Coolest Projects, our world-leading technology fair for young people, takes place in seven countries this year: Ireland, the UK, USA, Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Milan in Italy.
Volunteer-led Coolest Projects events
Teams of marvellous volunteers organise and run the events in the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Milan! They are doing incredible work to give children in their regions the chance to present their tech creations and be celebrated for their skills and creativity.
And we want to support you in our global community to do the same: organise your own regional Coolest Projects events, wherever you are, so that young people near you can showcase their work and be inspired by others’ inventions.
5 reasons to host your own Coolest Projects event
Running your own Coolest Projects is your chance to:
Celebrate the creativity of young creators
Grow your local coding and volunteer community
Engage parents and educators with technology
Develop connections with local businesses
Build the worldwide network of Coolest Projects participants, partners, and volunteers
If you’re interested in bringing Coolest Projects to your community, email us at [email protected] so we can connect you to other volunteers in your region who have expressed their interest to us! Letting us know you want to be involved will also enable us to give you more support while you’re getting started.
You’ve only got a little time left to register your idea
To participate in this year’s Coolest Projects, just register your project idea by the deadline (see below)! And don’t fret: you don’t have to have started your project to register, just the idea is enough.
If you don’t want to present something by yourself, you can register in a team of up to five members.
And you don’t need to have finished your project to present it at the event, because the most important thing is to showcase your love and enthusiasm for tech!
Registration for all Coolest Projects events is free! And you’re also more than welcome to visit and check out the amazing projects without submitting your own. For more information, and to get your free visitor tickets, visit the Coolest Projects website and select your nearest event.
As the world gets ready to celebrate International Translation Day on 30 September, we want to say thank you to our amazing community of volunteer translators. This talented bunch work very hard so that people around the world can learn digital making and computing in their native languages.
If you speak an additional language to English, volunteering as a translator is an easy way to make a big difference.
The #RPiTranslate community is growing every day, and at the moment we have around 370 volunteers. They are translating our learning projects into 50 languages – everything from Afrikaans, to Tamil, to Scots Gaelic! Projects in 26 of those languages are already available on the Raspberry Pi learning projects website, and we continually add more.
Our translators are all volunteers, and they come from various walks of life. They are students and professionals, translators and coders, young and retired, already passionate about our mission or completely new to it.
Abdulaziz is a language coordinator for the Arabic language team. He is finishing his doctoral research at the University of Toledo in the US, and will soon start working as an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He translates for us because he believes our educational resources are great and he’d love to see them used by Arabic speakers of all ages.
Wojtek volunteers at a Code Club in Poland, and helps us translate our projects into Polish because he thinks translations are crucial for learning. When children can access lessons in their native language, they truly understand programming concepts, and that empowers them to experiment and create more.
Cor is the main force behind all of our Dutch projects. He is a retired simulator designer and developer for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and volunteers at a hackerspace in the Netherlands. While teaching young people coding and robotics, he realised how difficult it is for them to learn all of this in English. He decided to translate for us to change that.
Silvia started volunteering for us when she was studying for a degree in translation. She joined us to gain some real-life experience in translation and localisation, but quickly found herself immersed in our amazing community and became passionate about Raspberry Pi’s mission. She is still supporting us now, even though she has finished her degree and is working full-time.
Sanneke is a digital literacy consultant and librarian at Bibliotheek Kennemerwaard in the Netherlands. She runs five Dojos in the area where her library is based. Sanneke translates because it helps children who want to learn to code. English is taught from quite an early age at primary schools in the Netherlands, but having learning resources in Dutch is particularly helpful for young children.
All of these volunteers bring with them a unique set of skills and experiences. They make the #RPiTranslate community an amazing, diverse, successful team.
Raspberry Pi translators: we salute every single one of you. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Anyone can join this amazing group of people in their translation efforts. It’s really easy to get involved: you don’t need any experience of translation or coding, and you can choose how much time you want to commit.
Visit our translation page to find out more, or join one of our live Q&A sessions this week to ask our translation manager and language coordinators anything you’d like:
First, let me tell you why this partnership matters to me. As a child growing up in North Wales in the 1980s, Scouting changed my life. My time with 2nd Rhyl provided me with countless opportunities to grow and develop new skills. It taught me about teamwork and community in ways that continue to shape my decisions today.
As my own kids (now seven and ten) have joined Scouting, I’ve seen the same opportunities opening up for them, and like so many parents, I’ve come back to the movement as a volunteer to support their local section. So this is deeply personal for me, and the same is true for many of my colleagues at the Raspberry Pi Foundation who in different ways have been part of the Scouting movement.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Scouting and Raspberry Pi share many of the same values. We are both community-led movements that aim to help young people develop the skills they need for life. We are both powered by an amazing army of volunteers who give their time to support that mission. We both care about inclusiveness, and pride ourselves on combining fun with learning by doing.
Raspberry Pi started life in 2008 as a response to the problem that too many young people were growing up without the skills to create with technology. Our goal is that everyone should be able to harness the power of computing and digital technologies, for work, to solve problems that matter to them, and to express themselves creatively.
In 2012 we launched our first product, the world’s first $35 computer. Just six years on, we have sold over 20 million Raspberry Pi computers and helped kickstart a global movement for digital skills.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation now runs the world’s largest network of volunteer-led computing clubs (Code Clubs and CoderDojos), and creates free educational resources that are used by millions of young people all over the world to learn how to create with digital technologies. And lots of what we are able to achieve is because of partnerships with fantastic organisations that share our goals. For example, through our partnership with the European Space Agency, thousands of young people have written code that has run on two Raspberry Pi computers that Tim Peake took to the International Space Station as part of his Mission Principia.
Today we’re launching the new Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge to help tens of thousands of young people learn how to create with technology through Scouting. Over the past few months, we’ve been working with the Scouts all over the UK to develop and test the new badge requirements, along with guidance, project ideas, and resources that really make them work for Scouting. We know that we need to get two things right: relevance and accessibility.
Relevance is all about making sure that the activities and resources we provide are a really good fit for Scouting and Scouting’s mission to equip young people with skills for life. From the digital compass to nature cameras and the reinvented wide game, we’ve had a lot of fun thinking about ways we can bring to life the crucial role that digital technologies can play in the outdoors and adventure.
We are beyond excited to be launching a new partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which will help tens of thousands of young people learn digital skills for life.
We also know that there are great opportunities for Scouts to use digital technologies to solve social problems in their communities, reflecting the movement’s commitment to social action. Today we’re launching the first set of project ideas and resources, with many more to follow over the coming weeks and months.
