Using Makey-Makey for teaching electricity to primary school students. A pilot study
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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.
KeywordsElectricity Makey-Makey Primary school Simulations
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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