DIY and Hands-On Learning with Technology

Owl Popup card with conductive ink and LED
Owl Popup card with conductive ink and LED created by Diane Simpson-Little

In my role as a facilitator of learning, I always aim to develop engaging and accessible methods for conveying ideas and concepts. At the University of Sussex, we have a lovely community for sharing experienced and techniques across the university. Through the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) group, I have been able to share my methods through a variety of their venues.

As part of Sussex's Innovation Week, I ran a Electric Paper Workshop with staff to demonstrate how to create digital interactive systems with paper, ink and graphite.

If you would like to find out more about my work with Maker techniques and gamification in learning please check out the podcast and interviews below:

  • Hands-On Learning with Technology: Technology Enhanced Learning Podcast where I discuss using game design and DIY technology to create interactive opportunities for learning and engagement.
  •  #DIWSussex Makerspaces: Here is an interview of the process and opportunities for using graphite, conductive ink and paper to create an interactive experience.


Tousle Monster - Soft Circuit Workshop V&A

Tousles at the
All the Tousles together!

We had a lovely time running a workshop at the V&A Museum that introduces soft circuits. The participants get to create their own Tousle Monster. Tousle has one eye and a tuff of hair. The hair is made up of two sections of conductive thread separated by regular yarn. When the two sections of conductive thread are "tousled" together, they complete the circuit. When the circuit is complete an LED light in the tongue lights ups.

The grey threads are conductive thread in two sections on either side of regular yarn. This is the "switch"to turn on the LED in the tongue.

The participants had a good time learning how to create the Tousle and conductive materials. Some of the participants created their own version in the form of a fish. Everyone went home with a working Tousle monster to show their friends. They have a new awareness of the abilities conductive materials can offer the crafting community.

Fish version of Tousle. The tail acts as the switch.