Accessibility is about providing every Scout leader with the confidence, support, and kit to enable them to offer the Digital Maker Staged Activity Badge to their young people. A lot of work and care has gone into designing activities that require very little equipment: for example, activities at Stages 1 and 2 can be completed with a laptop without access to the internet. For the activities that do require kit, we will be working with Scout Stores and districts to make low-cost kit available to buy or loan.
We’re producing accessible instructions, worksheets, and videos to help leaders run sessions with confidence, and we’ll also be planning training for leaders. We will work with our network of Code Clubs and CoderDojos to connect them with local sections to organise joint activities, bringing both kit and expertise along with them.
Today’s launch is just the start. We’ll be developing our partnership over the next few years, and we can’t wait for you to join us in getting more young people making things with technology.
Join us as we celebrate the Year of Engineering in the newest issue of Hello World, our magazine for computing and digital making educators.
Inspiring future engineers
We’ve brought together a wide range of experts to share their ideas and advice on how to bring engineering to your classroom — read issue 5 to find out the best ways to inspire the next generation.
Plus we’ve got plenty on GP and Scratch, we answer your latest questions, and we bring you our usual collection of useful features, guides, and lesson plans.
Highlights of issue 5 include:
The bluffers’ guide to putting together a tech-themed school trip
Inclusion, and coding for the visually impaired
Getting students interested in databases
Why copying may not always be a bad thing
How to get Hello World #5
Hello World is available as a free download under a Creative Commons license for everyone in world who is interested in computer science and digital making education. Get the latest issue as a PDF file straight from the Hello World website.
We’re currently offering free print copies of the magazine to serving educators in the UK. This offer is open to teachers, Code Club and CoderDojo volunteers, teaching assistants, teacher trainers, and others who help children and young people learn about computing and digital making. Subscribe to have your free print magazine posted directly to your home, or subscribe digitally — 20000 educators have already signed up to receive theirs!
Get in touch!
You could write for us about your experiences as an educator, and share your advice with the community. Wherever you are in the world, get in touch by emailing our editorial team about your article idea — we would love to hear from you!
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.
With over 500 Petabytes of data under management we need more people keeping the drives spinning in our data center. We’re constantly hiring Systems Administrators and Data Center Technicians, and here’s our latest one! Lets learn a bit more about Jacob, shall we?
What is your Backblaze Title? Data center Technician
Where are you originally from? Ojai, CA
What attracted you to Backblaze? It’s a technical job that believes in training it’s employees and treating them well.
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze? As much as I can.
Where else have you worked? I was a Team Lead at Target, I did some volunteer work with the Ventura County Medical Center, and I also worked at a motocross track.
Where did you go to school? Ventura Community College, then 1 semester at Sac State
What’s your dream job? Don’t really have one. Whatever can support my family and that I enjoy.
Favorite place you’ve traveled? Yosemite National Park for the touristy stuff, Bend Oregon for a good getaway place.
Favorite hobby? Gaming and music. It’s a tie.
Of what achievement are you most proud? Marring my wife Masha.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Wars. 100%. I’m a major Star Wars geek.
Coke or Pepsi? Monster.
Favorite food? French fries.
Why do you like certain things? Because my brain tells me I like them.
Thank you for helping care for all of our customer’s data. Welcome to the data center team Jacob!
Each year we take stock at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, looking back at what we’ve achieved over the previous twelve months. We’ve just published our Annual Review for 2017, reflecting on the progress we’ve made as a foundation and a community towards putting the power of digital making in the hands of people all over the world.
In the review, you can find out about all the different education programmes we run. Moreover, you can hear from people who have taken part, learned through making, and discovered they can do things with technology that they never thought they could.
Growing our reach
Our reach grew hugely in 2017, and the numbers tell this story.
By the end of 2017, we’d sold over 17 million Raspberry Pi computers, bringing tools for learning programming and physical computing to people all over the world.
Vibrant learning and making communities
Code Club grew by 2964 clubs in 2017, to over 10000 clubs across the world reaching over 150000 9- to 13-year-olds.
“The best moment is seeing a child discover something for the first time. It is amazing.” – Code Club volunteer
In 2017 CoderDojo became part of the Raspberry Pi family. Over the year, it grew by 41% to 1556 active Dojos, involving nearly 40000 7- to 17-year-olds in creating with code and collaborating to learn about technology.
Raspberry Jams continued to grow, with 18700 people attending events organised by our amazing community members.
Supporting teaching and learning
We reached 208 projects in our online resources in 2017, and 8.5 million people visited these to get making.
“I like coding because it’s like a whole other language that you have to learn, and it creates something very interesting in the end.” – Betty, Year 10 student
2017 was also the year we began offering online training courses. 19000 people joined us to learn about programming, physical computing, and running a Code Club.
Over 6800 young people entered Mission Zero and Mission Space Lab, 2017’s two Astro Pi challenges. They created code that ran on board the International Space Station or will run soon.
More than 600 educators joined our face-to-face Picademy training last year. Our community of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators grew to 1500, all leading digital making across schools, libraries, and other settings where young people learn.
Well over a million people follow us on social media, and in 2017 we’ve seen big increases in our YouTube and Instagram followings. We have been creating much more video content to share what we do with audiences on these and other social networks.
It’s been a big year, as we continue to reach even more people. This wouldn’t be possible without the amazing work of volunteers and community members who do so much to create opportunities for others to get involved. Behind each of these numbers is a person discovering digital making for the first time, learning new skills, or succeeding with a project that makes a difference to something they care about.
You can read our 2017 Annual Review in full over on our About Us page.
Less than four years ago, Magda Jadach was convinced that programming wasn’t for girls. On International Women’s Day, she tells us how she discovered that it definitely is, and how she embarked on the new career that has brought her to Raspberry Pi as a software developer.
“Coding is for boys”, “in order to be a developer you have to be some kind of super-human”, and “it’s too late to learn how to code” – none of these three things is true, and I am going to prove that to you in this post. By doing this I hope to help some people to get involved in the tech industry and digital making. Programming is for anyone who loves to create and loves to improve themselves.
In the summer of 2014, I started the journey towards learning how to code. I attended my first coding workshop at the recommendation of my boyfriend, who had constantly told me about the skill and how great it was to learn. I was convinced that, at 28 years old, I was already too old to learn. I didn’t have a technical background, I was under the impression that “coding is for boys”, and I lacked the superpowers I was sure I needed. I decided to go to the workshop only to prove him wrong.
Later on, I realised that coding is a skill like any other. You can compare it to learning any language: there’s grammar, vocabulary, and other rules to acquire.
