Everybody Makes The School is an exciting collaboration between The University of Edinburgh and Newbattle Community High School.

What’s covered in this session:

  • How people are using IoT technology to create digital art.
  • Creating digital art using school data.

In case you missed it:

Lesson 1: Everybody Makes The School: Introduction to Data Science (Session 1). Lesson 2: Everybody Makes The School: What is an Internet of Things (Session 2 Part I)

Exploring Digital Art that makes use of IoT Technology

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Start by a recap of Session 2 Part II: What is an Internet of things where we’ve looked at ways IoT devices can collect data and talk to other devices.

Now we are going to look at how this can be used to create digital art.

Light Reminders

Visit webpage http://light.friendrnd.com/#/ and explain that Brian Foo set up different lights in his home to represent a friend where the amount of light emitted by that lamp represented how often and recently they interacted.

Air Play: Smog Music

Visit https://vimeo.com/122603843 and explain that Brian Foo used 3 years of daily air pollutant measurements to alter the sounds and visuals over the duration of the song.

Living Light

Living Light is a permanent pavilion that displays a giant map of Seoul that glows according to air quality and public interest in the environment.

  • Brighter areas of the map show where air quality has improved and dimmer lights show where they have worsened.
  • Every hour the pavilion goes dark before lighting up at each neighbourhood in order of best air quality.
  • Citizens can text the pavilion with their post code to receive a real-time report on air quality and this text causes their neighbourhood to blink to show the citizens’ concern.

Look at some other examples like eCloud and Listen to Wikipedia or find some examples of your own.

Ask the group to think about how they could use technology, for example the micro:bit to create their own piece of music or visual display and the different stimulus that could drive this for example changes in temperature or pushing different buttons?

Discuss how the creation of digital art by IoT could be used for a school project? Is there any data the school holds or could collect from the community that could be used to create data-driven digital art?

Ask the group for examples of things that could be counted and measured. If not already mentioned suggest: classwork, people, homework, assessments, awards, results, temperature, attendance, noise, hobbies, recycling and habits.

Discuss what interesting outputs or visualisations could be used. If not already mentioned suggest: moving sculpture, playing a musical note, lighting up the floor, water wheel turning, bubble machine, fanfare, water balloon launched, confetti.

Discuss. Connect. Design

What is it celebrating or showing off? What is the data? What is the output?


Getting Feedback from Learners

When it comes to collecting data about learners it is important to be open and transparent. After all, the workshops explore the power and value of data and how it might be used.

I added a disclaimer at the start of the feedback form. This let them know all questions were optional, and all responses were anonymous. I also made it clear the data collected would be shared with the project partners: University of Edinburgh and Newbattle High School.  Your feedback form should be adjusted to suit your needs and uses.

I chose to use a paper feedback form rather than a digital version. I felt this was quicker to fill in rather than asking students to navigate to a website. The downside was I had to type the results into a spreadsheet manually, but that didn’t take long as it was only a small number of forms.

On the feedback form I only asked 4 questions:

  • Circle the emojis that best describe how you felt about the session
  • What did you learn today that you didn’t know before?
  • What did you enjoy most about the session?
  • What did you not enjoy? What would you change?

The responses gave me enough evidence to gauge if the workshop had achieved its objectives. Did they enjoy it? Did they learn something new? The responses also offered an insight into ways it could be improved.

You can download the feedback template here as a Word document, or as a PDF.

Author: Craig Steele, Digital Skills Education –https://craigsteele.com/