Saturday, 6 July 2013

Ideas for Using the Raspberry Pi

#ComputingHour Discussion 1 - Thursday 4th July 2013
"Ideas and inspiration for new Computer Science teachers when using the Raspberry Pi"
Summary compiled by @jonbilton

Teaching with the Raspberry Pi for the first time
@stwynn and @eaglestone agreed that when teaching with the Raspberry Pi for the first time with a club or class, it would be a good idea to start with a lesson aimed at identifying the different connections, putting the R-Pi and its peripherals together and booting to the command line prompt. @SharplesICT suggested that ICT teachers need not be afraid of using a traditional classroom for such activities. This was possibly a good way to disrupt preconceptions and mix things up.

PC v R-Pi
@teknoteacher and @eaglestone pointed out that we should not try to do things on the R-Pi that could be done better on a PC. Scratch 1.4 activities were cited as an example. @KathrynPeake and @sezzyann72 agreed that the R-Pi came into its own when its GPIO opportunities were realised through such things as robotics and control.

Taking it to the next level
Taking the use of the R-Pi to the next level, @MrAColley and @lifson discussed the possibility of a treasure hunt that requires groups to set up R-Pi's and connect them to Wi-Fi. The idea is that it is used as an  introduction to hardware and networking with the pieces of a QR "jigsaw" puzzle. The parts of the puzzle would have to be shared across the R-Pi network in order to create the full QR code which, as a reward, could link to "a video of a spinning seal or suchlike".

After School Clubs, Open Evenings and Enrichment
@teknoteacher suggested that, rather than in lessons, we should start by using the R-Pi in after school clubs. He pointed out that by setting up after school clubs, teachers could slowly begin to find ways to integrate the R-Pi into their lessons. @sezzyann72@clairegowland and @burtiebovine  recommended using the R-Pi in @CodeClub which they thought was as suitable for Year 7 as it was for primary aged children.

@SharplesICT highlighted the fact at R-Pi could be used to showcase Computer Science during open evenings from September 2013. Together with @clairegowland@sezzyann72 and @MsBClarke they suggested that, for that all important wow factor, the OCR "jelly baby" task is suitably impressive. @teknoteacher suggested running a Pixel Art demonstration during open evenings, again for that all important wow factor.

@mrsdenyer will be using the R-Pi with Year 8 gifted and talented students as a tool for learning Python, while @clairegowland will use them within her school's enrichment week

Networking with Colleagues
The importance of colleagues networking with each other to share ideas about the Raspberry Pi was emphasised by many contributors. @teknoteacher highlighted the great work being done through the #rjam network and encouraged contributors to build their local network with @CompAtSch hubs. "YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 4000+ members" he wrote. @dan_bowen and @MsBClarke pointed to the CAS and school links available within Surrey. @MrAColley mentioned the North West computing mini conference day he was developing for the Autumn, while @SharplesICT and @MsBClarke emphasised the need for secondary schools to work with their feeder primary schools in order to succeed


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