M.O.D.E.A. :: Making of a digital education artefact
Making of a digital education artefact #1
Personal Primer (digitale Fibel, fantastische Fibel u.s.w.) is a digital artefact aiming to enrich narrative, mathematical and musical intelligence of a Grundschule pupil. It instantiates 23 attributes divided into...
Who am I ?
  • daniel@udk-berlin.de
  • 36 years, Slovak by origin, European by choice
  • Bc. in Humanities (Charles University in Prague, CZ) & Bc. in Linguistics (Universite de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, FR)
  • certified to use Feuerstein's cognitive Instrumental Enrichement 1 and 2 methods
  • Master in Complex Systems : Natural and Artificial Cognition (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, FR)
  • Double PhD. :: Cybernetics (Slovak University of Technology, SK) and Psychology (Universite Paris 8) defended with the Thesis "Evolutionary models of ontogeny of linguistic categories" - c.f. http://wizzion.com/PP.pdf )
  • wizzion.com UG haftungsbeschränkt (now in hibernation)
  • UdK Medienhaus IT Admin between december 2014 and july 2018
  • ECDF / UdK Digital Education W1 professorship since 1.18.2018
  • married, 2 daughters

    • developmental psycholinguistics
    • child - computer interaction
    • constructivist theories of learning and intelligence
    • cognitive enrichment and cognitive impoverishment
    • child - computer interaction
    • machine learning & machine teaching ("Can machines teach?")
    • machine morality & roboethics
    • natural language processing & computational rhetorics
    • history of ideas and technologies
    • digital diversity, open source (e.g. Linux) and maker movement
    • conservative techno-optimist
Digital Education @ UdK
Three topics of theoretical focus :
  1. Definition of Digital Education ("education-of" or "education-with" ?)
  2. Evaluation criteria for e-didactic tools, media and methods
  3. Parent participation in digital education

Two topics of PRAXIS :
  1. Evaluation and extension of "Computer Science Unplugged" curricula
  2. fibel.digital
Digitale Fibel :: Project Participant Interaction Space 
Daniel :: Hello world !
Gero: hi
Akif:: Hey everyone! (:

Fibel :: Architectural primitives
Hardware is Raspberry Pi, OS is Raspbian which after booting automatically logs in the user fibel whose .bashrc specifies to launch xinit whose .xinitrec specifies to run chromium
Frontend is running in chromium which loads index.html which loads all the rest.

Interaction between backend services / sensors and frontend takes place by means of websockets. Every backend service pipes it outputs into pipes located in /dev/fibel, these pipes are created by bunch of gwsocket-daemons launched at startup, config file for service2port associations is in /etc/fibel/sockets.

All necessary frontend code for dealing with sockets is in js/sockets.js
Three references

  • fibel.digital

  • bildung.digital.udk-berlin.de

  • Neal Stephenson - The Diamond Age - Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

What You hear now is just a dim reflection of what You'll hear then.
Session 7 :: The minimalist principle
Session 8 :: Entwurf
  • 17.1. Entwurf
  • 24.1. Imprint
  • 31.1. Format
  • 7.2. Cybertext
  • 14.2. Fibel
Interface directives
LEFT (north, south) :: back in browser history
RIGHT (south, north) :: forward in browser history
DOWN (east, west) :: user info
UP (west, east) :: activity info
AIRWHEEL :: zoom 
Session 2 - Constraints
Of constraints, their usefulness and influence they exerce on design and designers of the Primer artefact
Links and Mirrors

Initial digital primer templates.
Hacks and Tricks
Some useful know-how for creation of Your own digital Primer.
Session 1 - Primer Properties
Of main properties of the Primer, motivation behind them and means how to implement them
Making of a digital education artefact #2
Make-Your-Own-Device (M.Y.O.D) and upcycling approaches will be combined to attain our common goal.

Keywords: digital artefacts, raspberry PI zero, upcycling, make-your-own-device, creativity, touchless man-machine interaction, zone of proximal development, electronic ink, algorithmic drum circle
Session 4 - Material & Components
Let's start making it real.

