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(Smart) Sounds from the Classroom

We wanted to try out the Smart Citizen kit for ourselves, and then look towards comparative global opportunities, like teachers in Salford recently have. And a couple in Hull, tentatively, too now.


Link to Smart Citizen - Future Everything site

But this was a family project and that very much meant being led by the youngest member. A Smart Citizen device placed in their KS2 classroom, set up, monitored, tested and explained to anybody coming into contact with the project.

And the intended outcome? Curriculum and creative ideas alongside feedback about ease of use, accuracy and flexibility.

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Link to the Smart Citizen Project in Salford

Perfect timing to explore cross-curricular links into an Extreme Earth topic and opportunities to collect, analyse and compare the data through visualisations.

Great timing too to consider positive aspects of data sharing through IOT and an extension to conversations about privacy of personal information.

And the recent conversations about if a project like this is based on data or digital storytelling? Think we're definitely in that latter group now.

With detective hats on it was time to seek out the hidden stories within the data collected and that's a huge task with over 43,000 lines on the CSV.

Visualisation possibilities included using a range software but Sonic Pi is the favoured tool at the moment. Seems like the musical focus is the major hit and also that terms and concepts learnt in school and at Code Club are familiar and transferrable.

Forever loops in Scratch? Infinite music possibilities now.

And which data to select and compose with? With a like for like transfer into Sonic Pi then some readings weren't suitable, but using temperature in blocks to create 3 chords gave the basis to write a piece of music.

Loops with noise and humidity data gave 2 more WAV files which could be 'thrown into Garageband' and then more familiar tools used to finish the piece.

And finishing the piece is timely here. Currently it's a '3 track from Sonic with a couple of Garageband add-ons' mash-up and waiting for final edits and creative flair using more ways, synths and effects with Sonic.

Apparently every piece of music ought to include tambourines and drums : )

Hidden stories? Well we did ask the teacher about possible reasons for the noise levels in the classroom rising AFTER the children went home.

And we got a musical reason - a singing teacher. Her voice really ought to be added as a final track to the final version!

A couple more mysteries still remain but it's early days in the data world and emerging days through the medium of digital storytelling.



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