While attending EdCamp NYC over the weekend, I saw mention of something called a MakeyMakey on my Twitter feed. Edcampers were excitedly talking about bringing them to the conference in the morning. I’d never heard of a MakeyMakey, so I used my Google-fu to search it out. It turns out, the MakeyMakey is a VERY cool device. It’s a simple circuit board that comes with a USB cable and several alligator clips. You connect the board to your computer, one end of the alligator clips to spots on the board, and the other end of the clips to anything that can conduct electricity – plants, people, food, play-doh, graphite, you name it! Then, depending on how you attach the clips to the board and the game or program you are using, you can use the items connected to your board to control games, act as a keyboard, play music, and more!
This device is great for students, in part because you don’t need to install anything to make it work. It also ties in very nicely with Scratch, which is used to teach basic programming to students. I am anxiously awaiting my MakeyMakey’s arrival. I know I am going to have a lot of fun with it, and I can also see it being a fabulous motivator for my students when we start our programming unit. I am hoping that after I play with it for a bit, I can come up with some great lessons to use it with and convince the administration to buy some for student use!