Advertisement

Using Makey-Makey for teaching electricity to primary school students. A pilot study

  • Emmanuel FokidesEmail author
  • Alexandra Papoutsi
Article
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

Primary school students find it difficult to grasp concepts related to electricity. On the other hand, tangible user interfaces, such as Makey-Makey, offer an interesting alternative for teaching this subject. In order to examine whether the above holds true, a pilot project was carried out, having as a target group 75 students aged 10–11, divided into three groups. Everyday materials for making circuit boards were used for the teaching of the first group, simulations were used in the second, and in the third Makey-Makeys were utilized. Bybee’s 5Es was the teaching framework applied to all groups. The project lasted for eight two-hour sessions for each group. Data were collected using evaluations sheets and a short questionnaire. The results’ analysis demonstrated that the learning outcomes of students that used Makey-Makey were better compared with the other two groups. This result suggests that students in this group established a solid base of functional as well as procedural knowledge regarding electricity. Then again, no significant differences were noted between the group that used simulations and the group that used Makey-Makey in terms of motivation and enjoyment. The findings point to the need of providing educators with software tools that will assist them in using Makey-Makey more efficiently. Furthermore, when intending to use it for teaching a subject, they should reflect on whether this device has clear advantages over other tools and what meaningful activities can be conducted. An appropriate teaching framework is also advised.

Keywords

Electricity Makey-Makey Primary school Simulations 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Abrahams, D. (2018). The efficacy of service-learning in students’ engagements with music technology. Min-Ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online, 15, 2.Google Scholar
  2. Aktan, D. C. (2012). Investigation of students’ intermediate conceptual understanding levels: The case of direct current electricity concepts. European Journal of Physics, 34(1), 33–43.  https://doi.org/10.1088/0143-0807/34/1/33.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antink-Meyer, A., & Meyer, D. Z. (2016). Science teachers’ misconceptions in science and engineering distinctions: Reflections on modern research examples. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 27(6), 625–647.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-016-9478-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atmatzidou, S., & Demetriadis, S. (2016). Advancing students’ computational thinking skills through educational robotics: A study on age and gender relevant differences. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 75, 661–670.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.robot.2015.10.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Azaiza, I., Bar, V., & Galili, I. (2006). Learning electricity in elementary school. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4(1), 45–71.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-004-6826-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barrios, J. E. M., Becerra, D. A. I., Páucar, F. H. R., & Mendoza, F. M. T. (2018). Matelogic: Interactive mathematical learning based on challenges. In Proceedings of the 6th international conference on information and education technology (pp. 61–65). ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/3178158.3178208.
  7. Barsalou, L. W. (2008). Grounded cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 617–645.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, M. B., & Forsythe, A. B. (1974). Robust test for the equality of variance. Journal of American Statistical Association, 69, 364–367.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1974.10482955.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Burden, K., & Kearney, M. (2016). Future scenarios for mobile science learning. Research in Science Education, 46(2), 287–308.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-016-9514-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bybee, R. W., Taylor, J. A., Gardner, A., Van Scotter, P., Powell, J. C., Westbrook, A., & Landes, N. (2006). The BSCS 5E instructional model: Origins and effectiveness (Vol. 5, pp. 88–98). Colorado Springs, Co: BSCS.Google Scholar
  11. Calleja, M., Luque, M. L., Rodríguez, J. M., & Liranzo, A. (2015). Incremento de la competencia lingüística en dos sujetos con Parálisis cerebral mediante el dispositivo Makey-Makey. Un estudio de Caso [increasing language proficiency in two subjects with cerebral palsy using the Makey-Makey device. A case study]. Revista de Investigación en Logopedia, 5(2), 112–134.Google Scholar
  12. Carbonneau, K. J., Marley, S. C., & Selig, J. P. (2013). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of teaching mathematics with concrete manipulatives. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 380–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chapman, S. (2014). Teaching the" big ideas" of Electricity at Primary Level. Primary Science, 135, 5–8.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, C. W. J., & Lo, K. M. J. (2019). From teacher-designer to student-researcher: A study of attitude change regarding creativity in STEAM education by using Makey-Makey as a platform for human-centred design instrument. Journal for STEM Education Research, 2(1), 75–91.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s41979-018-0010-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen, Y. Y., Yip, J., Rosner, D., & Hiniker, A. (2019). Lights, music, stamps! Evaluating mealtime tangibles for preschoolers. Proceedings of the thirteenth international conference on tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction, 127-134. ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/3294109.3295645.
