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Friday, 21 September 2012

Second Raspberry Jam

I know, I'm not very inventive with naming my blog posts. It's all part of my master plan to be able to find them in a rush. At least that's the logic I'm sticking with.

The Raspberry Jam at Mozilla Space in London was very different to the last jam that I attended. There was much more of a buzz and people were moving around the room looking at, engaging with pi projects brought in by people.

@MrLockyer @Jennyfer37 and I built on what we had started at the last jam, encouraging the community to help us create pi projects that we could turn into schemes of work. Stephen did this by laying out lots of card on a table and offering people post it notes to offer their help, technical advice, project ideas, and suggestions for what teachers and students should learn/teach. Jenny and I attempted to divert as many people as possible over towards the area to join us!

The most exciting moment for me, was when Richard Vidler arrived with a project idea that we had started to form at the last raspberry jam in a breakout room. He took the idea, worked on it over the summer, and brought in a document that I can start to turn into a scheme of work for teachers. And there was much rejoicing. I've already emailed the electronics club at my school to see if they want to be involved.

When I met up with SK Pang, he suggested that he could create a parts kit for the project to sell to schools. He also has a kit and a tutorial on his site for creating a traffic light system.

I witnessed a lego mindstorm education kit plugged into a raspberry pi, and after some tinkering from the community with a few lines of code they had it spinning and singing Mary had a little lamb. If you have lego kits laying about in your school, you could already have the makings of a great pi project. It must be fate, because when I got into work this morning, there was a lego edu catalogue on my desk!

So... epic.

Watch this space for pi projects and schemes of work coming your way. I'm going to set up a site page for teachers/schools/students/parents with projects and schemes of work probably over the weekend.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Eportfolio and ICT Badges Reactions

Today I taught one of my classes how to use the eportfolio template I had made for them and explained that they could make the welcome page of their eportfolio their own by including facts about themselves and images. (See my last post if you have no idea what I'm talking about!)

They seemed to really enjoy decorating their own pages, but I was disappointed that some of the students didn't want to customise it more.

Then I presented the ICT class badges and the idea behind them. I was surprised by their reaction. They really seemed excited about collecting the badges by unlocking them like achievements. This would be either by completing units or by demonstrating a skill. They can then proudly display the badges on their site. There was hushed whispers about which badge they wanted to get first and a lot of "Oh yeah I want that one". This bodes well.

I've printed a display of them for the classrooms and soon I can start to dish them out. Exciting times! I might have to think of more to keep the interest up.