Wearables: Portable, Infectious Learning

wearable closeup

How do you know you are addicted to making wearables?

You are standing in a line waiting to get breakfast and you just have to finish a wearable bracelet project you have on the go. Making really is joyful as there is nothing more satisfying than making something with our own hands. I love learning at the intersection of science, math and design. Wearable technology lives at this intersection and provides loads of learning for students. I’m inspired by Reveal by Andrea Palmer, a new wearable device for autism that measures and tracks anxiety to prevent meltdowns. What will our students create in the future?

Teaching basic circuitry comes alive when students create a bracelet that where the snap is the switch to light up a LED. If the LED does not light up, the project becomes an inquiry project about what a circuit is and what we need to do to create one.


Sylvia Martinez from Invent to Learn fame shared this simple wearable project with me and my students at SAIL love it! The moment of joy when the LED lights up provides instant feedback and satisfaction to makers.

I’m prepping for a workshop I’m giving at ISTE this year in Denver with Orwell Kowalyshyn called WWW: The Wonderful World of Wearables and I can’t wait to see what people will create. Something is radically changed in our students’ DNA when they become creators instead of passive consumers. I know how empowered I am when I create and I want all students educators to experience this joy.


Getting Hands on with Soft Circuits: a facilitator’s guide

Wearable Electronics: Design, prototype, and wear your own interactive garments by Kate Hartman

Fashion & Technology: A Guide to Materials and Applications by Aneta Genova & Katerine Moriwaki

Textile Messages: Dispatches fro the World of E-Textiles and Education

Soft Circuits: Crafting e-Fashion with DIY Electronics

Short Circuits: Crafting e-Puppets with DIY Electronics

Sew Electric: A collection of diy projects that combine fabric, electronics, and programming

By Leah Bueuechley & Kanjun Qui (sometimes the book is hard to find but they have a website with some projects)

Conductive Thread Adafruit Created by Becky Stern

How to get what you want: Project ideas E-textiles

Lily Tiny Twinkle Bracelet


Invent to Learn by Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager

Think about using Lisa Yokana’s Maker Rubric and Editable Maker Rubric to assess making in your classroom.


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