To my surprise, the workshop was completely inspiring. Within six hours I was able to create my first web page. It was a really simple page with a few cats, some colours, and ‘Hello world’ text. This was a few years ago, but I still remember when I first clicked “view source” to inspect the page. It looked like some strange alien message, as if I’d somehow broken the computer.
At times, I felt very isolated. Was I the only girl learning to code? I wasn’t aware of many female role models until I started going to more workshops. I met a lot of great female developers, and thanks to their support and help, I kept coding.
Another struggle I faced was the language barrier. I am not a native speaker of English, and diving into English technical documentation wasn’t easy. The learning curve is daunting in the beginning, but it’s completely normal to feel uncomfortable and to think that you’re really bad at coding. Don’t let this bring you down. Everyone thinks this from time to time.
Play with Raspberry Pi and quit your job
I kept on improving my skills, and my interest in developing grew. However, I had no idea that I could do this for a living; I simply enjoyed coding. Since I had a day job as a journalist, I was learning in the evenings and during the weekends.
I spent long hours playing with a Raspberry Pi and setting up so many different projects to help me understand how the internet and computers work, and get to grips with the basics of electronics. I built my first ever robot buggy, retro game console, and light switch. For the first time in my life, I had a soldering iron in my hand. Day after day I become more obsessed with digital making.
solderingiron Where have you been all my life? Weekend with #raspberrypi + @pimoroni + @Pololu + #solder = best time! #electricity
One day I realised that I couldn’t wait to finish my job and go home to finish some project that I was working on at the time. It was then that I decided to hand over my resignation letter and dive deep into coding.
For the next few months I completely devoted my time to learning new skills and preparing myself for my new career path.
I went for an interview and got my first ever coding internship. Two years, hundreds of lines of code, and thousands of hours spent in front of my computer later, I have landed my dream job at the Raspberry Pi Foundation as a software developer, which proves that dreams come true.
Discover & share this Animated GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you search, share, discover, and create GIFs.
Where to start?
I recommend starting with HTML & CSS – the same path that I chose. It is a relatively straightforward introduction to web development. You can follow my advice or choose a different approach. There is no “right” or “best” way to learn.
Below is a collection of free coding resources, both from Raspberry Pi and from elsewhere, that I think are useful for beginners to know about. There are other tools that you are going to want in your developer toolbox aside from HTML.
HTML and CSS are languages for describing, structuring, and styling web pages
Scratch is a graphical programming language that lets you drag and combine code blocks to make a range of programs. It’s a good starting point
Git is version control software that helps you to work on your own projects and collaborate with other developers
Once you’ve got started, you will need a code editor. Sublime Text or Atom are great options for starting out
Coding gives you so much new inspiration, you learn new stuff constantly, and you meet so many amazing people who are willing to help you develop your skills. You can volunteer to help at a Code Club or Coder Dojo to increase your exposure to code, or attend a Raspberry Jam to meet other like-minded makers and start your own journey towards becoming a developer.
In issue 4, our international panel of educators and experts recommends approaches to continuing professional development in computer science education.
Approaches to professional development, and much more
With recommendations for more professional development in the Royal Society’s report, and government funding to support this, our cover feature explores some successful approaches. In addition, the issue is packed with other great resources, guides, features, and lesson plans to support educators.
The Royal Society: After the Reboot — learn about the latest report and its findings about computing education
The Cyber Games — a new programme looking for the next generation of security experts
Engaging Students with Drones
Digital Literacy: Lost in Translation?
Object-oriented Coding with Python
Get your copy of Hello World 4
Hello World is available as a free Creative Commons download for anyone around the world who is interested in computer science and digital making education. You can get the latest issue as a PDF file straight from the Hello World website.
Thanks to the very generous sponsorship of BT, we are able to offer free print copies of the magazine to serving educators in the UK. It’s for teachers, Code Club volunteers, teaching assistants, teacher trainers, and others who help children and young people learn about computing and digital making. So remember to subscribe to have your free print magazine posted directly to your home — 6000 educators have already signed up to receive theirs!
Could you write for Hello World?
By sharing your knowledge and experience of working with young people to learn about computing, computer science, and digital making in Hello World, you will help inspire others to get involved. You will also help bring the power of digital making to more and more educators and learners.
The computing education community is full of people who lend their experience to help colleagues. Contributing to Hello World is a great way to take an active part in this supportive community, and you’ll be adding to a body of free, open-source learning resources that are available for anyone to use, adapt, and share. It’s also a tremendous platform to broadcast your work: Hello World digital versions alone have been downloaded more than 50000 times!
Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Ditch the gym and tone up your author muscles instead, by writing an article for Hello World magazine. We’ll help you, you’ll expand your knowledge of a topic you care about, and you’ll be contributing something of real value to the computing education community.
Join our pool of Hello World writers in 2018
The computing and digital making magazine for educators
Hello World is our free computing magazine for educators, published in partnership with Computing At School and kindly supported by BT. We launched at the Bett Show in January 2017, and over the past twelve months, we’ve grown to a readership of 15000 subscribers. You can get your own free copy here.
Our work is sustained by wonderful educational content from around the world in every issue. We’re hugely grateful to our current pool of authors – keep it up, veterans of 2017! – and we want to provide opportunities for new voices in the community to join them. You might be a classroom teacher sharing your scheme of work, a volunteer reflecting on running an after-school club, an industry professional sharing your STEM expertise, or an academic providing insights into new research – we’d love contributions from all kinds of people in all sorts of roles.
Your article doesn’t have to be finished and complete: if you send us an outline, we will work with you to develop it into a full piece.
Like my desk, but tidier
Five reasons to write for Hello World
Here are five reasons why writing for Hello World is a great way to start 2018:
1. You’ll learn something new
Researching an article is one of the best ways to broaden your knowledge about something that interests you.
2. You’ll think more clearly
Notes in hand, you sit at your desk and wonder how to craft all this information into a coherent piece of writing. It’s a situation we’re all familiar with. Writing an article makes you examine and clarify what you really think about a subject.
Share your expertise and make more interesting projects along the way
3. You’ll make cool projects
Testing a project for a Hello World resource is a perfect opportunity to build something amazing that’s hitherto been locked away inside your brain.
4. You’ll be doing something that matters
Sharing your knowledge and experience in Hello World helps others to teach and learn computing. It helps bring the power of digital making to more and more educators and learners.
5. You’ll share with an open and supportive community
The computing education community is full of people who lend their experience to help colleagues. Contributing to Hello World is a great way to take an active part in this supportive community, and you’ll be adding to a body of free, open source learning resources that are available for everyone to use, adapt, and share. It’s also a tremendous platform to broadcast your work: the digital version alone of Hello World has been downloaded over 50000 times.
