Duke of Edinburgh Award

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9 posts
by Steady_Bear » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:51 pm
This should be a fairly good product for the DofE award. For those who don't know a quick intro to DofE:

Split into 3 levels, Bronze (14+), Silver (15+), Gold (16+) – each level you do takes longer and is progressively harder.

Each award is split into 4 sections (ignoring Gold's residential):

Skill, Volunteering, Sports, and Expedition. Obviously only 'Skill' is relevant, but just giving folks an idea of what is involved.

The main theme, as you may be gathering, is "Be motivated, and do new things!"*

Obviously there is no hard and fast rule of what must be done for skills, but progress must be shown – therefore progress needs to be quantified. If we can put together a group of goals split into three sections of increasing difficulty we could make peoples' lives easier on coming up with ideas (especially as DofE Leaders will need to sign off the work – so they need an idea of what is an achievement or not).

ie.

Bronze: Boot up, write "Hello World" program, write a program that can perform some simple text based mundane task etc. (obviously generally not enough on it's own, depending on the language used)

Silver: Install your own Linux (Debian, or whatever), set up a webserver and basic website, set up samba.

Gold: Write a graphical game, fully documented….

The above are just examples, and I'd be interested in hearing more. As an example of difficulty, for playing an instrument as a skill you could easily say pass (or attempt – it's not just about success but also trying and doing) Grade 1 for Bronze, through to Grade 3 for Gold. If you're a direct entrant to Gold, then passing Grade 1 would count – it's progress! You can also do different skills for different levels of DofE award.

I intend to produce a single resource for DofE Leaders to go to as a guide once enough ideas are in.

*My words, not theirs!
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by tzj » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:13 pm
wouldn"t volunteering count too? people are volunteering their time and energy on this project for example. unless I"m mistaken.
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by scep » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:59 pm
As a D of E leader I quite like this, but it would have to be chunky enough. For example, on Bronze you need to do the skill for 3 months at least (if you are doing one of the other sections for 6 months) and the guidelines are for an average 1 hour per week = 13 hours. So your progress in learning a new skills should reflect that. An online course like Learn Python the hard way or wibit.net would do the job as evidence – you could take screenshots and document the programs you wrote.

As for volunteering, this should be fine as the Foundation is a charity, but you should check with your assessor – they may be funny about "just" developing materials, hardware etc and think of it more in terms of skills!
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by Steady_Bear » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:19 pm
I really should have made a comment about time lines and expected work load shouldn't I :) ... Palm-Face.

If it can be quantified it's generally alright, but 'volunteering' may be a bit iffy. Running a workshop (such as http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....can-help  - thanks rurwin) would certainly count as volunteering, but just participating in the forums and wiki may not. Not hard to work as a small group and offer to run a workshop for your local junior school once a week for a few weeks (or share between a few schools), so that is one way to do this as volunteering.
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by tzj » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:37 pm
so kinda like a pre-curiculum workshop to give kids an head start?
that"s a great idea! :D
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by Steady_Bear » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:57 pm
tzj said:


so kinda like a pre-curiculum workshop to give kids an head start?
that"s a great idea! :D



My general experience is that the DofE participants would do more harm than good in running workshops, but it would give the 10 year olds an idea of what not to do with the device....

Too harsh?

A head start is useful, and it would definitely help get people seeing the Pi and getting it into schools.

One of the biggest problems with the Pi that I can see is getting schools to adopt it. With the majority of the work being done on forums and wikis (ie the tutorials etc, not the hardware design) a lot of teachers will be unwilling to adopt it - oh we can't trust the source. Getting it into schools and showing people how easy it is (and how cheap) will help change that. Even PDFing some of the better pages and making a download section on the main site would have a limited effect as it still means change!

Another good idea (IMUO - unhumble) is to get the Pi team to generate a showcase / tutorial video or session for BBC news. Look how easy it is, even these kids of all ages love it (approach your local school / cadet group with the offer of being on TV you should be laughing). I'm guessing this is already planned though, they do seem to be ensuring a good bit of BBC coverage.
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by scep » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:49 pm
Steady_Bear said:


One of the biggest problems with the Pi that I can see is getting schools to adopt it ... a lot of teachers will be unwilling to adopt it


Teachers do not decide what hardware goes into shcools. A good Head will listen to the ICT Dept's needs, but at the end of the day the ICT suites are only a small part of the IT requirement for schools and it's the network people and the Head who decide on this. As for other teachers - what do they know about ICT? Not much ;) (sorry other teachers! )

My own hunch is that the RasPi paradigm will be ubiquitous in schools (and offices and homes) within five years. Just the savings on hardware and electricity makes this a certainty. Of course you will still need a nice suite of punchy PCs or Macs to do video work etc, but 90% of ICT or Computing in schools (or office or home) does not need a dual core, 150W, 2Gb machine.
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by aeronic » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:40 pm
As another D of E Leader (7 years of Bronze, Silver, Gold groups in school), I think that the emphasis of the initial post would be quite tricky to use, unless the leader themselves is skilled in some aspects of Computing.

I always encourage my participants to find an 'expert' who can 'sign off' on their progress towards the award. Sometimes (especially at Bronze), I do that myself - if it's photography or music or something else that I'm competent at, but I certainly don't know anything about horse riding. Hence I always ask who they can use to monitor progress - and it's never based on absolute levels.

I know I've said much of what the OP did, but thought it worth saying again.
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by Steady_Bear » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:20 pm
aeronic said:


As another D of E Leader (7 years of Bronze, Silver, Gold groups in school), I think that the emphasis of the initial post would be quite tricky to use, unless the leader themselves is skilled in some aspects of Computing.

I always encourage my participants to find an 'expert' who can 'sign off' on their progress towards the award. Sometimes (especially at Bronze), I do that myself - if it's photography or music or something else that I'm competent at, but I certainly don't know anything about horse riding. Hence I always ask who they can use to monitor progress - and it's never based on absolute levels.

I know I've said much of what the OP did, but thought it worth saying again.


Not sure which emphasis you are referring to, but I still agree entirely. My intent is for the list / page to be there for the leader to have confidence that there is something there to do for the section (incase they know nothing about the product / IT); for the participant to have some ideas of what to work towards*, and for the expert you mentioned to have somewhere to go to to have an idea of what is expected for DofE (there are some people, who shall remain nameless, that are under the idea that using MS Word to produce a half-hearted - for want of another word - 'webpage' is a huge achievement for a GCSE student!).

* I'm one of those worriers that always feels I haven't done enough and won't pass a subjective review. I'm also very un-inspired. If I have a problem, I'll fix it** - but that's it.

** I still need to work on my writing skills.

Thanks for the feedback off everyone. :)
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