Tag Archives: Education Team

Inspiring educators with a special MagPi!

Post Syndicated from Carrie Anne Philbin original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/inspiring-educators-special-magpi/

If there’s one thing we’re passionate about here at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, it’s sharing our community’s passion for making with technology. Back in January, the Education team exhibited at the Bett Show with a special Educator’s Edition of our fabulous magazine, The MagPi. The goal was to share our projects and programmes with educators who could join our increasing community of digital makers. Like all our publications, a downloadable PDF was made available on our website; this was good thinking, as the magazine proved to be very popular and we ran out of copies soon after the show.

Exhibiting a the Bett Show 2016

Exhibiting at the Bett Show 2016 with the special Educator’s Edition of The MagPi

This year, we’ve been working hard to improve the support we provide to our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators when they take their first steps post-Picademy, and begin to share their new skills with their students or faculty on their own. In the past, we’ve provided printable versions of our resources or handed out copies of The MagPi. Instead of providing these separately, we thought it would be fun to bundle them together for all to access.

Digital making educators getting hands on with their builds at Picademy

Educators getting hands-on with their builds at Picademy

Thanks to the support of our colleagues in the MagPi team, we’ve been able to bring you a new and improved special edition of The MagPi: it’s aimed at educators and is packed full of new content, including tutorials and guides, for use in schools and clubs. You can download a free PDF of the second issue of the special Educator’s Edition right now. If you want a printed copy, then you’ll need to seek us out at events or attend a Picademy in the UK and US whilst we have them in stock!

Warning: contains inspiration!

Warning: contains inspiration!

Contents include:

  • The digital making revolution in education: how the maker movement has been taking the classroom by storm!
  • A case study: creative computing at Eastwood Academy
  • How to start a Code Club in your school
  • Physical computing tutorials with Python and Scratch
  • Teaching computing with Minecraft
  • Blinky lights, cameras, micro:bits, and motor tutorials
  • Sonic Pi live coding
  • What’s next for Astro Pi?
  • News about Raspberry Pi in education

Blinky lights tutorial page from MagPi

Case study page from MagPi about Eastwood Academy

The MagPi Educator’s Edition is freely licensed under Creative Commons (BY-SA-NC 3.0).

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The Scratch Olympics

Post Syndicated from Rik Cross original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/the-scratch-olympics-2/

Since the Raspberry Pi Foundation merged with Code Club, the newly enlarged Education Team has been working hard to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

Among the work we’ve been doing, we’ve created a set of Scratch projects to celebrate the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The initial inspiration for these projects were the games that we used to love as children, commonly referred to as ‘button mashers’. There was little skill required in these games: all you needed was the ability to smash two keys as fast as humanly possible. Examples of this genre include such classics as Geoff Capes Strongman and Daley Thompson’s Decathlon.

With the 2016 Olympics fast approaching, we began to reminisce about these old sports-themed games, and realised what fun today’s kids are missing out on. With that, the Scratch Olympics were born!

There are two resources available on the resources section of this site, the first of which is the Olympic Weightlifter project. With graphics conceived by Sam Alder and produced by Alex Carter, the project helps you create of a button masher masterpiece, producing your very own 1980s-style keyboard-killer that’s guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of parents all over the world. Physical buttons are an optional extra for the faint of heart.

A pixellated weightlifter blows steam from his ears as he lifts a barbell above his head in an animated gif

The second game in the series is Olympics Hurdles, where you will make a hurdling game which requires the player to hit the keyboard rapidly to make the hurdler run, and use expert timing to make them jump over the hurdles at the right time.

Pixellated athletes approach, leap and clear a hurdle on an athletics track

You’ll also find three new projects over on the Code Club projects website. The first of these is Synchronised Swimming, where you’ll learn how to code a synchronised swimming routine for Scratch the cat, by using loops and creating clones.

Six copies of the Scratch cat against an aqua blue background form a hexagonal synchronised swimming formation

There’s also an Archery project, where you must overcome an archer’s shaky arm to shoot arrows as close to the bullseye as you can, and Sprint!, which uses a 3D perspective to make the player feel as though they’re running towards a finish line. This project can even be coded to work with a homemade running mat! These two projects are only available to registered Code Clubs, and require an ID and PIN to access.

An archery target overlaid with a crosshair
A straight running track converges towards a flat horizon, with a "FINISH" ribbon and "TIME" and "DISTANCE" counters

Creating new Olympics projects is just one of the ways in which the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club are working together to create awesome new resources, and there’s much more to come!

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Apply for Skycademy 2016

Post Syndicated from Dan Fisher original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/apply-skycademy-2016/

Before humans took to the skies in metal tubes powered by jet engines, there was a gentler mode of transport that we used to conquer the skies: the humble balloon.

