Holly Explains Makey Makey – Tech Writers – Part 2

As part of our Media Production course here at USM, I asked my students to critique a website, a application on their Mac, an app that they used on their smartphone or a piece of hardware.

Below is our second submission. Holly did a great job explaining and showcasing Makey Makey. I am very proud of the writing part of this submission.

I would love to give my students some authentic feedback from an authentic audience. Please be so kind to add a comment and remember, if you have nothing nice to say…

Here is a video tutorial of Makey Makey made by Holly.


Makey Makey

Makey Makey is a really neat technological tool because just by connecting a couple of wires to it, and to a computer, it becomes a whole controller at the tip of your fingers (literally).

The materials that come in Makey Makey are: the main control panel, a USB cord that connects from the control panel to any computer and seven different colored wires with alligator clips at both ends that connect to the Makey Makey control panel and any other object.

The Makey Makey control panel includes an up arrow, a down arrow, a right side arrow, a left side arrow, click, and space. With these controls you can do many things.

The small side of the USB cord will go into the Makey Makey on the top. The other bigger side of the USB will be put in either side of your computer. The Makey Makey will flash green and then a pop-up will appear on your computer telling you that a new network has been detected; however, this window is not needed, and you can just press cancel.

Then you are going to want to take the 7 colored wires and hook one up (it doesn’t matter what color) to the Makey Makey, where it says “earth”. Once you have that finished, you are going to want to add as many wires (with clamps) onto the other open spaces on the control panel, so for example the up arrow or the down arrow.

What I did was just connect them all to the other open spaces, leaving the original wire clamped to “earth”. After that is completed, you are going to pick up the wire that has one end connected to “earth” and hold the other end in the tips of your fingers.

Then grab another wire with a clamp (doesn’t matter which one) and touch the top. If you have a word document open, for example, you will see that touching the clamps connected to the control panel will make these actions happen in your document. If you touch the space button, it will create a space.

You can also connect the wires with a clamp to a piece of tin-foil, and you can draw arrows on the tin-foil. Then you can connect the arrow wires to the same arrows on the tin-foil and play a game like that. The arrows on the tin foil will activate a character to make the moves in the game. You can also connect Makey Makey to a music system and create music. Or you could connect the wires to bananas wrapped in tin foil! And make music with bananas! How cool!

Makey Makey is a great way to make learning fun! A quote from the creators says, “We believe that everyone is creative, inventive, and imaginative. We believe that everyone can create the future and change the world. So we have dedicated our lives to making easy-to-use invention kits.” I like this quote about Makey Makey because it explains it so well! Makey Makey is a great way also to become creative, inventive, and imaginative! Makey Makey is explained with those words because you have the opportunity to create something amazing with wires and your fingers! You can make a step piano, banana band, and so much more!

I was really lucky to work with Makey Makey and figure out how to assemble it, create music, and I got to show other people. I would highly suggest getting Makey Makey because it makes learning and creating fun even thought it already is!


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4 thoughts on “Holly Explains Makey Makey – Tech Writers – Part 2

  1. Kristie October 31, 2014 at 11:28 am Reply

    I think this is one of the greatest projects you have set the middle schoolers loose on Tom. Holly, thank you for the tutorial on makey makey. It is just what I needed to get going on the one I have that’s been sitting in the box for over a year. I like how you did not gloss over what seems obvious for natives (where all the wires go is not so obvious for older folks!). I would love to watch your video, but google docs said I needed to request permission! Thanks for the info Holly; nicely done.

    • Tom Mussoline October 31, 2014 at 11:37 am Reply

      Thank you Kristie! You should now have the ability to view the video. I needed to change a permission. Thank you for your feedback!

  2. msbongiorno October 31, 2014 at 11:55 am Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial on Makey Makey! I’m hoping to do this with some LS students very soon! I will certainly use your video to teach them.

    Ms. Bongiorno

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