You can now sign up to our newest free online course Start a CoderDojo to learn more about CoderDojo and how you can easily set up one of these free coding clubs for young people in your area. With less than two weeks until the course begins, we wanted to tell you about the course’s content and why the course’s creator put it together for you.
Get support and advice on how to grow your confidence in coding and start a CoderDojo for young people in your area.
What is CoderDojo?
CoderDojo is a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people aged 7 to 17. There are currently more than 1700 Dojos running regularly across 75 countries. All of these clubs were started by individuals who are passionate about giving young people the opportunity to learn to code. Some people assume you need technical skills to start a Dojo, but that’s not true. The most important thing is that you can bring people together for a shared goal.
What is covered on the course?
The course was developed by Philip, CoderDojo’s Educational Content Lead. It gives those who think empowering young people to be tech creators is important the resources and supports to achieve that goal by starting a Dojo. Divided over three weeks and running for about four hours in total, the course provides practical advice and resources on everything you need to know to plan and run a fun, social, and creative coding club for young people.
“In the first week, you’ll look at what coding is, at the worldwide CoderDojo community of coding clubs, and at the creative approach CoderDojos take to helping young people learn to code. In week two, you’ll move on to setting up your Dojo with a team, a venue, and any needed materials. You’ll also look at how to find young people to attend. Week three wraps up the course by giving you sample plans for a Dojo session and a Dojo’s year, and we’ll be talking about how to grow and develop your Dojo over time as your attendees become better coders.” — Philip
Who is the course for?
Anyone interested in enabling young people to be tech creators should take this course. Parents, teachers, librarians, IT professionals, youth workers, and others have all started Dojos in their community. They say that “it’s an amazing experience that led [them] to expand [their] personal horizons”, and that they “find it really rewarding”.
The course is free and open to all — if you’re interested, then sign up now.
If you’re already mentoring at a Dojo, the course is a great opportunity to revise what you’ve learnt, and a chance to share your insights with newcomers in the discussion sections. Parents and guardians who wish to learn more about CoderDojo and are considering getting involved are also more than welcome to join.
Helping people to get into making is at the heart of what we do, and so we’ve created a brand-new, free online course to support educators to start their own makerspaces. If you’re interested in the maker movement, then this course is for you! Sign up now and start learning with Build a Makerspace for Young People on FutureLearn.
Find out how to create and run a makerspace for young people. Look at the pedagogy and approaches behind digital making.
Dive into the maker movement
From planning to execution, this course will cover everything you need to know to set up and lead your very own makerspace. You’ll learn about different approaches to designing makerspace environments, understand the pedagogy that underpins the maker movement, and create your own makerspace action plan. By the end of the course, you will be well versed in makerspace culture, and you’ll have the skills and knowledge to build a successful and thriving makerspace in your community.
Let makerspace experts lead your journey
This new course features five fantastic case studies about real-life makerspace educators. They’ll share their stories of starting a makerspace: what worked, what didn’t, and what’s next on their journey. Hear from Jessica Simons as she describes her experience starting the MCHS Maker Lab, connect with Patrick Ferrell as he details his teaching at the Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab, and learn from Nick Provenzano as he shares his top tips on how to ensure the legacy of your makerspace. These accomplished educators will give you their practical advice and expert insights, helping you learn the best practices of starting a makerspace environment.
Connect with educators worldwide
By taking this course, you’ll also be connecting with talented and like-minded educators from across the globe. This is your opportunity to develop a community of practice while learning from fellow teachers, librarians, and community leaders who are also engaged in the maker movement.
“I like this course and how it progresses from introducing the concept of makerspaces and how they have come to education, all the way through to creating my own action plan to get started.”— Makerspace Educator in Hayward, California USA
Sign up now
The first run of our Build a Makerspace for Young People course starts on 12 March 2018. You can sign up and access all content for four weeks. After that period, we’ll run the course again multiple times throughout the year. Enjoy, and happy making!
Cue the lights! Cue the music! Picademy is back for another year stateside. We’re excited to bring our free computer science and digital making professional development program for educators to four new cities this summer — you can apply right now.
We’re thrilled to kick off our 2018 season! Before we get started, let’s take a look back at our community’s accomplishments in the 2017 Picademy North America season.