The Montgolfier brothers' first human-crewed balloon takes off at the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, on November 21, 1783

The Montgolfier brothers’ first human-crewed balloon takes off at the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, on November 21, 1783

After the success of last year’s launches, we are giving you another opportunity to blaze a trail across the sky and become a pioneer of aviation with the return of Skycademy, our High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) training programme.

Skycademy is a FREE, two-and-a-half day CPD event that provides experience of HABing to UK-based educators, demonstrating how it can be used as an engaging teaching tool. We’ll help you take ballooning to a whole new level (literally), where the hot air of Victorian era ballooning is replaced with space-age Helium to send your balloon soaring into the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 35 km. Fun fact: that’s around three times the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747!

IMG_20151009_090006446_HDR

Attached to the HAB is the payload consisting of a Pi-In-The-Sky GPS tracker board (developed by the wonderful Dave Akerman and Anthony Stirk), and a camera module, both controlled by a Raspberry Pi. You will use these elements to capture the balloon’s epic voyage and collect data to use back in your classroom.

Read more about last year’s adventures, mishaps, and balloons that were lost somewhere over the North Sea here.

vlcsnap-2015-09-03-08h25m55s123

See the earth from a whole new perspective.

At this point you might be thinking: “That sounds pretty cool, but I’m new to ballooning and nervous about launching into our airspace. Do we just get the kit and roll with it or do we get training?”

Enter Skycademy. Thirty lucky attendees will be guided through the steps to running a launch and, weather permitting, get hands-on experience of a real flight, so you’ll have all the experience you need before taking it back to the classroom. The event is free to attend and will be held from 8–10 August 2016. While the course is based in Cambridge, launch day will require you to travel to the launch site and then drive to recover your payload.

Training Itinerary

Day 1: Planning and workshop sessions on all aspects of HAB flights.

Day 2: Each team launches their payload, tracks, follows and recovers it.

Day 3: Teams gather together for plenary morning.

Skycademy team

A team prepares their HAB for launch.

Sharing the fun

Attendees are supported throughout the course by experienced HAB enthusiasts and the Raspberry Pi Education Team. However, the 2.5 days of training is only the start of a longer process where educators are expected to run launches at their own schools. Skycademy attendees will therefore receive the support and equipment needed to achieve this as part of a twelve-month programme.  The ultimate aim is to get young people excited and inspired by the project, and about all the STEM skills around it. A great example of this came from a successful launch by Queen Margaret’s School for Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival 2015:

WOW Near Space Programme – WOW 2016

As part of WOW 2016, a girls school will use weather balloons to send a small payload into near space, at altitudes of around 30km, where atmospheric temperature drops to -50C. The satellite carries a Raspberry Pi computer transmitting images of the WOW hash tag and the curvature of our planet.

Launch Day Butterflies

Seeing your HAB ascend majestically into the sky is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Skycademy graduate Sue Gray knows this feeling all too well after she launched at Elsworth, Cambridgeshire in May 2016:

“It was quite scary letting it go! Once it was let loose, there was no turning back.  If anything had been forgotten, it would stay that way! The balloon and payload sailed off into the bright blue sky and grew smaller and smaller as it flew away. A fantastic sight indeed.

Then it was time to pack up the launch box, wish the other teams good luck and set off on the chase.  A quick phone call to Mr Verma confirmed that he was receiving the telemetry from the payload and could see it moving across the map.

We got to Bourne a little ahead of the payload but…something was wrong.  It seemed to be hanging in the air just to the east of Peterborough and we hadn’t received any telemetry for over twenty minutes.  We stopped to take stock (and grab some food and drinks), Mr Verma confirmed that he too was not seeing any movement although he’d seen the balloon change to a parachute on the tracker – indicating a burst!”

After tracking the payload to a general area and searching the surrounding farmland, the team had to give up the search. As luck would have it, someone continued searching on their behalf and tracked it down!

Sue on Twitter

FANHAB is found!! Our payload stopped completely but it was joined wiv Steve’s & his sprung into action again & he tracked it! @LegoJames

These are just some of the ups and downs you can expect from a launch. Sounds like fun right? Ready to get involved?

People we are looking for:

  • UK-based educators who want to run their own High Altitude project with young people should apply.
  • Community members who want to help or support the educator launches, please comment below.

APPLY FOR SKYCADEMY

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Your Picademy questions answered

Post Syndicated from Carrie Anne Philbin original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/picademy-questions-answered/

In April 2014 we ran our first ever training event for teachers. We called it ‘Picademy‘, and we selected 24 fabulous teachers to attend and gave them a qualification and a very special badge at the end.

Our aim was to give teachers the skills and knowledge they need to get creative with computing, no matter what their level of experience.

Raspberry Pi Robot built at Picademy

Educators teach, learn and make with us at Picademy

Two years on, there are now over 700 Raspberry Pi Certified Educators around the world working with tens of thousands of young people. We know that many of our Certified Educators have gone on to become leaders in the field, helping to train other educators and build a movement around computing and digital making in the classroom.

