Hack Your Notebook With the Bay Area Writing Project
On Thursday, July 17, a group of Bay Area educators and researchers came together to participate in Hack Your Notebook, an event co-hosted by the Bay Area Writing Project (LINK: http://bayareawritingproject.org) and the French American International School of San Francisco. This summer, 17 sites around the country experimented with notebook-hacking as part of the Summer to Make, Play, and Connect (LINK: http://makesummer.org).
A “hacked notebook” is a physical notebook with pages containing circuits that are constructed using copper tape and adhesive electronics components. These circuits range from very basic functionality, such as illuminating LED’s, to complex circuits containing ATTiny micro-controllers and interactive features. Nexmap (LINK: http://www.nexmap.org), a San Francisco-based arts nonprofit that is developing supporting educational materials to use with notebook hacking, has assembled a useful assortment of animated gifs (LINK: http://www.nexmap.org/demos) illustrating theses processes.
David Cole and Jen Dick from NexMap were on-hand to lead the workshop, guiding participants through several activities, including the creation of a simple circuit, parallel circuit, switch, and the addition of an external power supply. Educators worked with a number of materials, including conductive thread, which some participants braided together with colored yarn.
The goal for this event was to inspire Bay Area educators to deploy notebook hacking with their students, as well as to learn from educators how this technology might be utilized in a diverse array of disciplines and educational settings. Because a number of Bay Area Writing Project members were in attendance, a concomitant discussion centered around applications of writing as a process for understanding this work.
Some artifacts to highlight from the event include an illuminated illustration of Le Petit Prince, created by one of the teachers in attendance from French American, and a touch-responsive counting game for younger students that was created for elementary school students (LINK: http://youtu.be/JeZeZX0AYfI).
For more information, and to follow along with teachers who are experimenting with this technology, please visit the 21st Century Notebook Hacking community on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106297899247135466221 or search the hashtag “#hynb2014” on Twitter.