So one of the funny things I realized after this workshop bust is that teachers may be the wrong population to attack at this moment. Instead it might be more important to look at the resources right in front of me: over 150 creative technologists with a diverse set of skills and many of whom are interested in learning more about education and how to teach what they know. I am not saying that my thesis is changing radically because I do still believe that teachers will become more interested in this, but I think at this point in my process and in the bigger picture of Making in education, this could be a phenomenal opportunity to begin exploring what students like us can provide.
I have spent the past week getting stuck in the minutia of my own project, subject to neglecting the bigger picture and my role within it. The most important part of my thesis for me personally is calling more attention to the Maker movement in education and new ways to bring that into different learning settings. While I love working with teachers, it is less about working with them for this cause, and more about diagnosing new solutions to broadening awareness of the problems. The problems being (1) the lack of interest in STEM learning and computer science and (2) the need for more of an infusion of creativity through an interdisciplinary approach. We (MFA D+Ters and the like) do this very well and, most importantly, we are excited by what we do and allow this excitement to infect other people.
Even though it is the end of March, I am reevaluating the lens with which I am approaching my problem. I want my thesis to be a part of the call to arms (thanks Liz) that will help build an army of makers of Makers. All this being said, I am opening the next workshop to MFA DTers.
More reflections to come, but I would really appreciate any comments from yall about this and will probably hunt some of you down for a conversation sometime soon!
Well, for the most part:
After a long, long road of Instructables, forums, and failed attempts, tonight was the golden evening: I programmed the ATtiny84 in (actually numerous versions of) the Arduino IDE.
Due to time constraints, I cannot recount here all of the failed attempts and research I have done (I hope to post about this in the coming weeks), suffice it to say that I tried many a suggested solution, from the high low tech tutorials to altering different board.rtf files to downloading different avrdude software to trying different ATtiny cores and this is what worked. I am sure there has to be a better way to do this, but I have yet to find it successfully without hardcore engaging the command line (which I am trying to avoid at all costs for conceptual reasons).
So, thanks to the technical and moral support of the wondrous Leif Percifield and Joe Savaadra, we found the most convoluted workflow for success ever. Here we go:
1. Download the ATtiny core in the Google code repository for Arduino 1.0.
2. Create a fold called “hardware” in the Arduino folder that houses all your saved sketches and place the contents of the folder there. I have tried with one other core and it does not work.
3. Make sure you have both the Arduino 0023 and 1.0 versions installed – you will need both.
4. First you need to burn the bootloader. This is the software that allows you to upload sketches via the Arduino IDE. To do this you need to be in 0023 and connected to the AVRISPmk2. Make sure the ATtiny84 is connected to an external power source. I used a 3 volt battery and alligator clips.
5. Check Tools > Board > ATtiny84@1 mHz.
6. Next check Tools > Programmer > AVRISPmk2.
7. Then Tools > Burn Bootloader.
8. Disconnect the USB cable and quit 0023.
9. Connect the ATtiny to the USBtinyISP and start Arduino 1.0.
10. Open the sketch you want to upload.
11. Select the correct board as described above, then select the USBtinyISP as the programmer.
12. Under File click “Upload using programmer” or shift + command + U.
This is a series of LED boxes controlled by keyboard inputs via Arduino. First it wakes up, still a bit tired, but quickly decides to talk to you. But then it begins to become anxious while speaking, and its generally calm fade enter a frenetic spiral of light. Exhausted and fragmented from this bout of stress, it becomes tired again, eventually going back to sleep.
Rearrange its face as you see fit for an expression of anxiety!
After the Arduino as ISP/ATtiny debacle of last week, last week’s prototype went back to Arduino as a solution while waiting for an actual AVRISP to arrive.
There is only one box here, but the magnets simulate the behavior the box would take on if another box was connected to it. More updates on this soon!