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Techno Teaching Philosophy with the MaKey MaKey

Techno Teaching Philosophy with the MaKey MaKey

During the recent discussions about new models, methods, and media for the dissertation, I was also taking part in a course on Technologies and Pedagogies in the Communication Arts. During the course, taught by Dr. Deanna Dannels, we were challenged to re-interpret our teaching philosophy through the MaKey MaKey. The assignment description read as follows: 

Your task for this project is to create a teaching philosophy that is technologically manifested by using the MaKey MaKey Invention Kit, which is a kit that can turn anything into a keyboard/mouse and can connect with most programs on the internet. It literally makes everyday objects technological. In this class we are exploring the intersections between technology and pedagogy. In this assignment you will need to consider, theoretically and practically, how to make your “everyday” teaching philosophy technological. For this assignment, you will construct a script for your techno-teaching philosophy to accompany some form of MaKey MaKey demonstration, videotape your performance of your techno-teaching philosophy, and provide that video in a format accessible to viewers. This techno-teaching philosophy should be no longer than five minutes long (or should take your reader/viewer no longer than 5 minutes to get through) and should focus on reflecting who you are as a teacher. 

The idea for this assignment immediately reminded me of the #remixthedis discussion, but focused on media we would be creating as instructors rather than students. I was excited by the opportunity to try out the assignment. Ultimately, our class seemed to agree that the most challenging part of this assignment was turning the MaKey MaKey demonstration into a video. The MaKey MaKey seems to lend itself to a very embodied presentation style that requires active participation. Creating something that could be demonstrated through video effectively proved more difficult than we originally anticipated. 

To see how this was handled, I'm sharing two of the videos that were created. In the first video, my project uses the MaKeyMaKey, in combination with Play-Doh, as a way to initiate and play clips demonstrating my students in action in the classroom. It's a simple use of the MaKey MaKey, but one that I hope effectively shows my interest in critical making tools in a way that can align with the types of critical making I'm asking my students to do in class. 

The second video, by fellow HASTAC Scholar Jason Buel, takes a more conceptual approach. He describes it this way: 

In this video I describe my teaching philosophy, and I document a multimedia installation that enacts that philosophy. The installation uses a MaKey MaKey to connect a typewriter, 8mm projector, book, and laptop. These artifacts of knowledge generation are then mapped to keyboard buttons through the MaKey MaKey in order to run code in a Processing sketch. The system works to project multiple videos onto the same screen. 

When nothing is happening to the artifacts, the program displays all four videos at the same time. They are overlaid on top of one another so that viewers cannot really tell what they are looking at. When someone touches an artifact, the video loop associated with that artifact goes away. The only way to see any single video clearly, then, is to collaborate: to figure out the logic of the system and coordinate so that someone is touching each artifact except for the one whose video you want to see.

Hopefully, these two different interpretations offer some inspiration for remixing the teaching philosophy!




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