Crafting with Electronics

Chibitronics is the evolution of technology and arts working together (Chibitronics, 2014). Anything that students can already do with a paper and pen/pencil, they are now able to achieve with electronics (Buechley, L., 2012). Learning is now being extended so students can make numerous things with electronics. For example: interior light purses, neopixel ring bracelets, LED sparkle skirts, plush game controlers, etc (Terranova, A., 2014).

The basic idea is that students are building things with circuits (Graham, 2015). Students are making connections, which can extend into their classroom learning, similar to writing a report. With Chibitronics, there is a downloadable sketchbook available for free. Starter kits are available for purchase that provide the materials for simple circuts. The starter kit I found was available for $25 (Sparkfun, n.d.). There are many applications for Chibitronics in the classroom. Eichholz (2015) used Chibitronics in her school’s MakerClub for students to create light up Mother’s and Father’s Day cards. Students were able to make a heart that lit up and wrote, “You light up my life,” on the outside. Materials needed were copper tape, LED lights, and coin cell 3V batteries, all available on Amazon.com (Eichholz, T., 2015). Further use of this developing craft could be to have students use the technology when completing a shoebox scene from a book they have read (Graham, 2015).

As an avid crafter, I see much promise to utilizing Chibitronics in the classroom. Though there may be some challenges in getting started, I see it as a very promising and awesome development for classrooms. While watching the videos and looking at pictures of what others had created, I was amazed at the creations. I could see this being big in science classes, especially when it comes to the way electricity works. I can also see it extending into other curricular areas in the classroom and even classroom management. Imagine students having different colored lights to signal when they needed to use the restroom or get a drink. I can see so many students having a fun time exploring with and benefiting from Chibitronics.

Bibliography:

Buechley, L. (2012, November 15). Leah Buechley: How to “sketch” with electronics. Retrieved July 19, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI

Chibitronics (2014). Our story. Retrieved July 20, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aGB0_8Y-w4

Eichholz, T. (2015, May 21). Paper circuit greeting cards [Engage their minds]. Retrieved July 20, 2015, from https://engagetheirminds.wordpress.com/tag/chibitronics/

Graham, L. (2015, June 28). AFA: Using chibitronics in the English classroom. Retrieved July 19, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aGB0_8Y-w4

Sparkfun. (n.d.). Chibitronics. Retrieved July 20, 2015, from https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/275

Terranova, A. (2014, July 15). 10 fabulous and fashionable wearable projects from Becky Stern. Make: Retrieved July 19, 2015, from http://makezine.com/2014/07/15/10-fabulous-and-fashionable-wearable-projects-from-becky-stern/

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5 thoughts on “Crafting with Electronics

  1. Definitely an enhancement to the greeting cards we create all the time. Bulletin boards are an engaging idea. What a about math flash cards? Touch the card to see if you got the answer correct. Maybe body sensor would tell you when students needs a break, who knows…

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    1. I like the idea of flashcards, but I’m not sure how the coper tape would know if students had the answer right or not…It might take some more advancement, or students could work in pairs, where one student was working the light and the other was practicing. Ah! So many ideas! 🙂

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  2. I am getting into crafting the past few years with Pinterest around and being able to look up or discover anything possible. My crafty side that I was never aware I had has come out and it has been so much fun. I feel like this type of technology could help kids who might think they are artistic because they can’t draw a picture, but they could add lights and make their video game controllers are bikes super cool, it’s all art, I think some kids don’t have a broad enough definition of what art can actually be. I am teaching 4th/5th grade science this year and I’m interested in looking into this further and maybe doing some fun projects with the kids, or even just using it when we learn about electricity as a hands on activity. I can see it being very fun and something they want to take home and show their parents. I like your idea for the different colors of lights for when kids need to go to the bathroom, get a drink, etc. That could really help. You could also do understanding lights, three lights, one for I got this, one for I understand but have some questions, and one for I have no idea how to accomplish this instead of a thumbs up/down approach.

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  3. Ah! Pinterest! I’ve heard so much about it, yet I have not signed up. I find that I spend too much of my time doing random things on the internet. I just know if I joined pinterest that I would spend way too much time on the website. Haha. 🙂 I am an avid crafter. I enjoy scrapbooking, quilting, crocheting, etc. I find that it gives me a way to be creative because I am very poor at drawing. Because of that, I agree with your comment that it could be an alternate way for students to be successful with crafting. I think it would be very cool to put these tools in a MakerSpace to see what students can create. Then those students could be teachers for other classes to teach others about what they’ve learned. I think there are many possibilities for positive classroom application.

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    1. I like that the light up stickers can be used to enhance drawings and crafts. It doesn’t leave anyone out. I am also poor at drawing, but love to craft. I can’t wait to see what my students come up with this fall with the kit I purchased. My students surprise me all the time with how creative they are, they think of things that would never occur to me. I love it!

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