This video of the closing panel discussion from last month’s Raspberry Jamboree has just appeared, and if you’re interested in applications of the Pi in schools, it’s well worth your time. If you want to find out more about the successful teaching of Computing in schools, this is a great place to start.
The OCR materials that are mentioned in the discussion are available for download for anyone: you don’t have to be a teacher. They’re only the start of a large planned scheme of work, and you’ll find materials for both pupils and teachers.
So watch the video, have a look through the worksheets, and let us know what you think. I’m meeting Alan O’Donohoe, who runs the Raspberry Jams, in…about ten minutes – if you have any questions for him please leave them in the comments, and I’ll pass them on!
Amy Mather is thirteen years old. She made a presentation at last week’s Raspberry Jamboree in Manchester, where she explains how she got into programming and why she loves it: “I wanted to make it do what I wanted it to do, not what the people working at Apple or Android wanted it to do”. Amy walks us through Conway’s Game of Life, which she ends up building…well, I won’t spoil it for you. Watch this one all the way through; it’s worth it.
In the week since the Jamboree, I think I’ve had more emails about Amy’s presentation than about anything else – people have wanted to know when the video will be ready (word about this excellent presentation spread very fast on Twitter), and to congratulate Amy.
I’m very struck by the number of different organisations that have been supporting Amy; Codecademy, Young Rewired State, the Raspberry Jams and Manchester Girl Geeks have all helped her on her journey. If you want to see more kids like Amy, there’s something you can do: support these organisations by volunteering or donating. We can’t expect schools to do it all for us; the wider engineering community has, we believe, a responsibility to give kids like Amy all the opportunities to learn she can get her crocodile clips on. The Raspberry Pi is all about putting opportunities in the way of kids, so they have a chance to discover, like Amy, something new that they can quickly become skilled at, and that they love doing.
Alan O’Donohoe, who organises the Jams with the energy of a toddler with a coffee machine, has blogged more about the day on the Raspberry Jams site. Well done Amy – and thanks Alan!
The first ever Raspberry Jamboree is being held on March 9 in Manchester, organised by the indefatigable Alan O’Donohoe. It’s a big event, showcasing uses of the Pi in education, where you’ll be able to share ideas about getting kids interested in computing and learn more about the wonderful Pi ecosystem. You’ll also be able to find out about setting up a Raspberry Jam where you live, and meet plenty of like-minded Pi fans.
Thanks to the success of ticket sales and some sponsorship from CPC, Frog, Bytemark and support from BCS Manchester, the Jamboree team has been able to fund high-quality recording of all the talks from the Jamboree as well as offering a live video stream during the event. Alan says:
At the moment we are only planning to make 100 video feeds available, but if demand increases we have plans in place to increase that number. I would love for as many as people as possible to be able to watch the video feed, but to avoid people signing up and then not using the facility we have added a nominal charge of £2 plus eventbrite fees of 70p. This won’t cover the cost of providing the stream – but will help us have control over the amount of people that sign up and should prevent people from using up all our tickets with no intention of using them.
We’ve got some fantastic speakers lined up, the likes of Professor Steve Furber, Carrie Anne Philbin, Amy Mather (the 13 yr old coder featured on BBC Womens Hour) and many more.
It would great if all of our web cast tickets sold out as well as our ‘in person’ tickets too. I would love to be in a position of having to increase our capacity to cope with the demand!