Every day of the week, we verify new Dojos all around the world, and each Dojo is championed by passionate volunteers. Last week, a huge milestone for the CoderDojo community went by relatively unnoticed: in the history of the movement, more than 2000 Dojos have now been verified!
This is a phenomenal achievement for a movement that’s just six years old and powered by volunteers. Presently, there are more than 1650 active Dojos running weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, and all of them are free for participants — for example, the Dojos run by Joel Bayubasire in Kampala, Uganda:
Empowering refugee children
This week, Joel set up his second Dojo and verified it on our global map. Joel is a Congolese refugee living in Kampala, Uganda, where he is currently completing his PhD in Economics at Madison International Institute and Business School.
Joel understands first-hand the challenges faced by refugees who were forced to leave their country due to war or conflict. Uganda is currently hosting more than 1.2 million refugees, 60% of which are children (World Bank, 2017). As refugees, children are only allowed to attend local schools until the age of 12. This results in lower educational attainment, which will likely affect their future employment prospects.
Joel has the motivation to overcome these challenges, because he understands the power of education. Therefore, he initiated a number of community-based activities to provide educational opportunities for refugee children. As part of this, he founded his first Dojo earlier in the year, with the aim of giving these children a chance to compete in today’s global knowledge-based economy.
Aware that securing volunteer mentors would be a challenge, Joel trained eight young people from the community to become youth mentors to their peers. He explains:
I believe that the mastery of computer coding allows talented young people to thrive professionally and enables them to not only be consumers but creators of the interconnected world of today!
Based on the success of Joel’s first Dojo, he has now expanded the CoderDojo initiative in his community; his plan is to provide computer science training for more than 300 refugee youths in Kampala by 2019. If you’d like to learn more about Joel’s efforts, head to this website.
Join the movement
If you are interested in creating opportunities for the young people in your community, then join the growing CoderDojo movement — you can volunteer to start a Dojo or to support an existing one today!
Thanksgiving Holiday is a time for family and cheer. Well, a time for family. It’s the holiday where we ask our doctor relatives to look at that weird skin growth, and for our geek relatives to fix our computers. This tale is of such computer support, and how the “smart” engineers at Twitter have ruined this for life. My mom is smart, but not a good computer user. I get my enthusiasm for science and math from my mother, and she has no problem understanding the science of computers. She keeps up when I explain Bitcoin. But she has difficulty using computers. She has this emotional, irrational belief that computers are out to get her.
This makes helping her difficult. Every problem is described in terms of what the computer did to her, not what she did to her computer. It’s the computer that needs to be fixed, instead of the user. When I showed her the “haveibeenpwned.com” website (part of my tips for securing computers), it showed her Tumblr password had been hacked. She swore she never created a Tumblr account — that somebody or something must have done it for her. Except, I was there five years ago and watched her create it.
Another example is how GMail is deleting her emails for no reason, corrupting them, and changing the spelling of her words. She emails the way an impatient teenager texts — all of us in the family know the misspellings are not GMail’s fault. But I can’t help her with this because she keeps her GMail inbox clean, deleting all her messages, leaving no evidence behind. She has only a vague description of the problem that I can’t make sense of.
This last March, I tried something to resolve this. I configured her GMail to send a copy of all incoming messages to a new, duplicate account on my own email server. With evidence in hand, I would then be able solve what’s going on with her GMail. I’d be able to show her which steps she took, which buttons she clicked on, and what caused the weirdness she’s seeing.
Today, while the family was in a state of turkey-induced torpor, my mom brought up a problem with Twitter. She doesn’t use Twitter, she doesn’t have an account, but they keep sending tweets to her phone, about topics like Denzel Washington. And she said something about “peaches” I didn’t understand.
This is how the problem descriptions always start, chaotic, with mutually exclusive possibilities. If you don’t use Twitter, you don’t have the Twitter app installed, so how are you getting Tweets? Over much gnashing of teeth, it comes out that she’s getting emails from Twitter, not tweets, about Denzel Washington — to someone named “Peaches Graham”. Naturally, she can only describe these emails, because she’s already deleted them.
“Ah ha!”, I think. I’ve got the evidence! I’ll just log onto my duplicate email server, and grab the copies to prove to her it was something she did.
I find she is indeed receiving such emails, called “Moments”, about topics trending on Twitter. They are signed with “DKIM”, proving they are legitimate rather than from a hacker or spammer. The only way that can happen is if my mother signed up for Twitter, despite her protestations that she didn’t.
I look further back and find that there were also confirmation messages involved. Back in August, she got a typical Twitter account signup message. I am now seeing a little bit more of the story unfold with this “Peaches Graham” name on the account. It wasn’t my mother who initially signed up for Twitter, but Peaches, who misspelled the email address. It’s one of the reasons why the confirmation process exists, to make sure you spelled your email address correctly.
It’s now obvious my mom accidentally clicked on the [Confirm] button. I don’t have any proof she did, but it’s the only reasonable explanation. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten the “Moments” messages. My mom disputed this, emphatically insisting she never clicked on the emails.
It’s at this point that I made a great mistake, saying:
“This sort of thing just doesn’t happen. Twitter has very smart engineers. What’s the chance they made the mistake here, or…”.
I recognized condescension of words as they came out of my mouth, but dug myself deeper with:
“…or that the user made the error?”
This was wrong to say even if I were right. I have no excuse. I mean, maybe I could argue that it’s really her fault, for not raising me right, but no, this is only on me.
Regardless of what caused the Twitter emails, the problem needs to be fixed. The solution is to take control of the Twitter account by using the password reset feature. I went to the Twitter login page, clicked on “Lost Password”, got the password reset message, and reset the password. I then reconfigured the account to never send anything to my mom again.
But when I logged in I got an error saying the account had not yet been confirmed. I paused. The family dog eyed me in wise silence. My mom hadn’t clicked on the [Confirm] button — the proof was right there. Moreover, it hadn’t been confirmed for a long time, since the account was created in 2011.
I interrogated my mother some more. It appears that this has been going on for years. She’s just been deleting the emails without opening them, both the “Confirmations” and the “Moments”. She made it clear she does it this way because her son (that would be me) instructs her to never open emails she knows are bad. That’s how she could be so certain she never clicked on the [Confirm] button — she never even opens the emails to see the contents.
My mom is a prolific email user. In the last eight months, I’ve received over 10,000 emails in the duplicate mailbox on my server. That’s a lot. She’s technically retired, but she volunteers for several charities, goes to community college classes, and is joining an anti-Trump protest group. She has a daily routine for triaging and processing all the emails that flow through her inbox.
