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Here in Malta, the number of students selecting Computer Studies as their optional study unit has drastically diminished. From local studies, one can evidently discover that the main cause for this is that students are finding Java, a formal programming language used to introduce students to coding, very difficult and ambiguous to comprehend. In my opinion, there should be simpler introductory methods, even launched to students at Form 1 (age 11- 12), to familiarize them to the basic principles of programming. Last week, I mentioned the hour of code; today, I am going to express my opinion on the Makey Makey tool kit.
This invention kit for 21st century students allows them to revolve real life objects into touchpads. I believe that this can be very fun and interesting to students, encouraging them to think critically and come up with great, different ideas… It allows students to be artistic, creative, learn new engineering principles and as one also have the possibility to incorporate some basic programming, it incorporates Computing elements. This tool kit involves alligator clips, the Makey Makey itself (a circuit board) and a USB cable. You simple need to load a computer program or a webpage to your laptop/pc, connect the board to it using the USB cable and communicate the alligator clips with the board and with any other object/s. When touching the object, the Makey Makey board will send a signal to the computer as if the touch was made wither by the keyboard or by the mouse. All objects that conduct a little electricity can be attached to the board and successfully work. This kit was inspired from the Maker Movement; a Movement which aims in helping students be creative and innovative, in creating and discovering new things by themselves with the end target being a changed, digital literate world. The video below shows different inventions that were done using the Makey Makey.
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