Data + Makey Makey + Scratch

The Australian Digital Technologies curriculum includes content descriptions that relate to learning about data, and collecting, manipulating, analysing and representing data.  Data is an important element within digital technologies.

I often ask students (and adults!) whether they had used or were linked to a database on any given day. Overwhelmingly many people have no idea and yet we use or are linked to a database almost everyday. Our students are marked as present/absent on a school database, a shop’s inventory database is updated when we purchase something, we use databases when we search the Internet and use apps, etc.

I have in the past mentored some teachers (junior & secondary) on ways to implement the DATA content of the digital technologies curriculum authentically in their classrooms.  The key to effective teacher mentoring is to FIRST find out the teacher’s prior tech knowledge and what units of work they are about to start in class. Then I make suggestions on how to integrate digital tech in a fun and engaging way but also making sure it is a realistic integration.  It is IMPORTANT that teachers don’t just “add on” digital technologies, like a quick tick on a checklist.  The content and skills within the unit need to be priority and the digital technology enhances the learning potential.

Favourite Food Data Logger – using Scratch & Makey Makey

This is a classroom activity that I have had Junior teachers use successfully that integrate curriculum areas of Digital Tech, Science, Math and Health & PE.

Data Logger set up with playdoh for testing. With students I would use an actual orange, apple, banana and capsicum instead of the playdoh. The student would then survey the class (and more) to collect data about people’s favourite food. The student could also make predictions about the data, analyse the data to make generalised statements about the content and people’s preferences. Students can then represent the data in different ways by drawing graphs (Math) or drawing/painting Art that reflects their findings.

A simple Data Logger made in Scratch by me:

Some teachers may want to get students to develop their own version of this Data Logger, which would involve further elements of the Digital Technologies curriculum.

Very simple code for a data logger.


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