So here’s the thing, and there’s no getting around it: my mom was right, on all particulars. She had done nothing, the computer had done it to her. It’s Twitter who is at fault, having continued to resend that confirmation email every couple months for six years. When Twitter added their controversial “Moments” feature a couple years back, somehow they turned on Notifications for accounts that technically didn’t fully exist yet.
Being right this time means she might be right the next time the computer does something to her without her touching anything. My attempts at making computers seem rational has failed. That they are driven by untrustworthy spirits is now a reasonable alternative.
Those “smart” engineers at Twitter screwed me. Continuing to send confirmation emails for six years is stupid. Sending Notifications to unconfirmed accounts is stupid. Yes, I know at the bottom of the message it gives a “Not my account” selection that she could have clicked on, but it’s small and easily missed. In any case, my mom never saw that option, because she’s been deleting the messages without opening them — for six years.
Twitter can fix their problem, but it’s not going to help mine. Forever more, I’ll be unable to convince my mom that the majority of her problems are because of user error, and not because the computer people are out to get her.
All of us at Backblaze hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you can enjoy it with family and friends. We asked everyone at Backblaze to express what they are thankful for. Here are their responses.
What We’re Thankful For
Aside from friends, family, hobbies, health, etc. I’m thankful for my home. It’s not much, but it’s mine, and allows me to indulge in everything listed above. Or not, if I so choose. And coffee.
I’m thankful for my wife Jen, and my other friends. I’m thankful that I like my coworkers and can call them friends too. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful that I was born into a middle class family in the US and that I have been very, very lucky because of that.
Besides the most important things which are being thankful for my family, my health and my friends, I am very thankful for Backblaze. This is the first job I’ve ever had where I truly feel like I have a great work/life balance. With having 3 kids ages 8, 6 and 4, a husband that works crazy hours and my tennis career on the rise (kidding but I am on 4 teams) it’s really nice to feel like I have balance in my life. So cheers to Backblaze – where a girl can have it all!
I am thankful to work at a high-tech company that recognizes the contributions of engineers in their 40s and 50s.
I am thankful for the music, the songs I’m singing. Thankful for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty? What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we? So I say thank you for the music. For giving it to me!
I’m thankful that I don’t look anything like the portrait my son draws of me…seriously.
I am thankful to work for a company that puts its people and product ahead of profits.
I am thankful that even in the middle of disasters, turmoil, and violence, there are always people who commit amazing acts of generosity, courage, and kindness that restore my faith in mankind.
I am thankful for the current state of modern inexpensive broadband networking that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family that are far away, allows Backblaze to exist and pay my salary so I can live comfortably, and allows me to watch cat videos for free. The internet makes this an amazing time to be alive.
Other than being thankful for family & good health, I’m quite thankful through the years I’ve avoided losing any of my 12+TB photo archive. 20 years of photoshoots, family photos and cell phone photos kept safe through changing storage media (floppy drives, flopticals, ZIP, JAZ, DVD-RAM, CD, DVD and hard drives), not to mention various technology/software solutions. It’s a data minefield out there, especially in the long run with changing media formats.
I am thankful for non-profit organizations and their volunteers, such as IMAlive. Possibly the greatest gift you can give someone is empowerment, and an opportunity for them to recognize their own resilience and strength.
I am thankful for my loving family, friends who make me laugh, a cool company to work for, talented co-workers who make me a better engineer, and beautiful Fall days in Wisconsin!
I’m thankful for preschool drawings about thankfulness.
I am thankful for new friends and working for a company that allows us to be ourselves.
I’m thankful for my dog as I always find a reason to smile at him everyday. Yes, he still smells from his skunkin’ last week and he tracks mud in my house, but he came from the San Quentin puppy-prisoner program and I’m thankful I found him and that he found me! My vet is thankful as well.
I’m thankful that my colleagues are also my friends outside of the office and that the rain season has started in California.
I’m thankful for family, friends, and beer. Mostly for family and friends, but beer is really nice too!
There are so many amazing blessings that make up my daily life that I thank God for, so here I go – my basic needs of food, water and shelter, my husband and 2 daughters and the rest of the family (here and abroad) — their love, support, health, and safety, waking up to a new day every day, friends, music, my job, funny things, hugs and more hugs (who does not like hugs?).
I am thankful to be blessed with a close-knit extended family, and for everything they do for my new, growing family. With a toddler and a second child on the way, it helps having so many extra sets of hands around to help with the kids!
I’m thankful for family and friends, the opportunities my parents gave me by moving the U.S., and that all of us together at Backblaze have built a place to be proud of.
Aside for being thankful for family and friends, I am also thankful I live in a place with such natural beauty. Being so close to mountains and the ocean, and everything in between, is something that I don’t take for granted!
I’m thankful for my wonderful wife, family, friends, and co-workers. I’m thankful for having a happy and healthy son, and the chance to watch him grow on a daily basis.
I am thankful for a dog-friendly workplace.
I’m thankful for my amazing new wife and that she’s as much of a nerd as I am.
I am thankful for every reunion with my siblings and families.
I am thankful for my funny, strong-willed, happy daughter, my awesome husband, my family, and amazing friends. I am also thankful for the USA and all the opportunities that come with living here. Finally, I am thankful for Backblaze, a truly great place to work and for all of my co-workers/friends here.
I am thankful that I do not need to hunt and gather everyday to put food on the table but at the same time I feel that I don’t appreciate the food the sits before me as much as I should. So I use Thanksgiving to think about the people and the animals that put food on my family’s table.
I am thankful for my cat, Catnip. She’s been with me for 18 years and seen me through so many ups and downs. She’s been along my side through two long-term relationships, several moves, and one marriage. I know we don’t have much time together and feel blessed every day she’s here.
I am thankful for imperfection and misshapen candies. The imperceptible romance of sunsets through bus windows. The dream that family, friends, co-workers, and strangers are connected by love. I am thankful to my ancestors for enduring so much hardship so that I could be here enjoying Bay Area burritos.
Ready to launch! Our free FutureLearn course ‘Prepare to Run a Code Club’ starts next week and you can sign up now: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/code-club
As of today, more than 10000 Code Clubs run in 130 countries, delivering free coding opportunities to approximately 150000 children across the globe.
As an organisation, Code Club provides free learning resources and training materials to supports the ever-growing and truly inspiring community of volunteers and educators who set up and run Code Clubs.
Today we’re launching our latest free online course on FutureLearn, dedicated to training and supporting new Code Club volunteers. It will give you practical guidance on all things Code Club, as well as a taste of beginner programming!