Anna - Water
Akif - Leather, Neopren
Kohei - Metal (Aluminium)
Gero - Displays  
Daniel - paper
Nik - wood, paper, cardboard, fabric, tin

What is nice:
Ceramic, Epoxy, Stones, Marble, Resin, Fibers

Nobody mentioned:
Plastic, Concrete,  

                                               Devices           Office          Daniel    Nikoloz         Georgy    Students    
Pi Zero w                                                        1
Pi Zero                                       1
Raspi 3B+                                  2                    
Raspi 4B+                                  2                     2
Raspi 3A+                                  2                    
Respeaker 4mic                                               2
Respeaker 2mic                                                                     1                                ?
Phat Dat                                                         1
Speaker Phat                                                  1
Witty pi small    2                       1                     1
Witty pi big                                                      2
Inky Phat                                                        1
Grove Sound                                                   1
Grove Ultrasound                                             1
Grove Gesture                          9?
Raspicam                                 1                     1                    1
PITFT                                                              1
Resistive HDMI                         1
Raspi B+                                  1                     1
Phat Stack                               1                      1
Skywriter                                 1                     1
E-ink                                       1
Capacitive HDMI                                              2
Strompi                                                          1
The Slate                                1 MISSING
Raspberrypi Charger               1 MISSING
E-ink 6 inch                             4
E-ink 9 inch                             2                      1 +1 BROKEN
E-ink 4.3 UART                        2                                                                                        1

Session 3 - Tools and Instruments
Nik - soldering iron
Daniel - screwdriver
Anna - pen
Kohei - measure
Akif - Swiss knife
Gero - pen
AE49SOSERundgang R311 Artefact List

Artefacts presented at AE49SOSERundgang in R311 of UdK's Medienhaus

Credits: Nikoloz Kapanadze, Astrid Kraniger, Kohei Kimura, Akif Mehmet Sari, Ozcan Ertek, Anna Petzer

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Dr. Daniel Devatman Hromada (ECDF Juniorprofessor for Digital Education)
Respeaker 2 Bluetooth Alsa stream
arecord -Dac108 -f S32_LE -r 16000 -c 2 om.wav & sleep 1 ; aplay -c 2 -D bluealsa:HCI=hci0,DEV=FC:58:FA:BF:4E:0E,PROFILE=a2dp om.wav

Connecting a Bluetooth speaker to a Raspberry Pi Zero W running Raspian Stretch Lite

  1. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

  2. sudo apt-get install bluealsa

  3. sudo service bluealsa start

  4. Switch on your bluetooth device

  5. sudo bluetoothctl

  6. scan on

  7. pair XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX (replace the XXXXX with your device ID)

  8. trust XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

  9. connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

  10. exit

  11. aplay -D bluealsa:HCI=hci0,DEV=XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX,PROFILE=a2dp /usr/share/sounds/alsa/*

MODEA #2 Program
Date Topic
11.4 Introduction
18.4 Art & Artefacts
25.4 Tools & instruments
2.5 Material 
9.5 Modules and components
16.5 Making the Itty Bitty Beat Box
23.5 ECDF visit - Wilhelmstrasse 67
30.5 NO COURSE (Christihimmelfahrt)
6.6 Format 
13.6 Shell
20.6 Berlin Open Lab - Einstein Ufer UdK
27.6Optimizing & testing
4.7 Goal
Session 6 :: Format

  • In what domains of human activity do we speak about formats ?

  • In these disciplines, what kinds of formats do we know ?

  • Can we imagine other types of formats ? What are their advantages ? What are their disadvantages ?

  • What kinds of formats should we use ?

Session 5 :: Modules and components

  • What is modularity ?

  • What are modules ?

  • What are advantages of a modular system ?

  • What are disadvantages of a modular system ?

Main communication channel

MODEA #2 knot 4162 (i.e. https://kastalia.medienhaus.udk-berlin.de/4162 )
Overall Entwurf
WiSe 2018/2019 Bootstrapping & exploring
SoSe 2019 Playing, specifying, defining
WiSe 2019/2020 E-paper
SoSe 2020 Machine learning, speech technologies, handwriting recognition
WiSe 2020/2021 Testing & optimizing
SoSe 2021 Deploying

WiSe 2021/2022


Over the years we’ve seen the Raspberry Pi crammed into almost any piece of hardware you can think of. Frankly, seeing what kind of unusual consumer gadget you can shoehorn a Pi into has become something of a meme in our circles. But the thing we see considerably less of are custom designed practical enclosures which actually play to the Pi’s strengths. Which is a shame, because as the MutantC created by [rahmanshaber] shows, there’s some incredible untapped potential there.