Picademy 2017 highlights
Last year, we partnered with four awesome venues to host eight Picademy events in the United States. At every event across the country, we met incredibly talented educators passionate about bringing digital making to their learners. Whether it was at Ann Arbor District Library’s makerspace, UC Irvine’s College of Engineering, or a creative community center in Boise, Idaho, we were truly inspired by all our Picademy attendees and were thrilled to welcome them to the Raspberry Pi Certified Educator community.
JWU Providence’s College of Engineering & Design recently partnered with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to host Picademy, a free training session designed to give educators the tools to teach computer skills with confidence and creativity. | http://www.jwu.edu
The 2017 Picademy cohorts were a diverse bunch with a lot of experience in their field. We welcomed more than 300 educators from 32 U.S. states and 10 countries. They were a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary classroom teachers, librarians, museum staff, university lecturers, and teacher trainers. More than half of our attendees were teaching computer science or technology already, and over 90% were specifically interested in incorporating physical computing into their work.
Picademy has a strong and lasting impact on educators. Over 80% of graduates said they felt confident using Raspberry Pi after attending, and 88% said they were now interested in leading a digital making event in their community. To showcase two wonderful examples of this success: Chantel Mason led a Raspberry Pi workshop for families and educators in her community in St. Louis, Missouri this fall, and Dean Palmer led a digital making station at the Computer Science for Rhode Island Summit in December.
Picademy 2018 dates
This year, we’re partnering with four new venues to host our Picademy season.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the 2017 ISTE Conference & Expo, which saw over 20,000 educators convene in San Antonio earlier this summer. As a new Raspberry Pi Foundation team member, I was thrilled to meet the many Raspberry Pi Certified Educators (RCEs) in attendance. They came from across the country to share their knowledge, skills, and advice with fellow educators interested in technology and digital making.
This is the only GIF. Honest.
Meet the RCEs
Out of the dozens of RCEs who attended, here are three awesome members of our community and their ISTE 2017 stories:
Nicholas Provenzano, Makerspace Director at University Liggett School and the original nerdy teacher, shared his ideas for designing innovative STEAM and maker projects. He also knocked our socks off by building his own digital badge using a Raspberry Pi Zero to stream tweets from the conference.
What’s up w/ @Raspberry_Pi & digital making? Serious knowledge dropping at #ISTE17 #picademy
Amanda Haughs, TOSA Digital Innovation Coach in Campbell Union School District and digital learning champion, shared her ideas for engaging elementary school learners in technology and digital making. She also went next level with her ISTE swag, creating a wearable Raspberry Pi tote bag combining sewing and circuitry.
New post: “Pi Tote– a sewing and circuitry project w/the @Raspberry_Pi Zero W” https://t.co/Fb1IFZMH1n #picademy #Maker #ISTE17 #PiZeroW
Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD and edtech leader extraordinaire, shared her vision for making innovation and digital learning more equitable and accessible for all. She also received the ISTE 2017 Award for Outstanding Leadership in recognition of her efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for learners across learning environments.
At #iste17, @rafranzdavis speaks about the privilege of access. How do we make innovation less privileged? #edtechc… https://t.co/6foMzgfE6f
Rafranz, Nicholas, and Amanda are all members of our original Picademy cohorts in the United States. Since summer 2016, more than 300 educators have attended US Picademy events and joined the RCE community. Be on the lookout later this year for our 2018 season events and sign up here for updates.
Our #ISTE17 crew had a PACKED day in San Antonio. If you didn’t catch them today, see where they’ll be: https://t.co/Rt0ec7PF7S
Join the fold
Inspired by all this education goodness? You can become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator as well! All you need to do is attend one of our free two-day Picademy courses held across the US and UK. Join this amazing community of more than 1,000 teachers, librarians, and volunteers, and help more people learn about digital making.
If you’re interested in what our RCEs do at Picademy, check out our free online courses. These are available to anyone, and you can use them to learn about teaching coding and physical computing from the comfort of your home.
This week, we trained our 1000th Raspberry Pi Certified Educator at a Picademy in Cardiff, south Wales. These teachers, librarians and other educators are now equipped to begin sharing the power of digital making with their learners, their local communities and their peers.
Our newest Raspberry Pi Certified Educators: now there are 1000 of them!
Picademy is a free CPD programme that gives educators the skills and knowledge to help learners get creative with computing. Classroom teachers, museum educators, librarians, educator coaches, and community educators can all apply. You don’t need any previous experience, just an enthusiasm for teaching computing and digital making.