  16. Cheung, D., Ma, H. J., & Yang, J. (2009). Teachers’ misconceptions about the effects of addition of more reactants or products on chemical equilibrium. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 7(6), 1111–1133.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-009-9151-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Choi, K., & Chang, H. (2004). The effects of using the electric circuit model in science education to facilitate learning electricity-related concepts. Journal of the Korean Physical Society, 44(6), 1341.Google Scholar
  18. Choosri, N., Pookao, C., Swangtrakul, N., & Atkin, A. (2017). Tangible interface game for stimulating child language cognitive skill. IADIS International Journal on WWW/Internet, 15, 2.Google Scholar
  19. Collective, B. S. M., & Shaw, D. (2012). Makey-Makey: Improvising tangible and nature-based user interfaces. In Proceedings of the sixth international conference on tangible, embedded and embodied interaction (pp. 367–370). ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2148131.2148219.
  20. Cousin, G. (2006). Threshold concepts, troublesome knowledge and emotional capital. Overcoming barriers to student understanding: An exploration into learning about others. In J. Meyer & R. Land (Eds.), Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (pp. 134–147). Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2017). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.Google Scholar
  22. Davis, R., Kafai, Y., Vasudevan, V., & Lee, E. (2013). The education arcade: Crafting, remixing, and playing with controllers for scratch games. In Proceedings of the 12th international conference on interaction design and children (pp. 439–442). ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2485760.2485846.
  23. Duit, R., & Treagust, D. F. (2003). Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 671–688.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690305016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Eguchi, A. (2016). Computational thinking with educational robotics. Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & teacher education international conference, 79–84. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).Google Scholar
  25. Engelhardt, P. V., & Beichner, R. J. (2004). Students’ understanding of direct current resistive electrical circuits. American Journal of Physics, 72(1), 98–115.  https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1614813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43–71.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eylon, B. S., & Ganiel, U. (1990). Macro-micro relationships: The missing link between electrostatics and electrodynamics in students’ reasoning. International Journal of Science Education, 12(1), 79–94.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0950069900120107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Falloon, G. (2019). Using simulations to teach young students science concepts: An experiential learning theoretical analysis. Computers & Education, 135, 138–159.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fernández-López, Á., Rodríguez-Fórtiz, M. J., Rodríguez-Almendros, M. L., & Martínez-Segura, M. J. (2013). Mobile learning technology based on iOS devices to support students with special education needs. Computers & Education, 61, 77–90.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.09.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Flynn, A. (2011). Active learning exercises for teaching second level electricity addressing basic misconceptions. Resource & Research Guides, 2, 10), 1–10), 4.Google Scholar
  31. Fokides, E., Atsikpasi, P., Kaimara, P., & Deliyannis, I. (2019). Let players evaluate serious games. Design and validation of the Serious Games Evaluation Scale. International Computer Games Association Journal, 31(3), 1-22.  https://doi.org/10.3233/ICG-190111.
  32. Forsthuber, B., Motiejunaite, A., & de Almeida-Coutinho, A. S. (2011). Science education in Europe: National policies, practices and research. Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, European Commission.Google Scholar
  33. Games, P. A., & Howell, J. F. (1976). Pairwise multiple comparison procedures with unequal N's and/or variances: A Monte Carlo study. Journal of Educational Statistics, 1(2), 113–125.  https://doi.org/10.3102/10769986001002113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Guisasola, J. (2014). Teaching and learning electricity: The relations between macroscopic level observations and microscopic level theories. In M. Matthews (Ed.), International handbook of research in history, philosophy and science teaching (pp. 129–156). Dordrecht: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7654-8_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harlen, W., & Qualter, A. (2014). The teaching of science in primary schools (6th ed.). Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Heller, P. M., & Finley, F. N. (1992). Variable uses of alternative conceptions: A case study in current electricity. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(3), 259–275.  https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.3660290306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hershman, A., Nazare, J., Qi, J., Saveski, M., Roy, D., & Resnick, M. (2018). Light it up: Using paper circuitry to enhance low-fidelity paper prototypes for children. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on interaction design and children (pp. 365–372). ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/3202185.3202758.
  38. Ishii, H. (2008). Tangible bits: Beyond pixels. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, xv-xxv. ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/1347390.1347392.
