Creation and Coding are the biggest types of instruction in the classroom today. If its not about using a mobile or desktop device, its about showing how to use and create code. This past July, I was part of the Hello Ruby Kickstarter project by Linda Liukas which is a children’s story on teaching elementary students coding. Just this morning I was drinking my coffee and Linda was sharing a great activity where students can create their own computers through paper construction. The activity was to teach students how computers work and how it is used. Well, I was of course inspired and using some of my Teach like a Pirate reading decided to create a fantastic Makey Makey Project using this very activity and Google Earth. The project is as follows:
- What: Build your own computer session
- For who: Kids between 4 and 11
- How long: At least 30 minutes
- Printables: Print out the following materials: Computer and Playtesting session instructions and user journey map. Download the materials from here:http://bit.ly/my-first-computer
- How I can help: Send me your observations, notes and photos of the exercise through this form: http://bit.ly/firstcomputerplaytesting. It all helps in creating a curriculum around the computer.
Now for the next step, have students mark their computer keyboards with play-doh in the shape of letters and then place them on the keyboard. Next plug in the Makey Makey alligator clips to the letters and the Makey Makey board. Also form a play-doh Earth badge wrist guard so the Makey Makey stays grounded. Next, have the students plug in their Makey Makey to the computer and head on off to Google Earth. Have them start charting courses like they are sailing on a ship and see the paths Google Earth takes them on their journey. After that, have the students write up an original story on their journey through a self made compass system (this project). It should 30 minutes over the course of two days. One day to build the next to explore and write. Give it a whirl.