Audio Review #32 | Go Making Crazy with Makey Makey

Overview

Have you ever seen someone playing a piano with bananas as the keys?  It sounds insane/ impossible, but that’s one of the many things you can do with the MaKey MaKey.  The company describes the Makey Makey as, “an invention kit for the 21st century.”  The basic idea is that you can turn everyday objects into touchpads. To get started, you load up a computer program or webpage. Let’s go back to our initial example and say you load up a piano. Then, instead of using the computer keyboard to play the piano, you connect your Makey Makey to your computer and use alligator clips to turn something fun (like bananas) into your keyboard.   Then, when you touch the banana the MaKey MaKey sends the computer a keyboard message and the computer thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard or mouse. In the inventors of the Makey Makey’s own words, “It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween.”  If the description above didn’t quite make sense to you, check it out this video to see how the Makey Makey Works.

Concerns

This is one of those things that you definitely have to play around with before you present it to the class.  But then, you should have guessed that from the name.   It’s also got a somewhat niche use.  See below for details.

Sample Uses

This tool is wonderful for lessons on computer programming, electrical circuitry, and use in maker spaces.  There are tons of things you can do with it and it definitely inspires creativity in your students.  I have used it at a Family Science night and in an Electricity unit.

Do I plan to use it?

Yes! I’m even hoping to get a few more for our school.

Commitment and Learning Curve

Medium to high.  It’s going to take some time for you playing around with it to see all that this can do.

Best for ES MS or HS?  

My inclination is ES and MS but it’s pretty engaging and maybe if you used it with HS they could get more into the mechanics of it.

Cost  

50 USD

Website Link:

http://www.makeymakey.com/

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About miles.mei

Multimedia Specialist

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