Teenager's 'Agony' of a week without a phone

Could you, would you, spend a week without your phone?

Teenager Abrisham Skye Ahmadzadeh took part in just such a test for the Reconnect Project and recalls the trials and tribulations of living for seven days phone-free. Although she did find not being able to listen to music on he train or tell the time, she also reported having more time for other activities such as 'arts and crafts'.

Universities Help CAS Double Support to Teachers

Universities have helped Computing At School (CAS) double support to computing teachers through the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science (NoE) - according to the latest figures in the quarterly report provided to the Department for Education.

Read more here

Hidden Apps

I suppose my blameless use of technology explains why when I discovered that iOS 7 for iPhone includes a feature to hid apps I was initially a bit taken aback and inclined to dismiss this as just another example of the development of new features just for the sake of it. “What kind of users want to hide the apps on their phone anyway?” I wondered.

But of course, whether it’s not wanting anyone to see that you are on Tinder, are counting calories or are sharing a joke with a friend we all like a little privacy. But do you really want your children able to conceal the apps and images they have on their smart devices from you?

Make an ArtBot - Instructions

ArtBot drawing You will need:

  • A strong plastic cup
  • Four felt-tipped pens Gaffer tape (strong and very sticky)
  • A small DC motor 1.5v - 4.5v
  • A couple of AA batteries
  • Battery holder
  • Electrical wire and crocodile clips
  • An off centre mass - a blob of plasticine/ BlueTac or a slice of cork cut diagonally (works better than the plasticine)

Let's Get Physical - ArtBot


The ArtBot is basically a plastic drinking cup with four (capped) felt tipped pens attached as legs and a battery powered motor. An off centre mass (blob of plasticine will do but you can buy off centre mass wheels) slid onto the shaft of the motor motor will cause it and the plastic cup/ felt tip pen combination to vibrate and jig around erratically. If you remove the pen caps and place the ArtBot on a piece of paper it will create a random spirograph-esque design.

If you want to extend the project a bit you could add lights and even a buzzer! Instructions for making an ArtBot The ArtBot a nice little Technology project. To turn it into a physical computing project we need to control the ArtBot with a computer programme! As the motion of the ArtBot is erratic there;'s little point in trying to control the direction of the movement so we need to think about controlling some other aspect of the ArtBot. Um...how about some the lights or the buzzer controlled via a Codebug or Crumble (Click here for our review of these controllers) )

Using a Codebug - HeArtBot For instructions on getting started with the Codebug see www.codebug.org.uk/learn The easiest way to use a Codebug in this project is to use its 5x5 bank of embedded LED's to create a flashing graphic such as a smiley face or a heart and attach the Codebug to the front of the ArtBot. (Check out the great tutorial on creating flashing graphics with the Codebug here

Or try making a paper packet to hold the Codebug. The paper will diffuse the light from the LEDs giving the flashing graphic a nice soft glow.codebug heart1

IMG_3310heart packet

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