Demand for Picademy places is always high, and there are many parts of the world where we don’t yet offer Picademy. In order to reach more people, we provide two free online training courses which are available anywhere in the world. They’re especially relevant to educators, but anyone can take part. Both started this week, but there’s still time to join. Both courses will run again in the future.
Wherever you are, you can also read Hello World, our new magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. It’s free online as a downloadable PDF, and it’s available to UK-based educators in print, free of charge. In its pages over the next issues, we know we’ll see some of our first 1000 Raspberry Pi Certified Educators inspire some of our second 1000.
We hope that you, too, will join this creative, supportive community!
Hello World is a magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more. It is designed to be cross-curricular and useful to all kinds of educators, from classroom teachers to librarians.
Hello World is a magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more.
It is designed to be cross-curricular and useful to all kinds of educators, from classroom teachers to librarians. While it includes lots of great examples of how educators are using Raspberry Pi computers in education, it is device- and platform-neutral.
As with everything we do at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Hello World is about community building. Our goal is to provide a resource that will help educators connect, share great practice, and learn from each other.
Hello World is a collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Computing at School, the grass-roots organisation of computing teachers that’s part of the British Computing Society. The magazine builds on the fantastic legacy of Switched On, which it replaces as the official magazine for the Computing at School community.
We’re thrilled that many of the contributors to Switched On have agreed to continue writing for Hello World. They’re joined by educators and researchers from across the globe, as well as the team behind the amazing MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine, who are producing Hello World.
print (“Hello, World!”)
Hello World is available free, forever, for everyone online as a downloadable pdf. The content is written to be internationally relevant, and includes features on the most interesting developments and best practices from around the world.
The very first issue of Hello World, the magazine about computing and digital making for educators
Thanks to the very generous support of our sponsors BT, we are also offering the magazine in a beautiful print version, delivered for free to the homes of serving educators in the UK.
This first issue is dedicated to Seymour Papert, in many ways the godfather of computing education. Papert was the creator of the Logo programming language and the author of some of the most important research on the role of computers in education. It will come at no surprise that his legacy has a big influence on our work at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, not least because one of our co-founders, Jack Lang, did a summer internship with Papert.
Seymour Papert with one of his computer games at the MIT Media Lab Credit: Steve Liss/The Life Images Collection/Getty Images
Inside you’ll find articles exploring Papert’s influence on how we think about learning, on the rise of the maker movement, and on the software that is used to teach computing today from Scratch to Greenfoot.
We will publish three issues of Hello World a year, timed to coincide with the start of the school terms here in the UK. We’d love to hear your feedback on this first issue, and please let us know what you’d like to see covered in future issues too.
The magazine is by educators, for educators. So if you have experience, insights or practical examples that you can share, get in touch: [email protected].
Happy new year to everyone! We’re back with a new programme of Picademy events for 2017. All our UK events have been scheduled up to the end of the year, so you can look ahead and choose something at a location and date that is convenient.
An educator gets to grips with our Camera Module
For the uninitiated, Picademy is a free CPD programme that aims to give educators the skills and knowledge they need to get creative with computing, no matter what their level of experience. In fact, you don’t need any previous experience to apply, just an enthusiasm for teaching kids computing. Each course lasts for two full days and is a mixture of digital making workshops, project-based learning, and hacking. Delegates graduate as Raspberry Pi Certified Educators (RCEs).
Last year’s Picademy events yielded some wonderful moments. We trained over 540 educators in the UK and the US, so we had lots of highlights to choose from; I certainly witnessed many in person while delivering events in Glasgow. Two of my favourites included the educator who created music by coding DNA into Sonic Pi as note values (amazing!), and the project that used the Sense HAT to input notes to Sonic Pi and then convert them into coloured blocks in Minecraft for a digital disco.
It was so great to see the enthusiasm, the camaraderie, and the willingness of educators to be open to new experiences. You could see the cogs turning as they thought about how they could apply the new ideas to work in their own classrooms. It was also great to hear about things educators found less easy, and to answer questions about aspects of the computing curriculum. We find this feedback particularly useful as we are always looking for ways to improve our content and provide better support.
