery light installations.

I have been working in school with Year 5 and Year 6 to start our exploration of Digital Arts, Creative Technology and using our artistic inventiveness to explore and understand computer programming with a creative and playful outcome.

So far we have made pianos and musical instruments out of bananas! and our bodies. We have created games controllers to play Flappy Bird with our own colourful play dough creatures.

 

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Art?

We are understanding what it means to be creative and use technology as our medium to become aspiring Digital Artists of the future.

We have explored what it means to be an ‘artist’ and to have an art form or ‘practice’ that describes what you do or make. We looked at ‘mediums’ or materials,tools and processes that allow you to be able to create that art form.

Technology?

We are using throughout the project a variety of technology, hardware and software solutions to enable both creative outputs and understanding. These tools are available globally and empower users to make and be creative through light, sound, touch, movement and coding – real world physical interactions that get us looking beyond the screen and the digital world. We are investigating how different interfaces and different people interact with computers in fun and playful ways.

We have used a Makey Makey , a digital interface that allows us to connect everyday conductive objects such as coins, fruit and ourselves to control content on the computer.

Using resistive electricity we create and connect circuits with these objects to the Makey Makey device so that when connected together by touching the objects with our body, they operate like a switch and simulate the pressing of a key on the computer, such as the spacebar.

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Coding?

Behind the creative outputs is the understanding of how computers, and more importantly ‘logic’ and instructional programming  works.

We have been learning about INPUTS and OUTPUTS and creating basic blocks of instructions using an ‘IF THIS happens, then DO THAT’ understanding.

We have started to create our own digital media on the computers using a visual programming language called Scratch which enables us to create games, animations and drawings using defined blocks of code that join together like modular building blocks, like a kind of digital lego. So far the children are using simple INPUTS of keyboard presses to move a character around the screen (OUTPUT).

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Every Child Is An Artist

This term we have launched a new project for the year called Every Child Is An Artist. Children in years 1-6 will be working with the Mercurial Dance team every week and this terms theme is Digital Arts.  A whole school project will develop the children’s creative, artistic and design skills.

Our Focus for the Autumn is Digital Arts: taking the children to the latest in digital making, creating, hacking, coding as we build towards a game and installation in December. In our creative journey we start to look at what makes up a city? and how might we augment reality

Leading the Mercurial Dance team is Artistic Director Oliver Scott and this project builds on some of the arts and film projects he have led in the school.

Here is a bit of info about the Artists your children are working with this term.

Oliver Scott., Mercurial Dancer – Dance with years 1&2

Oliver will be developing a new dance curriculum for the Oasis Hobmoor welcoming and working alongside a new dancer to the Mercurial team for the autumn with Years 1 and 2.

Oliver Scott is a versatile individual. He is artistic director of Mercurial Dance, and founding trustee of Mercurial Arts Charity. His work spans roles as a performer, choreographer, artist educator and arts consultant/producer. He has toured internationally, performing with a range of dance and theatre companies. Highlights include launching the Bubble Chamber, Mercurial’s pop up performance space for dance and technology;  recent Mercurial Dance productions include Fair Youth (2015) a duet for libraries inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and the fun projects at Oasis Hobmoor such as Aspire! week, The school anthem En’Light’en and digital dance work Chaotic Liquid Network (2014)

 

Ashley Brown – Digital Artist and Coder – Years 5&6

Ash will be working with Makey Makey’s, Littlebit and Arduinos to explore physical computing with Yrs 5 and 6. It could include turning a bunch of bananas into a keyboard and playing music or seeing how your pot plant sounds when you stroke its leaf!

Ash has worked with Mercurial Dance for a number of projects over the last 6 years. His work includes creating interactive objects and environments, hacking and repurposing devices, crafting code and working at the intersection between art, technology and design to uncover and reveal new potential and crafting beautiful (and not so) objects that make people smile for the past 6 years. Ash produces electronica and dubstep under the name DJ Arctic Sunrise.

Darius Powell – Digital Artist and Game Designer

Darius will be working on creating a game environment with Years 3 and 4, populating a virtual world with avatars, buildings and creations.

Darius is a digital artist and tutor who is also based at QUAD in Derby with over 10 years experience in animation and media. Darius regularly works on media products requiring his skills in video, animation, motion graphics, Photoshop and interactive design. A regular workshop leader, he has delivered animation training to thousands of people aged 3 – 80+.

Emma Puente – Filmmaker

Emma will be working with year 2H, 3 and 4 working on Filmmaking, animation, editing and skilling up the children for a launch of Hobmoor TV later in the Autumn Term.

Emma produces videos, works with image editing, animation, design and other things of that ilk. She has led many workshops with both young people and adults on the use of creative software and equipment, mainly with a focus on filmmaking or animation but occasionally other pursuits such as image editing and comic creation. She has taught at schools, youth/art centres, museums and village halls.