The MutantC features a QWERTY keyboard and sliding display, and seems more than a little inspired by early smartphone designs. You know, how they were before Apple came in and managed to convince every other manufacturer that there was no future for mobile devices with hardware keyboards. Unfortunately, hacking sessions will need to remain tethered as there’s currently no battery in the device. Though this is something [rahmanshaber] says he’s actively working on.

The custom PCB in the MutantC will work with either the Pi Zero or the full size variant, but [rahmanshaber] warns that the latest and greatest Pi 4 isn’t supported due to concerns about overheating. Beyond the Pi the parts list is pretty short, and mainly boils down to the 3D printed enclosure and the components required for the QWERTY board:  43 tactile switches and a SparkFun Pro Micro. Everything is open source, so you can have your own boards run off, print your case, and you’ll be well on the way to reliving those two-way pager glory days.

We’re excited to see where such a well documented open source project like MutantC goes from here. While the lack of an internal battery might be a show stopper for some applications, we think the overall form factor here is fantastic. Combined with the knowledge [Brian Benchoff] collected in his quest to perfect the small-scale keyboard, you’d have something very close to the mythical mobile Linux device that hackers have been dreaming of.




Session 2 - Art & Artefact
Before doing the theory let's test our paper airplanes!
Main principles

  1. M.Y.O.D. :: Make Your Own device

  2. Upcycle !

  3. Explore the "adjacent possible".

  4. Uniqueness and not mass production.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Daniel Hromada

  • daniel at udk-berlin.de

  • Room 313, Medienhaus

  • Sprechstunden 12:30 - 13:30

Tutors & SHK

  • Astrid Kraniger a.kraniger@udk-berlin.de

  • Nikoloz Kapanadze nikoloz-kapanadze@medienhaus.udk-berlin.de

MODEA #2 - Forum
This is the place where we should start communicating.
Some articles related to our course.
fibel.digital :: Phase 0 :: Permutations
Prof. Dr. Daniel D. Hromada (ECDF Juniorprofessor for Digital Education) and Nikoloz Kapanadze (Kunst und Medien; Tutor)
We present multiple digital artefacts which emerged first stage of construction of a digital Primer. These include: touchscreen&HTML5-based prototype; e-ink screen (recently broken) with touchless sensing embedded in an upcycled old book; and OID-enriched paper page from the Primer "Wir Kinder vom Zirkus Palope". 
Aside this, we'll present some additional digital artefacts exploiting the modularity and extensibility of Raspberry Pi technology: Make Your Own Instrument kits, touchless PONG-game, speak2listen headphones and a touch-the-plant botanics education setup. 

You'll get the signature only when actively participating on creating of an artefact which DOES something, e.g.

  • digital primer

  • music instrument for algorithmic drum circle

  • garden guardian

  • digital primer

  • light source

Making of a digital education artefact #3 : E-ink
Make Your Own Device ! During this seminar, we are going to familiarize ourselves with e-ink technology: what are its main (dis)advantages in comparison to dominant display technologies. And we are going to connect our e-papers to Raspberry Pis and Arduinos and create some real stuff: e-paper based wearables (maybe), the second prototype of a digital primer and who knows, maybe a cool interactive but low-consumption menu for Medienhaus cafeteria. MYOD !

Grunewaldstrasse (Medienhaus) Raum 311
Wednesday, 16:00 - 19:00
bi-weekly sessions on: 30.10, 13.11, 27.11 (Berlin Open Lab), 11.12, 18.12, 8.1., 22.1. (Einstein Center Digital Future), 5.2
Wahlfplicht, 2 credits
Overall Entwurf
WiSe 2018/2019 Bootstrapping & exploring
SoSe 2019 Playing, specifying, defining
WiSe 2019/2020 E-paper
SoSe 2020 Machine learning, speech technologies, handwriting recognition
WiSe 2020/2021 Testing & optimizing
SoSe 2021 Deploying

WiSe 2021/2022
Session AE491113

  • Introduction & recapitulation

  • UNIX warm-up

  • Exercise 1: Upload images to hon.local screens

  • PaperTTY

  • 10-minute break

  • Discussion : What would You like to make ?