Split over three weeks and running for 3–4 hours in total, the course provides hands-on advice and tips on everything you need to know to run a successful, fun, and educational club.
“Week 1 kicks off with advice on how to prepare to start a Code Club, for example which hardware and software are needed. Week 2 focusses on how to deliver Code Club sessions, with practical tips on helping young people learn and an easy taster coding project to try out. In the final week, the course looks at interesting ideas to enrich and extend club sessions.” — Sarah Sherman-Chase, Code Club Participation Manager
The course is available wherever you live, and it is completely free — sign up now!
If you’re already a volunteer, the course will be a great refresher, and a chance to share your insights with newcomers. Moreover, it is also useful for parents and guardians who wish to learn more about Code Club.
Code Club partners from across the globe gathered together for a group photo at the International Meetup
We love hearing your Code Club stories! If you’re a volunteer, are in the process of setting up a club, or are inspired to learn more, share your story in the comments below or via social media, making sure to tag @CodeClub and @CodeClubWorld.
Today the Royal Society published After the Reboot, a report card on the state of computing education in UK schools. It’s a serious piece of work, published with lots of accompanying research and data, and well worth a read if you care about these issues (which, if you’re reading this blog, I guess you do).
The headline message is that, while a lot has been achieved, there’s a long way to go before we can say that young people are consistently getting the computing education they need and deserve in UK schools.
If this were a school report card, it would probably say: “good progress when he applies himself, but would benefit from more focus and effort in class” (which is eerily reminiscent of my own school reports).
After the Reboot comes five and a half years after the Royal Society’s first review of computing education, Shut down or restart, a report that was published just a few days before the Education Secretary announced in January 2012 that he was scrapping the widely discredited ICT programme of study.
There’s no doubt that a lot has been achieved since 2012, and the Royal Society has done a good job of documenting those successes in this latest report. Computing is now part of the curriculum for all schools. There’s a Computer Science GCSE that is studied by thousands of young people. Organisations like Computing At School have built a grassroots movement of educators who are leading fantastic work in schools up and down the country. Those are big wins.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has been playing its part. With the support of partners like Google, we’ve trained over a thousand UK educators through our Picademy programme. Those educators have gone on to work with hundreds of thousands of students, and many have become leaders in the field. Many thousands more have taken our free online training courses, and through our partnership with BT, CAS and the BCS on the Barefoot programme, we’re supporting thousands of primary school teachers to deliver the computing curriculum. Earlier this year we launched a free magazine for computing educators, Hello World, which has over 14,000 subscribers after just three editions.
More to do
Despite all the progress, the Royal Society study has confirmed what many of us have been saying for some time: we need to do much more to support teachers to develop the skills and confidence to deliver the computing curriculum. More than anything, we need to give them the time to invest in their own professional development. The UK led the way on putting computing in the curriculum. Now we need to follow through on that promise by investing in a huge effort to support professional development across the school system.
This isn’t a problem that any one organisation or sector can solve on its own. It will require a grand coalition of government, industry, non-profits, and educators if we are going to make change at the pace that our young people need and deserve. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be working with our partners to figure out how we make that happen.
The other 75%
While the Royal Society report rightly focuses on what happens in classrooms during the school day, we need to remember that children spend only 25% of their waking hours there. What about the other 75%?
Ask any computer scientist, engineer, or maker, and they’ll tell stories about how much they learned in those precious discretionary hours.
Ask an engineer of a certain age (ahem), and they will tell you about the local computing club where they got hands-on with new technologies, picked up new ideas, and were given help by peers and mentors. They might also tell you how they would spend dozens of hours typing in hundreds of line of code from a magazine to create their own game, and dozens more debugging when it didn’t work.
One of our goals at the Raspberry Pi Foundation is to lead the revival in that culture of informal learning.
The revival of computing clubs
There are now more than 6,000 active Code Clubs in the UK, engaging over 90,000 young people each week. 41% of the kids at Code Club are girls. More than 150 UK CoderDojos take place in universities, science centres, and corporate offices, providing a safe space for over 4,000 young people to learn programming and digital making.
So far this year, there have been 164 Raspberry Jams in the UK, volunteer-led meetups attended by over 10,000 people, who come to learn from volunteers and share their digital making projects.
It’s a movement, and it’s growing fast. One of the most striking facts is that whenever a new Code Club, CoderDojo, or Raspberry Jam is set up, it is immediately oversubscribed.
Organizations of all types and sizes need reliable and secure backup. Whether they have as few as 3 or as many as 300,000 computer users, an organization’s computer data is a valuable business asset that needs to be protected.
Modern organizations are changing how they work and where they work, which brings new challenges to making sure that company’s data assets are not only available, but secure. Larger organizations have IT departments that are prepared to address these needs, but often times in smaller and newer organizations the challenge falls upon office management who might not be as prepared or knowledgeable to face a work environment undergoing dramatic changes.
Whether small or large, local or world-wide, for-profit or non-profit, organizations need a backup strategy and solution that matches the new ways of working in the enterprise.
The Enterprise Has Changed, and So Has Data Use
More and more, organizations are working in the cloud. These days organizations can operate just fine without their own file servers, database servers, mail servers, or other IT infrastructure that used to be standard for all but the smallest organization.
The reality is that for most organizations, though, it’s a hybrid work environment, with a combination of cloud-based and PC and Macintosh-based applications. Legacy apps aren’t going away any time soon. They will be with us for a while, with their accompanying data scattered amongst all the desktops, laptops and other endpoints in corporate headquarters, home offices, hotel rooms, and airport waiting areas.
In addition, the modern workforce likely combines regular full-time employees, remote workers, contractors, and sometimes interns, volunteers, and other temporary workers who also use company IT assets.
The Modern Enterprise Brings New Challenges for IT
These changes in how enterprises work present a problem for anyone tasked with making sure that data — no matter who uses it or where it lives — is adequately backed-up. Cloud-based applications, when properly used and managed, can be adequately backed up, provided that users are connected to the internet and data transfers occur regularly — which is not always the case. But what about the data on the laptops, desktops, and devices used by remote employees, contractors, or just employees whose work keeps them on the road?
The organization’s backup solution must address all the needs of the modern organization or enterprise using both cloud and PC and Mac-based applications, and not be constrained by employee or computer location.
A Ten-Point Checklist for the Modern Enterprise for Backing Up
What should the modern enterprise look for when evaluating a backup solution?
Two Scenarios for the Modern Enterprise
Enterprises exist in many forms and types, but wanting to meet the above requirements is common across all of them. Below, we take a look at two common scenarios showing how enterprises face these challenges. Three case studies are available that provide more information about how Backblaze customers have succeeded in these environments.