Based on the huge volume of questions and enquiries we get from people who want to get involved in Picademy, we think we’re onto something, and we’re developing some exciting plans for the future. For now, I wanted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Picademy.

What is Picademy?

Picademy

Picademy offers teachers two full days of hands-on Continued Professional Development (CPD) workshops, and attendees become Raspberry Pi Certified Educators. It’s free, and our friends at Google are supporting us to offer it at their Digital Garage venues around the UK. Watch the experiences of attendees at [email protected] in Leeds, then find out more and apply at rpf.io/train.

Picademy is a two-day course that allows educators to experience what can be achieved with a little help and lots of imagination. Through a series of workshops we introduce a range of engaging ways to deliver computing in classrooms all over the world. Highlights include using physical computing to control electronic components like LEDs and buttons; coding music with Sonic Pi; and terraforming the world of Minecraft. On day two, attendees have the opportunity to apply their learning by developing their own project ideas, learning from each other and our experts.

Each cohort that attends contains a mix of primary, secondary and Post-16 educators representing many different subject areas. One of our aims is to create leaders in education who are equipped with skills to train others in their community. Attending our training is the first step in that journey.

Pasted image at 2016_03_18 02_33 PM

When are you bringing Picademy to [insert name of place here]?

This is by far the most common question. There is clearly a huge demand for the kind of professional development that Picademy offers.

So far, we’ve been mainly focused on the UK. The first wave of events were held at Pi Towers in Cambridge. Over the past year, thanks to the generous support of our friends at Google, we have been able to bring Picademy to cities across the UK, with events in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. In the next few months, we will be running events in Newcastle, Liverpool and London. The venues are part of the Google Digital Garage initiative, and we’ll be running Picademy sessions with them until at least April 2017, so we hope to pop up in a city near you soon!

This year, we launched a pilot programme in the USA, with our first ever Picademy training events outside the UK taking place in California in February and April before heading to Baltimore in August.

We don’t currently have plans to launch Picademy in other parts of the world. We’d love to, but we just don’t have the capacity. We are brainstorming ideas for how the Foundation can better support educators globally and as those ideas develop, we’ll be looking for your input to help shape them.

We often get asked whether we will partner with organisations in other parts of the world who want to run Picademy on our behalf. We aren’t currently considering those kind of partnerships, but it is one of the options that we will be looking at for the long-term.

I’m not a teacher, but I want to learn about Raspberry Pi. Can I attend?

Picademy is designed for teachers.  The aim is to equip them with the best possible pedagogy, strategies, tools and ideas to bring digital making into the classroom. It’s also about building a community of educators who can support each other and grow the movement.

It’s not a “How to use Raspberry Pi” course. There are lots of websites and video channels that are already doing a fantastic job in that space (see our Community page for a small selection of these).

We know that there are lots of people who aren’t formal teachers who help young people learn about computing and digital making, and we are working hard to support them. For example, we have a huge programme of training for Code Club volunteers.

For Picademy, our priority is to support the people at the chalkface, where access to professional development is problematic and where up-skilling in digital making is needed most.

The first Picademy USA Cohort! © Douglas Fairbairn Photography / Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

The first Picademy USA Cohort – our largest ever, totalling 40! © Douglas Fairbairn Photography / Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

We have accepted applications from people in other roles, like teaching assistants and librarians, who work with children every day in schools or other community settings, but the vast majority of participants have been qualified, serving teachers.

If you want to learn about Raspberry Pi, one of the best places to start is a Raspberry Jam. There are now hundreds of Jams happening regularly around the world. These are community events, run by brilliantly talented volunteers, that bring together people of all ages to learn about digital making.

Can I have access to the course materials?

All our Picademy sessions are based on resources that are available for free on our website. Some of the most common sessions are based on:

Our focus is on collaboration, making, project-based learning, and computing – similar to most Raspberry Jams, in fact. If you are super-interested in STEAM, project-based learning, and digital making (the pillars of Picademy), then I’d recommend the following reading as a starting point:

The materials and reading is part of the recipe of a successful Picademy. What’s harder to share is the energy and atmosphere that is created.

Miss Grady on Twitter

Using code we have created a funfair! All components triggered by #Python codes we have written ourselves #picademypic.twitter.com/J5spWvoQom

Our trainers all have experience of teaching in formal contexts, have good subject knowledge and a super-supportive manner. They share their expertise and passion with others which is inspiring and infectious. The educators that attend are open-minded, imaginative and curious. Together we have a lot of fun.

Who can I speak to about Picademy?

The teacher training team at the Foundation consists of three full time people: Picademy Manager James Robinson, Code Club Teacher Training Manager Lauren Hyams, and Education Team Co-ordinator Dan Fisher. Do reach out to us via the forum or social media.

We’re supported from across the Foundation and our wider community by an awesome team that helps us design and deliver the events.

Without the support of all these people, we would not be able to run the volume of events that we do – a huge thank you with bells on to all our helpers from me!

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