Exciting STEM activities are embedded into elementary classrooms. Classroom kits, such as robotic kits, Arduinos and Makey Makey are introducing young students to STEM concepts. These hands-on kits are accessible for students who are visually impaired and blind. Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century classroom. Makey Makey turns every day objects into internet touchpads.
The video below introduces a variety of engaging activities that can be done using Makey Makey and easy directions on how to get started with the Makey Makey board and alligator clips.
Working with students who have physical disabilities? Use Makey Makey and create personalized “touchpads” using a variety of materials! Create large tactile arrows out of tinfoil, use bananas, playdough or a variety of other materials that will conduct; substitute these personalized touchpads for traditional switches. Mainstream games such as Mario or piano/music games that are played with arrow keys and spacebar or micro controllers can be played using your personalized Makey Makey touchpads.
Makey Makey provides a list of mainstsream apps that work well – including a few one button apps. Please share your favorite switch or arrow key games in the comment section below!
Makey Makey is simple to use. The Makey Makey kits include wires with alligator clips to connect Makey Makey to objects. Here are Makey Makey’s written directions. The video below shows the Makey Makey kit and step-by-step directions.
The Techie Teacher blog shares 5 lessons (with videos!) to use Makey Makey in the classroom.
Students can use Makey Makey without writing any code. However, many students/teachers like to create simple programs to be used in conjunction with Makey Makey. Scratch is a free educational coding language developed for students. In the following Youtube video, Vickie Sedgwick shares tips on how to make Scratch more accessible for students with low vision.
Makey Makey kits cost about $45 (directly from Makey Makey with educator discounts available) and through retail stores such as Walmart. Walmart currently lists Makey Makey online for $39.
By Diane Brauner