  39. Jaakkola, T., Nurmi, S., & Veermans, K. (2011). A comparison of students' conceptual understanding of electric circuits in simulation only and simulation-laboratory contexts. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(1), 71–93.  https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Johnson, R., Shum, V., Rogers, Y., & Marquardt, N. (2016). Make or shake: An empirical study of the value of making in learning about computing technology. In Proceedings of the 15th international conference on interaction design and children (pp. 440–451). ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2930674.2930691.
  41. Kaltakci-Gurel, D., Eryilmaz, A., & McDermott, L. C. (2016). Identifying pre-service physics teachers’ misconceptions and conceptual difficulties about geometrical optics. European Journal of Physics, 37(4), 045705.  https://doi.org/10.1088/0143-0807/37/4/045705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kibuka-Sebitosi, E. (2007). Understanding genetics and inheritance in rural schools. Journal of Biological Education, 41(2), 56–61.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2007.9656063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kilty, T. J., & Burrows, A. C. (2019). Secondary science preservice teachers’ perceptions of engineering: A learner analysis. Education Sciences, 9(1), 29.  https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kollöffel, B., & de Jong, T. (2013). Conceptual understanding of electrical circuits in secondary vocational engineering education: Combining traditional instruction with inquiry learning in a virtual lab. Journal of Engineering Education, 102(3), 375–393.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lee, S. J. (2007). Exploring pupils’ understanding concerning batteries-theories and practices. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 497–516.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690601073350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lee, E., Kafai, Y. B., Vasudevan, V., & Davis, R. L. (2014). Playing in the arcade: Designing tangible interfaces with Makey-Makey for scratch games. In A. Nijholt (Ed.), Playful user interfaces (pp. 277–292). Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4560-96-2_13.Google Scholar
  47. Levy Nahum, T., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Hofstein, A., & Taber, K. S. (2010). Teaching and learning the concept of chemical bonding. Studies in Science Education, 46(2), 179–207.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057267.2010.504548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lin, C. Y., & Chang, Y. M. (2014). Increase in physical activities in kindergarten children with cerebral palsy by employing MaKey–MaKey-based task systems. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(9), 1963–1969.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.04.028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lindgren, R., Tscholl, M., Wang, S., & Johnson, E. (2016). Enhancing learning and engagement through embodied interaction within a mixed reality simulation. Computers & Education, 95, 174–187.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2016.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lix, L. M., Keselman, J. C., & Keselman, H. J. (1996). Consequences of assumption violations revisited: A quantitative review of alternatives to the one-way analysis of variance F test. Review of Educational Research, 66, 579–619.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1170654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lozano Mahecha, P. A., Caicedo, G., Armando, B., Ochoa, G., & Daniel, W. (2016). Scratch y Makey Makey: Herramientas Para fomentar habilidades del pensamiento de orden superior [scratch and Makey Makey: Tools to foster higher order thinking skills]. Revista Electrónica Redes de Ingeniería, 7, 1.  https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.redes.2016.1.a4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Maharaj-Sharma, R. (2011). What are students' ideas about the concept of an electric current: A primary school perspective. Caribbean Curriculum, 18, 69–85.Google Scholar
  53. Manches, A., O’Malley, C., & Benford, S. (2010). The role of physical representations in solving number problems: A comparison of young children’s use of physical and virtual materials. Computers & Education, 54(3), 622–640.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Matthews, S., Boden, M., & Visnovska, J. (2018). Engaging pre-service non-specialist teachers in teaching mathematics using embodied technology tools. Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.Google Scholar
  55. McDermott, L. C. (1991). Millikan lecture 1990: What we teach and what is learned-closing the gap. American Journal of Physics, 59(4), 301–315.  https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. McDermott, L. C., & Shaffer, P. S. (1992). Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity. Part I: Investigation of student understanding. American Journal of Physics, 60(11), 994–1003.  https://doi.org/10.1119/1.17003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Meyer, J., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving student learning-ten years on (pp. 412–424). Oxford: OCSLD.Google Scholar
  58. Norman, D. A. (2005). Human-centered design considered harmful. Interactions, 12(4), 14–19.  https://doi.org/10.1145/1070960.1070976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Osborne, R. (1983). Towards modifying children's ideas about electric current. Research in Science & Technological Education, 1(1), 73–82.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0263514830010108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Palaigeorgiou, G., Tsapkini, D., Bratitsis, T., & Xefteris, S. (2017). Embodied learning about time with tangible clocks. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Interactive Mobile Communication, Technologies and Learning (pp. 477–486). Cham: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75175-7_47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. Basic Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  62. Perkins, D. (1999). The many faces of constructivism. Educational Leadership, 57(3), 6–11.Google Scholar
  63. Peşman, H., & Eryılmaz, A. (2010). Development of a three-tier test to assess misconceptions about simple electric circuits. The Journal of Educational Research, 103(3), 208–222.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220670903383002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pine, K., Messer, D., & St. John, K. (2001). Children's misconceptions in primary science: A survey of teachers' views. Research in Science & Technological Education, 19(1), 79–96.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02635140120046240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Plass, J. L., Homer, B. D., & Hayward, E. O. (2009). Design factors for educationally effective animations and simulations. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 31–61.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-009-9011-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Ramnarain, U., & Moosa, S. (2017). The use of simulations in correcting electricity misconceptions of grade 10 south African physical sciences learners. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), 25(5).Google Scholar
  67. Rogers, Y., Paay, J., Brereton, M., Vaisutis, K. L., Marsden, G., & Vetere, F. (2014). Never too old: Engaging retired people inventing the future with Makey-Makey. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 3913–3922. ACM.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2556288.2557184.
