E-Whaaat? E-texile? Huh?

E is for electronics. Textiles are fabrics. E-textiles are fabrics or clothing items that have electronic components sewn into them.  Okay, but why? Why sewing? Why “wearable” electronics?

In short, it’s just a thing that people are doing. Like electronically powered scooters (known popularly as “hoverboards”), e-textiles (or wearable electronics) are in fashion.  They’re a trend, a novelty, and a statement one chooses to make.  Wearable electronics say, “I wear stuff that sparkles or beeps.  And you could, too.”


The above photo shows a mask that I made out of felt, glue, elastic, LED’s on little boards, conductive thread, and a coin cell battery tucked into a battery holder and hidden by some extra felt.  It isn’t going to win any awards for creativity or precision, but it does the trick.

To make it, I followed a pattern and used electronic components that were specially designed for the purpose.  Now that I know how they work, I am free to make my own patterns and design my own circuits.  I could go downscale and use garden variety LED’s or I could go upscale and add a programmable micro-controller that can make the LED’s blink, fade, or twinkle.


The picture shows the micro-controller in the center, four LEDs surrounded it, and a battery holder with a slide switch down below.  The micro-controller uses an open source programming environment called Arduino.  The components were designed at MIT’s Media Lab by Leah Bucheley and are called “LilyPad.” The micro-controller is midway between a simple, straightforward circuit as above and a more complex component referred to as a “board.”


Here you see the LilyPad “Simple” board surrounded by some inputs and some and outputs.  Along with the same LEDs as were shown above, there are a slide switch and button switch as well as a buzzer, a vibration motor, an RGB (red, green, blue) LED, a light sensor, and a temperature sensor.

Does this little ‘splain of e-textiles give you a sense of what they’re about?

It doesn’t go into the computer coding part of it, or the different ways to use them.  Maybe next time.

If you want to know more, stay tuned.

anything for you


can't wait





Just learning how to embed/link tweets


In my previous post about #passthescopeEDU I attempted to embed a few tweets, but didn’t understand the directions. So I quit and hit publish!

Sometimes you just have to let go.

Ya know?

But now I have the hang of it.

I think.

In tweet deck, I just have to click “link to tweet” and the link pops up in the compose box:


I copy that code:

and paste it into this here page.

And, voila.

Here.  I’ll try another:

So easy.  So easy that I’ll do it again. ‘Cause it’s fun:



There’s a moment where you see all this code on the page and then things start blinking like you’re in a club and things are flashing and there’s a beat and you’ve just had an adult beverage.  And then things get really calm and the tweet is just sitting there on the page like:


Then there’s a peaceful moment in which you say to yourself:

I can do this.

Yes, I can.

So here are a few more from #passthescopeEDU:

The hardest part is waiting a minute before moving on.  I hit the return key to keep going, but the curser is like:

Nah. Gimme a minute. Gotta chill for two.

Then you hit it again and it’s like:

i'm on it

Notice that the tweet above has my bitmoji avatar as my twitter avatar.  That’s my alter twitter account that I set up when I started my blog back in January!  That’s right.  I started a blog and then didn’t use it. Like many of my irons in the fire, this blog is a work in progress.  I own it.

struggle is real

That’s my friend and associate and her #passthescopeEDU bit.  I can’t remember what the Hamilton thing is about.  Better go back and view it again.  We had a lot going on!

working late

It was great fun.

Okay, hitting publish now.  See you again soon, I hope!

Deal with it

ps: that’s my “call to action”.


#passthescopeEDU June 16, 2016

Why did I need to wash the exterior of all my windows the morning after periscoping during #passthescopeEDU’s June episode?  Why was that the first thing I did upon waking and drinking coffee?

The answer is that I had been impulsively inspired to write all over them with dry erase markers as a way to provide visual back up to my scope.  Why window? Because they were there.


Originally, I had planned just to talk.  I had hoped to have interaction with viewers. My preference had been to be unscripted. Why was that plan abandoned?

My fellow #passthescopeEDU scopers had been discussing the theme for June’s event for quite some time.  Our attempt to settle on a single these didn’t work, so we settled on two.  Ironically, one of the two was called #OneBigThing.  That’s the struggle when collaborating.  Keeping things narrow enough to be coherent and wide enough to allow individuality.  The other theme was #GlobalConnections.

Choices were to choose one these or embrace both themes.  Boldly, I chose both.  Having the leisure time to experiment, I ventured forth.  The results were mixed.


gloves and shoes



On the positive side, I was inspired to look more closely at the content I had planned to share.  It also led me to experiment with linking to other platforms that would house more information.

One of the downfalls was that as though I were delivering my message instead of being present for my audience.  I’m not even going to get into the technical problems which made the scope break up and skip. That was just life in the fast lane.

Looking more deeping into the content took me to Australia and to Italy, my #globalConnections.  I rediscovered the Reggio Emilia approach and learned how well it speaks for #MakerED.  The assumptions and principles of Reggio Emilia were my “OneBigIdea.”

12aim of reggio


15children have control

Besides the Australian speaker lined up for the Constructing Modern Knowledge conference — #CMK16 was a centerpiece in my scope — there was another global aspect that I failed to mention in my scope. I alluded to it, but never got back it.

So here it is:

A Twitter friend tweeted that she was planning to attend this year.  I tweeted back and we started a DM conversation in which we resolved that we would share a room and that I would pick her up in Boston and bring her to New Hampshire for the event!  This had been my original “GlobalConnection.” We are both stoked.

(Wanted to embed tweet but it failed.)


One of the pleasures of the broadcast was showcasing some of the electronic textiles that I’m working on.