Week 10: How Are Electronics Viable Additions to “Crafting” for Today’s Young Person?

I think that wearable electronics are a perfect fit for today’s young person for fashion or crafting.  This fits with this generations comfort with technology and how it has seamlessly become a huge part of their life.  The only thing that could make it more perfect is the ability to control DIY electronics from your smart phone or tablet.  I am sure this is coming.

For those who don’t yet know what we are talking about there is new technology that is sometimes called DIY electronics that can be added to clothing, paintings, etc. Most of what this technology can do right now is allow your clothes to become multimedia.  You can control lights, add motion detectors and use a keyboard by touching your clothes and completing a circuit. They do this by creating special circuit controllers and either sowing in wire or using special conducting ink.  This means you can draw your circuits on your clothes, paper, canvas or a wall.

I am an older, geeky guy who doesn’t get excited about new trends, but this is really cool!  I would play with this stuff and I am not into fashion.  I can think of at least 1/4 of my school who would love to use DIY electronics and I know my art teacher would love to use this with her students.  I can imagine her producing and DIY electronic fashion show by November if I gave her the money to purchase this new technology.

If you are interested in designing circuit with clothing here is a link to the book, Soft circuits: Creating e-Fashion with DIY Electronics: https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Circuits-Fashion-Electronics-Foundation/dp/0262027844 .

I really like the wearable product Flora by adafruit.  There is a short video attached below.  This seems like a very flexible and adaptable  DIY electronic controller.  It can do many different process, including using it as a keyboard and can be plugged into a computer using a USB cord.  For a computer geek like me, this would be a good start.  The video below is a quick introduction to all the features the Flora provides.

While I think this technology is cool I don’t think DIY electronics will have a big impact on education right now. I do think this has the potential to be one of the few emerging technologies that could develop to have a huge impact with further development. In the future your could just buy a shirt with a smart phone attached to the sleeve or have it drawn on your skin. Only time will tell, but I will be watching.


Buechley, L.  How to “sketch” with electronics. Retrieved on 7-19-16 at 9:25 pm. Found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI.

Qi. J. Interactive light painting: pu gong ying tu (dandelion painting). Retrieved on 9-19-16 at 9:30 pm. Found at https://vimeo.com/40904471.

What is FLORA? Adafruit’s Arduino-Compatible Wearables Platform. Adafruit. Retrieved on 7-19-16 at 9:25 pm.  Found at https://www.adafruit.com/products/659.


Peppler, K. & Gresalfi, M. Soft circuits: Creating e-fashion with DIY electronics. Amazon.com.  Retrieved on 7-19-16 ay 9:33 pm.  Retrieved at https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Circuits-Fashion-Electronics-Foundation/dp/0262027844


By waclawskid

5 comments on “Week 10: How Are Electronics Viable Additions to “Crafting” for Today’s Young Person?

  1. I’ve never heard of wearable DIY electronic clothing until I read your blog. I see this being a trend for younger aged, elementary students. Not so much middle school/high school. I think if we were to have a crafting club where students can design their own clothing, accessories, etc., it would be popular. I can see cheerleaders decorating their outfits and little kids running around with light up shirts. I agree that this probably isn’t something to integrate into the classroom, because I see it more as a after school club, or buy it at the store (like you mentioned).

  2. I love how imaginative you are! Controlling electronic DIYs from your phone, phones attached to your clothes or drawn on your skin… You have an amazing ability to think outside the box in a very forward thinking way. I often think that I am limiting my students because I don’t have the imagination to predict what skills they need for their futures, but I should keep an eye on you. Even though you’re an “older, geeky guy,” I think your head is absolutely in the right place!

    • Camille,
      We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t sell yourself short on what you bring to the classroom. Your job is to capture the imagination of your students and get them to think and achieve. You don’t need technology to do that.

  3. I agree I would love to program my clothes from my phone. You change your look throughout the day. I wonder if they teach home economics class anymore in middle schools?

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