Here is a picture of me and my cousin, Mikie. Mikie is 14, almost 15 and will be starting his Freshman year of high school NEXT WEEK! He is like the little brother I always wanted and I love the time we get to spend together. Like many young boys that I know, he LOVES video games. His favorite character is and always will be, Mario. Unfortunately, he is so difficult to shop for because he has EVERYTHING. A couple of years ago, however, I lucked out and found this t-shirt that not only had Mario on it but also had LED lights on the front that lit up to the beat of music. I bought him the t-shirt for his birthday, he loved it, and the rest is history. I took a video the day I gave it to him and for some reason I can’t upload it here, however, I found an even better breakdown of how the shirt looks, and how you can operate it, etcetera. Check out how awesome it is here:
I bet you’re thinking, “Well that’s cool and all, but what does it have to do with you and your classroom?”
Techopedia (n.d.) definites E-textiles, or electronic textiles as, “a type of fabric that contains electronic elements. In general, the development of electronic textiles supports the idea of wearable computing, or electronic devices worked into garment designs” (para. 1).
According to IDTechEx, 76% of manufacturers offer electronic wristwear or bodywear (Slide 8, 2014). However, as you can see from the example with my cousin, there is a market for pieces of clothing with LEDs in them.
As part of the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum, textiles is one of the twelve major parts that is included.
For this week’s learning activity, related to emerging technologies and in unison with the STEM program, I would create a lesson where students would be required to design and create their own E-tshirt. The lesson would be for 8th graders who would, in teams, sketch a tshirt idea, choose all of the fabrics that they need, and work together to put the t-shirt together sewing and mechanical wise.
This tech would support the effectiveness of the learning activity because not only does it relate to Family and Consumer Sciences but it also relates to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing) which promotes interdisciplinary learning.
I strongly believe that there is a huge market for e-textiles epecially with the increase of STEM. I foresee that with this learning activity in my learning environment, students will be thinking more critically about how things work and will see the big picture not only for the future but for themselves.
IDTechEx. (2014). Wearable technology 2015-2025. Retrieved from http://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/wearable-technology-2014-2024-technologies-markets-forecasts-000379.asp
Techopedia. (n.d.). Electronic textile (E-textile). Retrieved from http://www.techopedia.com/definition/29467/electronic-textile-e-textile