Below you’ll find details of the Picademy events we’re running across the UK in 2017:
The Learning Hub, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham, B26 3QJ
10/11 April 04/05 December
Raspberry Pi Foundation, 30 Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2JH
Late May* Late November*
* While London details are not fully confirmed, you can still apply for these events. We will email details to applicants later in 2017.
Who should apply?
We are looking for inspirational educators who are passionate about computing, enthusiastic about creating awesome learning experiences for their students, and proactive at sharing good practice.
While we’re primarily looking for primary, secondary, FE and HE teachers to apply, we’re also seeking other outstanding educators such as librarians, community educators, trainee teachers, and trainers of teachers.
We’re committed to running free high-quality training, and we invest substantial time (and money) in the educators that attend. Our hope is that our certified educators not only return home with a digital making mindset to inspire students and colleagues, but also have an impact on their wider education community through social media, meetups, or running their own training.
With this in mind, we should point out that Picademy events are often oversubscribed: for this reason, it’s really important that we get a sense of the person behind the application. We would therefore urge you to take your time when answering questions that ask you to reflect on your own experiences and reasons for applying.
This column is from The MagPi issue 49. You can download a PDF of the full issue for free or subscribe to receive the print edition in your mailbox or the digital edition on your tablet. All proceeds from the print and digital editions help the Raspberry Pi Foundation achieve its charitable goals.
Before I became a part of the maker movement, my impression of a library was mostly formed by my childhood experiences there. Both my school and local public library were places for books, magazines, newspapers, and research. In short, it was a place for quiet reading. Libraries today look and sound a lot different than I remember. Many now include makerspaces, tools for connected learning, and spaces for community gathering.
But if you take a closer look at what these institutions set out to accomplish in the first place, then the reason they’ve transformed becomes clear. Take, for instance, the mission of the Seattle Public Library, which is to “[bring] people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.” The mission of the library isn’t directly related to reading, even though reading can be a big part of achieving that mission.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the central branch of the Seattle Public Library. The fifth floor is called ‘The Mixing Chamber’ and is a designated location where people, information, and ideas can come together. Of course, there’s plenty of material to read at the main branch of the Seattle Public Library, but this building in particular makes it very clear that they’re about more than just reading.
Of course, library makerspaces use Raspberry Pi just like any other makerspace would: as a platform for DIY projects. There are even many libraries that create Raspberry Pi checkout kits so that their patrons can experiment with Raspberry Pi in their own time, either in the library or at home.
And just as Raspberry Pi is used in the classroom to learn about computing, it’s also being used in the library for the very same reason. We’ve had many librarians come to our Picademy educator professional development programme to learn about teaching people with digital making and computing. These librarians have gone on to share their knowledge and our learning resources with their patrons. Librarians especially love that our content, including The MagPi, is available online entirely for free, and is Creative Commons licensed.
What I particularly like about the librarians I’ve encountered is that they don’t just put Raspberry Pi in the hands of their patrons, but they use our computers as a tool for their own work. For instance, I recently met Richard Loomis from the Somerset County Library System in New Jersey. He uses Raspberry Pis for networked digital signage across a few different branches. And John Jakobsen from the Palos Verdes Library District recently shared how he set up Raspberry Pis as terminals for their public access catalogue, replacing old and expensive computers. So librarians don’t just talk the talk: they also walk the walk.
I’m optimistic that libraries will continue to thrive as technology changes. At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we’re delighted to see that libraries all over the world use our computers for digital making, education, and utility. Our organisation’s connection with libraries will always be rich and meaningful, not only because of the way they use Raspberry Pi, but because we have something critical in common with them: we deeply value accessibility and community.
Here at Raspberry Pi, we get to attend all sorts of exciting events, from Maker Faires and Raspberry Jams to education and technology gatherings. So far, we have never made it to the American Library Association’s annual conference and exhibition. There’s a first time for everything, though, so at the end of June, Matt, Courtney, and I packed our bags with stickers, books, and heavy-duty sunscreen, and headed off to the enormous Orange County Convention in Orlando, Florida to spread the word about Raspberry Pi to the library and information science community.