  68. Scaradozzi, D., Screpanti, L., Cesaretti, L., Storti, M., & Mazzieri, E. (2019). Implementation and assessment methodologies of teachers’ training courses for STEM activities. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 24(2), 247–268.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-018-9356-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schneps, M. H., & Sadler, P. M. (1997). Minds of our own. Video. Retrieved from http://www.learner.org/resources/series26.html.Google Scholar
  70. Shipstone, D. M. (1984). A study of children's understanding of electricity in simple DC circuits. European Journal of Science Education, 6(2), 185–198.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0140528840060208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Smith, W., & Smith, B. C. (2016). Bringing the maker movement to school. Science and Children, 54(1), 30.Google Scholar
  72. Solomonidou, C., & Kakana, D. M. (2000). Preschool children's conceptions about the electric current and the functioning of electric appliances. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 8(1), 95–111.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13502930085208511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stephanidis, C. (2001). User interfaces for all: New perspectives into human-computer interaction. User Interfaces for All-Concepts, Methods, and Tools, 1, 3–17.  https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429285059-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tarciso Borges, A., & Gilbert, J. K. (1999). Mental models of electricity. International Journal of Science Education, 21(1), 95–117.  https://doi.org/10.1080/095006999290859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. UNICEF. (2016). Youth empowerment. UNICEF innovation. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/innovation/innovation_91018.htm Google Scholar
  76. Vasudevan, V., Kafai, Y. B., Lee, E., & Davis, R. L. (2013). Joystick designs: Middle school youth crafting controllers with Makey-Makey for scratch games. In Proceedings of the Games, learning, and society conference (pp. 345–351). ETC Press.Google Scholar
  77. Wang, T. L., & Tseng, Y. K. (2018). The comparative effectiveness of physical, virtual, and virtual-physical manipulatives on third-grade students’ science achievement and conceptual understanding of evaporation and condensation. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16(2), 203–219.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-016-9774-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wieman, C. E., Adams, W. K., & Perkins, K. K. (2008). PhET: Simulations that enhance learning. Science, 322, 682–683.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1161948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Xefteris, S., & Palaigeorgiou, G. (2019). Mixing educational robotics, tangibles and mixed reality environments for the interdisciplinary learning of geography and history. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy, 9(2), 82–98.  https://doi.org/10.3991/ijep.v9i2.9950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zacharia, Z. C., & De Jong, T. (2014). The effects on students’ conceptual understanding of electric circuits of introducing virtual manipulatives within a physical manipulatives-oriented curriculum. Cognition and Instruction, 32(2), 101–158.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07370008.2014.887083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zacharia, Z. C., & Olympiou, G. (2011). Physical versus virtual manipulative experimentation in physics learning. Learning and Instruction, 21(3), 317–331.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2010.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zajkov, O., Gegovska-Zajkova, S., & Mitrevski, B. (2017). Textbook-caused misconceptions, inconsistencies, and experimental safety risks of a grade 8 physics textbook. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(5), 837–852.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-016-9715-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Primary School EducationUniversity of the AegeanRhodesGreece

Personalised recommendations