Training the trainers¶
Those types of programs consist in bringing new skills and contents to teachers so they can then share it in their pedagogical practices with students and also provide feedback about the development of the activities in special education centres. By dialoguing with teachers and inviting them to practice activities, it is possible to establish a more appropriate approach for students and to transform them into practitioners.
In this activity participants create an e-textile quilt, each making a quilt square featuring a different circuit. At the end of the workshop, modules are connected together, and the assembled quilt demonstrates different things that can be made with e-textiles. This idea was chosen because quilting is a collaborative process with a rich history, and has traditionally been performed by women. The e-textile quilt is made of the following modules: - The control module: this square contains an Adafruit Flora, which acts as the ‘brain’ communicating with the other quilt squares - Input 1: stretch sensor - Input 2: soft switch - Input 3: light sensor - Output 1: speaker - Output 2: LEDs - Output 3: colour-changing LED
The control module can be programmed to allow any of the inputs to control any of the outputs. For example, the stretch sensor can be used to change the tone played by the speaker, the soft switch to turn the LEDs on and off, and the light sensor to change the colour of the colour-changing LEDs.
Target audience and context of use
During Shemakes, this workshop was run with technicians and mentors working at RogLab. The goal was to introduce e-textile techniques to the mentoring group, showcasing possibilities and teaching e-textile construction techniques, so that they can later use this knowledge to develop and run their own workshops. In general, this workshop is well suited for adult and teenage participants. Prior knowledge of e-textiles is not necessary, but basic knowledge of sewing is a plus. The workshop is designed for a group of 6 plus one facilitator, but can be scaled up to facilitate multiple groups making multiple quilts.
Agenda - Step by Step
- Introduction (15 minutes): Basic introduction to e-textiles, explaining what they can do and what materials will be used. As each participant will make a different quilt square, at this stage they decide who will make what.
- Design circuit layout (15 minutes): Each participant is given a circuit diagram with the circuit they should make, but can alter this to make it more decorative or add details. At the end of this section, each participant’s circuit layout is reviewed by the facilitator to check that it will work.
- Sewing the circuits (1.5-2 hours): Everyone makes their own quilt square / circuit at their own pace, with support from the facilitator.
- Testing, troubleshooting and assembly (30 minutes): When everyone is finished, the individual quilt modules are connected to the control module, to make a functioning e-textile quilt.
Links to other modules
Tips to facilitate the activity
- Do make sure you have a facilitator who is familiar with e-textiles and Arduino is needed. The control module, which connects all the quilt squares together, needs to be made in advance. A full circuit diagram and Arduino code are provided below to assist with this. - Do encourage participants to experiment by adding decorative elements to their quilt squares and making changes to their circuit. For example, a participant in the RogLab workshop used a 3D printing pen to create a 3D structure on their quilt square, and wove conductive thread into the scaffold instead of sewing. - Don’t try and get everyone to move at the same pace, but do recommend to participants that they focus on getting their circuit working first before adding decoration.- Do make sure to leave enough time for troubleshooting and fixing things at the end, so that the quilt is fully functional. Keep a couple of alligator clips and a multimeter on hand to help with troubleshooting.
References and Illustrations
Licence and credits
Attribution — ShareAlike CC BY-SA
E-textile Quilt has been designed by Jessica Stanley with the support of Rog Centre and Shannon Sykes