Enterprise Profile 1
The needs of a smaller enterprise differ from those of larger, established organizations. This organization likely doesn’t have anyone who is devoted full-time to IT. The job of on-boarding new employees and getting them set up with a computer likely falls upon an executive assistant or office manager. This person might give new employees a checklist with the software and account information and lets users handle setting up the computer themselves.
Organizations in this profile need solutions that are easy to install and require little to no configuration. Backblaze, by default, backs up all user data, which lets the organization be secure in knowing all the data will be backed up to the cloud — including files left on the desktop. Combined with Backblaze’s unlimited data policy, organizations have a truly “set it and forget it” platform.
Customizing Groups To Meet Teams’ Needs
The Groups feature of Backblaze for Business allows an organization to decide whether an individual client’s computer will be Unmanaged (backups and restores under the control of the worker), or Managed, in which an administrator can monitor the status and frequency of backups and handle restores should they become necessary. One group for the entire organization might be adequate at this stage, but the organization has the option to add additional groups as it grows and needs more flexibility and control.
The organization, of course, has the choice of managing and monitoring users using Groups. With Backblaze’s Groups, organizations can set user-based access rules, which allows the administrator to create restores for lost files or entire computers on an employee’s behalf, to centralize billing for all client computers in the organization, and to redeploy a recovered computer or new computer with the backed up data.
In this scenario, the decision has been made to let each user manage her own backups, including restores, if necessary, of individual files or entire systems. If a restore of a file or system is needed, the restore process is easy enough for the user to handle it by herself.
Case Study 1
Read about how PagerDuty uses Backblaze for Business in a mixed enterprise of cloud and desktop/laptop applications.
In a common approach, the employee can retrieve an accidentally deleted file or an earlier version of a document on her own. The Backblaze for Business interface is easy to navigate and was designed with feedback from thousands of customers over the course of a decade.
In the event of a lost, damaged, or stolen laptop, administrators of Managed Groups can initiate the restore, which could be in the form of a download of a restore ZIP file from the web management console, or the overnight shipment of a USB drive directly to the organization or user.
Enterprise Profile 2
This profile is for an organization with a full-time IT staff. When a new worker joins the team, the IT staff is tasked with configuring the computer and delivering it to the new employee.
Backblaze for Business Groups
Case Study 2
Global charitable organization charity: water uses Backblaze for Business to back up workers’ and volunteers’ laptops as they travel to developing countries in their efforts to provide clean and safe drinking water.
This organization can take advantage of additional capabilities in Groups. A Managed Group makes sense in an organization with a geographically dispersed work force as it lets IT ensure that workers’ data is being regularly backed up no matter where they are. Billing can be company-wide or assigned to individual departments or geographical locations. The organization has the choice of how to divide the organization into Groups (location, function, subsidiary, etc.) and whether the Group should be Managed or Unmanaged. Using Managed Groups might be suitable for most of the organization, but there are exceptions in which sensitive data might dictate using an Unmanaged Group, such as could be the case with HR, the executive team, or finance.
IT might choose to remotely and silently deploy Backblaze for Business across specific Groups or the entire organization. An administrator can silently deploy the Backblaze backup client via the command-line, or use common RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) tools such as Jamf and Munki.
Case Study 3
Read about how Bright Bear Technology Solutions, an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP), uses the Groups feature of Backblaze for Business to manage customer backups and restores, deploy Backblaze licenses to their customers, and centralize billing for all their client-based backup services.
Some organizations are better equipped to manage or assist workers when restores become necessary. Individual users will be pleased to discover they can roll-back files to an earlier version if they wish, but IT will likely manage any complete system restore that involves reconfiguring a computer after a repair or requisitioning an entirely new system when needed.
This organization might chose to retain a client’s entire computer backup for archival purposes, using Backblaze B2 as the cloud storage solution. This is another advantage of having a cloud storage provider that combines both endpoint backup and cloud object storage among its services.
The Next Step: Server Backup & Data Archiving with B2 Cloud Storage
As organizations grow, they have increased needs for cloud storage beyond Macintosh and PC data backup. Backblaze’s object cloud storage, Backblaze B2, provides low-cost storage and archiving of records, media, and server data that can grow with the organization’s size and needs.
B2 Cloud Storage is available through the same Backblaze management console as Backblaze Computer Backup. This means that Admins have one console for billing, monitoring, deployment, and role provisioning. B2 is priced at 1/4 the cost of Amazon S3, or $0.005 per month per gigabyte (which equals $5/month per terabyte).
Backblaze’s backup model is proven through head-to-head comparisons to back up data that other backup solutions overlook in their default configurations — including valuable files that are needed after an accidental deletion, theft, or computer failure.
Backblaze is the only enterprise-level backup company that provides TOTP (Time-based One-time Password) via both SMS and Authentication app to all accounts at no incremental charge. At just $50/year/computer, Backblaze is affordable for any size of enterprise.
Modern Enterprises can Meet The Challenge of The Changing Data Environment
With the right backup solution and strategy, the modern enterprise will be prepared to ensure that its data is protected from accident, disaster, or theft, whether its data is in one office or dispersed among many locations, and remote and mobile employees.
Backblaze for Business is an affordable solution that enables organizations to meet the evolving data demands facing the modern enterprise.
The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) blog reveals a recent action taken by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to try to cancel the trademark for SFC. On September 22, SFLC filed a complaint with the US Patent and Trademark Office asking that the trademark be canceled because there is a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks: “Registrant’s SOFTWARE FREEDOM CONSERVANCY Mark is confusingly similar to Petitioner’s SOFTWARE FREEDOM LAW CENTER Mark.” On November 2, SFC filed a response that lists the defenses it plans to use. From the blog post: “We are surprised and sad that our former attorneys, who kindly helped our organization start in our earliest days and later excitedly endorsed us when we moved from a volunteer organization to a staffed one, would seek to invalidate our trademark. Conservancy and SFLC are very different organizations and sometimes publicly disagree about detailed policy issues. Yet, both non-profits are charities organized to promote the public’s interest. Thus, we are especially disappointed that SFLC would waste the precious resources of both organizations in this frivolous action.”
With the incredible success of this year’s Moonhack under their belt, here’s Code Club Australia‘s Kelly Tagalan with a lowdown on the event, and why challenges such as these are so important.
On 15 August 2017, Code Clubs around the globe set a world record for the most kids coding in a day! From Madrid to Manila and from Sydney to Seoul, kids in Code Clubs, homes, and community centres around the world used code in order to ‘hack the moon’.
