More things to do with the MaKey MaKey

As I mentioned, the MaKey MaKey is one of my favorite tools for working with kids to integrate the physical and virtual worlds. Here are some of my favourite things to do and some areas to explore:
  • Make controllers for their favourite games. For example, Minecraft. I usually provide cardboard, recyclables and tinfoil for an activity like this. I encourage big body movements - like footsteps. Here is a sample lesson plan on doing this: Create a game in Scratch and design the controllers for it. I had some grade 6's last year who designed a two player game and made controllers. Here's a photo. In the photo, the player on the left is holding a controller, the white wire is earth. 
  • Create a physical game and add sounds to it. For example, an Operation Style game. We've used Scratch to assign sounds to keystrokes. Scratch has a big sound library or you can record your own sounds. This is an example of operation style game we made that looks like a monster: We've also used soundplant to map sounds to keystrokes. You can use Audacity to capture sounds as well.
  • I love making musical instruments. This Guitar has inspired many middleschool students. I was fascinated by the Ma Ma Clarinet. We had a middleschool student who made a flute this year. I have student right now working on a drum set. The music teacher at the school mentioned the possibility of making instruments for people with accessibility problems. That is an area I would like to explore.
  • Another area I am interested in investigating is assistive technology. The MaKey MaKey gives us the ability to make a new interface to the computer. So what kind of interface would you use if you don't have full use of your fingers? Or can't use a mouse?

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