  • Making, coding, sharing


  • Make Your Own Device ! (a sub-branch of DIY)

  • upcycle & recycle

  • Lean ICT & digital sobriety attitude

Why e-paper ?
  • natural
  • healthy
  • ecological
  • minimalist

Any why NOT e-paper ?
Existing devices

  • e-readers

  • notebooks (onyx)

  • phones (Mudita)

  • our own devices

What do You need in order to build a digital device ?
Components we are going to use

  • Primer :: RaspberryPi Zero, Re-speaker 2-mic array, WittyPi 3, 6-inch e-paper IT8951, 2 x Grove Gesture Recognition systems, Speaker
  • Herbarium :: Arduino, 4.3 inch e-Paper UART, 1 x Grove Gesture Recognition
  • Your project :: 
Design method

  • Goal-oriented

  • Organic

  • combining "Gedankenexperimenten" with physical-stuff (i.e. component) permutations

  • collaborative

Coding method

  • working with a real-system (advantages ? disadvantages ?)

  • tele-computational (derived from Greek τῆλε, tēle, "far")

  • command-line based

  • collaborative

Collaborative coding

  • connect to "cloud" WLAN (password: cirrocumulus)

  • open two terminal windows or tabs on Your computer

  • window1:: ssh fibel@fibel1.local

  • window2 :: ssh pi@hon.local

  • in both windows run: screen -S YOURNAME (e.g. screen -S daniel)

UNIX warm-up 0: #root
$ sudo bash

# cd /

# ls /
epaper theater
M.O.D.E.A #4 : (Machine) learning and data (science)
In this course, we are going to follow some nice O'Reilly data science manual and, line by line, learn about meaning of terms like "feature", "multi-class classification", "training" and "cross validation" and, while doing so, acquire all necessary prerequisities of "the most sexy job of 22nd century".

We start this Friday (24th April) at 10:00 am
Session 0 :: Warm-up
Session 1 :: 15th May :: Features 1
Session 2 :: 12th June :: Classifiers

12.6.2020 / AE500612 :: Neighbors & Classifiers
Session 3 :: 26th June :: Evaluation & Tradeoffs
Session 4 :: 19th June :: Tradeoff
Session 5 :: 3rd July :: Integration & Deployment
M.O.D.E.A #5 : Voice and Speech - Lost in Translation

In the middle of a battle there is a company of Italian soldiers in the trenches, and a commander who issues the command “Soldiers, attack!” He cries out in a loud and clear voice to make himself heard in the midst of the tumult, but nothing happens, nobody moves. So the commander gets angry and shouts louder: “Soldiers, attack!” Still nobody moves. And since in jokes things have to happen three times for something to stir, he yells even louder: “Soldiers, attack!” At which point there is a response, a tiny voice rising from the trenches, saying appreciatively “Che bella voce!” “What a beautiful voice!” - excerpt from the book 'A Voice and nothing more' by Mladen Dolar

In this course, we are going to make your own digital artefacts in the scope of your personal interests in Voice and Speech.
Throughout the seminar, we will build our own personal speech recognition system based on machine learning which can understand (more specifically „transcribe“) human speech as a medium for our artistic practice. For the first half of the seminar, students will be introduced a domain of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, and also diverse ways how speech-to-text (STT) inferences can be realized on non-cloud, local (i.e. edge-computing) architectures. It means that python programming and basic unix command line skills will be involved.
By the time we will have developed our own system, we will dive into making artfacts (media installation, educational device, musical instrument, performative material, sound works, etc, of your choice) where human and machine will communicate in human voice and speech as the second half.

*Please register for the seminar before the semester starts by e-mail.
*Seminar starts on 27.10
*A Raspi 4B and a ReSpeaker 2-Mics Pi HAT will be given to each person during the semester period.
*The seminar takes place time to time at Berlin Open Lab (Einsteinufer 43)

Session 3 - presentation