We set a world record of the most kids coding at the same time not only across Australia….but across the WORLD! Watch our recap of our day hackathon of kids coding across the globe.
The Moonhack movement
The first Moonhack took place in Sydney in 2016, where we set a record of 10207 kids coding in a day.
The response to Moonhack, not just in Australia but around the world, blew us away, and this year we decided to make the challenge as global as possible.
“I want to create anything that can benefit the life of one person, hundreds of people, or maybe even thousands.” – Moonhack Code Club kid, Australia.
The Code Club New Zealand team helped to create and execute projects with help from Code Club in the UK, and Code Club Canada, France, South Korea, Bangladesh, and Croatia created translated materials to allow even more kids to take part.
The children had 24 hours to try coding a specially made Moonhack project using Python, Scratch or Scratch Jr. Creative Moonhackers even made their own custom projects, and we saw amazing submissions on a range of themes, from moon football to heroic dogs saving our natural satellite from alien invaders!
In the end, 28575 kids from 56 countries and from 600 Code Clubs took part in Moonhack to set a new record. Record Setter founder and Senior Adjudicator, Corey Henderson, travelled to Sydney to Moonhack Mission Control to verify the record, and we were thrilled to hear that we came close to tripling the number of kids who took part last year!
The top five Moonhack contributing countries were Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK, and Croatia, but we saw contributions from so many more amazing places, including Syria and Guatemala. The event was a truly international Code Club collaboration!
The founder of Code Club Bangladesh, Shajan Miah, summed up the spirit of Moonhack well: “Moonhack was a great opportunity for children in Bangladesh to take part in a global event. It connected the children with like-minded people across the world, and this motivated them to want to continue learning coding and programming. They really enjoyed the challenge!”
Of course, the most important thing about Moonhack was that the kids had fun taking part and experienced what it feels like to create with code. One astute nine-year-old told us, “What I love about coding is that you can create your own games. Coding is becoming more important in the work environment and I want to understand it and write it.”
This is why we Moonhack: to get kids excited about coding, and to bring them into the global Code Club community. We hope that every Moonhacker who isn’t yet part of a Code Club will decide to join one soon, and that their experience will help guide them towards a future involving digital making. Here’s to Moonhack 2018!
Join Code Club
With new school terms starting and new clubs forming, there’s never been a better time to volunteer for a Code Club! With the official extension of the Code Club age range from 9-11 to 9-13, there are even more opportunities to get involved.
If you’re ready to volunteer and are looking for a club to join, head to the Code Club International website to find your local network. There you’ll also find information on starting a new club from scratch, anywhere in the world, and you can read all about making your venue, such as a library, youth club, or office, available as a space for a Code Club.
Today, we’re excited to announce the expansion of Code Club to secondary school ages up to 13. When we made our plans known last May, we were beginning work with a pilot group of 50 UK secondary schools to discover how we could best support them, and how we could make Code Club work as well for children aged 12 and 13 as it does for its original age range of 9 to 11 years. Now, new projects are available for secondary-aged children, and we will continue to create more resources to build on the support we offer this age group.
One in five UK secondary schools
In extending Code Club’s age range to 9-13, we’re responding to huge demand. One in five UK state-sector secondary schools has already registered with the programme, and most of these – almost 600 of them – are already running Code Clubs.
By giving secondaries access to the Code Club support network and providing new, more advanced programming projects, we will help schools better to meet the needs of their students, and offer many thousands more children the opportunity to develop essential skills in programming and computing. Libraries and other non-school venues will also be able to welcome children of a wider range of ages to their clubs.
New Code Club resources
Our first five projects for older children offer a variety of ways for more advanced coders to build on their skills and explore further programming concepts.
From ‘Flappy Parrot’ and Where’s Wally-inspired ‘Lineup’, to ‘Binary Hero’ and quiz-tastic ‘Guess the Flag’, there’s something to spark everyone’s imagination. You can read more about these new resources in today’s Code Club UK blog post.
Help Code Club in your local school
Around 300 secondary schools across the UK have registered with Code Club but have not yet started their club, because they’re still looking for volunteers to support them. Can you help these keen teachers and students get up and running? If you can volunteer an hour each week, either on your own or by taking turns with friends or colleagues, you could make all the difference to a Code Club near you.
A Code Club in every community
We want every 9- to 13-year-old to have the opportunity to join a Code Club, and we will continue working hard to deliver our goal of putting a Code Club in every community. Make sure your local school, youth club, or library knows how to get involved.
It’s the beginning of a new school year, and the latest issue of Hello World is here! Hello World is our magazine about computing and digital making for educators, and it’s a collaboration between The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Computing at School, part of the British Computing Society.
In issue 3, our international panel of experts takes an in-depth look at assessment in computer science.
Approaching assessment, and much more
Our cover feature explores innovative, practical, and effective approaches to testing and learning. The issue is packed with other great resources, guides, features and lesson plans to support educators.
Tutorials and lesson plans on Scratch Pong, games design, and the database-building Python library, SQLite3
Supporting learning with online video
The potential of open-source resources in education
A bluffer’s guide to Non-Examination Assessments (NEA) for GCSE Computer Science
A look at play and creativity in programming
Get your copy of Hello World 3
Hello World is available as a free Creative Commons download for anyone around the world who is interested in Computer Science and digital making education. Grab the latest issue straight from the Hello World website.
Thanks to the very generous support of our sponsors BT, we are able to offer free printed versions of the magazine to serving educators in the UK. It’s for teachers, Code Club volunteers, teaching assistants, teacher trainers, and others who help children and young people learn about computing and digital making. Remember to subscribe to receive your free copy, posted directly to your home.
As a special bonus for our print subscribers, this issue comes bundled with a copy of Ian Livingstone and Shahneila Saeed’s new book, Hacking the Curriculum: Creative Computing and the Power of Play.
The book explains the critical importance of coding and computing in modern schools, and offers teachers and school leaders practical guidance on how to improve their computing provision. Thanks to Ian Livingstone, Shahneila Saeed, and John Catt Educational Ltd. for helping to make this possible. The book will be available with issue 3 to new subscribers while stocks last.
We are very excited to announce that Hello World now has more than 10,000 subscribers!
We’re celebrating this milestone, but we’d love to reach even more computing and digital making educators. Help us to spread the word to teachers, volunteers and home educators in the UK.
Share your teaching experiences in computing and related subjects with Hello World, and help us to help other educators! When you air your questions and challenges on our letters page, other educators are ready to help you. Drop us an email to submit letters, articles, lesson plans, and questions for our FAQ pages – wherever you are in the world, get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.