You may wonder what libraries have to do with coding in general and with Raspberry Pi in particular. Remember that libraries have transformed their spaces to respond to the needs of modern users, and deal with coding and digital making on many levels, as well as providing an inclusive venue for teaching and learning within the local community. We met many librarians, both from school libraries and from public ones, who were either already running makerspaces within their library service, or were figuring out how to offer makerspace facilities to their users. While libraries, particularly those outside the school system, may not have a formal requirement to support the local educational curriculum, it is clear that the vast majority of staff were keenly aware of current developments in ICT education, and were eager to support these to the best of their abilities. On the second full day of the conference, Matt Richardson delivered his talk, Library of the Future – Learning with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which sparked an enormous amount of interest from conference attendees. At our stand in the exhibition hall’s Maker Pavilion, we met many people who had heard Matt speak, and who were now full of excitement about the ways in which they could use Raspberry Pis in their own library service, as well as those who were delighted to hear that their own programmes were inspirational to others.
Hello #alaac16 librarians! Come meet some of the Raspberry Pi team at booth 875! Try out our $35 computer!pic.twitter.com/GUvxsvSAed
Makerspaces and coding lessons within the library itself may be one way in which services can provide innovate resources for users, but these were far from being the only ways in which we saw Raspberry Pis being used in the industry. Many libraries were using Raspberry Pis to provide educational resources for children and young people of all ages, while others were providing similar services to adult users. Others were thinking of ways to put the tools for learning literally into the hands of their users, by making up kits of Raspberry Pis and necessary peripherals, which could then be put into circulation for home use. Gratifyingly, nobody reported problems with hardware going missing, and the potential danger of personal data going astray was dealt with by a policy of formatting and re-imaging the SD cards of returned Pis. The low cost of the Pi was also instrumental in its integration into other aspects of library service life: many Pis were reportedly being used to drive digital display screens, or as general public workstations. At least one library is using Raspberry Pis to drive their OPACs (web-catalogue terminals, for the uninitiated!), and there was a great deal of interest in the possibility of Pis being used to run self-service book checkout kiosks. This would, however, mean that the Pi would also have to deal with the deactivation of RFID tags, which might make for a more complicated conversion process.
Our stand in the Maker Pavilion. The stickers proved to be very popular!
Elsewhere, Raspberry Pis were being used in more unexpected projects: the ResCarta Foundation are a non-profit organisation working on low-cost digitisation projects and open-source software and community metadata standards to support them. They are currently using Raspberry Pis to run their scanners, and are working on making their cataloguing and indexing software able to run on Raspbian. It’s easy to see how this could be an extremely important resource for archives and records management services anywhere where budgets are tight. ResCarta already have plans to work with archives in the developing world to help safeguard historic documents, photographs, and recordings. Another wonderful Pi-powered device with a very different intended user group was the Call Me Ishmael telephone. This retro telephone, controlled by a Pi, can be installed in libraries, bookshops, and other places, and functions as in interactive book-recommendation device. It’s a lot of fun!
Perhaps one of the most cheering things about attending the ALA conference, though, was how very inclusive we found it. In an exhibition hall full of publishers, zine makers, LMS software vendors, and, at one point, several full-size bookmobiles, a computing charity might have expected to feel a little out of place. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and we were welcomed with open arms.
An impromptu bookclub meeting which sprang up in one of the meeting areas.
In a broader sense, the entire conference was marked by a widespread drive towards inclusion, tolerance, and embracing diversity. Opening less than two weeks after the devastating mass shooting at the city’s Pulse nightclub, the conference’s organisers and delegates were to be commended for their outspoken and all-pervading commitment to all ALA members and library service users, and to the LGBTQ community in particular. Pride flags were in evidence throughout the venue, and all attendees were offered rainbow ribbons to wear, with most people sporting them proudly throughout the event. The conference website featured a page on support activities which might be helpful in the wake of the tragedy, and several bathrooms were specifically designated for the use of any person regardless of gender identity or expression.
In a statement released the day after the shooting, and shortly before the conference opened, ALA president Sari Feldman underlined the important role libraries play in society: “Our nation’s libraries serve communities with equity, dignity and respect. ALA will carry this legacy to Orlando. In defiance of fear, ignorance, and intolerance, the library community will continue its profound commitment to transforming communities by lending its support…Librarians and library workers are community leaders, motivators, and social change agents”. On a more personal level, one librarian who visited our stand proudly told me, “whenever someone comes into the library, no matter who they are – whatever race, sexuality, or religion – it’s my job to help them. And that’s what I do”. Although we were only a small part of a very large conference, we at Raspberry Pi are delighted to work with such a wise and welcoming group of people as the bad-ass librarians of ALA.
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