RaspberryPi Workshops

Share and discuss resources for use in the classroom

6 posts
by jagoda » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:04 am
I've posted a series of RaspberryPi workshops on the AbsoluteBeginners website ... http://www.absolutebeginners.uk.com
They may be of interest ?
Feedback and suggestions also welcome.
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by orcadian1 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:24 pm
Where are the workshops held? I live in Edinburgh, Scotland
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by jagoda » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:24 am
It is early days ...
I am not sure about the demand and interest ...
Through FTT we do a lot of embedded Linux and microcontroller training ... (though mainly to postgraduate / postdoctoral students and even university / college lecturers on occasion )
I have also taught most science subjects and Maths up to A level and so am (I think) reasonably sensitive to the needs of teachers ..
So, initially was planning to hold the workshops at our offices in Carshalton (South London).
If there is sufficient demand I see no reason why it would not be possible to run workshops in Scotland. My thoughts are to get other teachers / lecturers / instructors to "come aboard"
Probably an effective approach would be to find a group of say 8 or so teachers and the use of a classroom or training venue ... and a course in say Edinburgh would be viable ...
I have friends there who could put me up ...
Maybe there are "funds" available for organising some training ..
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by jagoda » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:28 am
Here is an inquiry received from a primary school ICT teacher
Hello, my name is (withheld) and I am the ICT and Art and
Design coordinator at (withheld( school in Ramsgate. My
Headteacher put me in the direction of raspberry pi as a good
introduction to programming for gifted upper primary aged kids. I have
no idea about any aspect of programming or indeed what the Rasperry Pi
is or how it works.

Would training and / or a demonstration be possible before we purchase
any of the devices? Any information greatly appreciated.

and here is my response ...
Dear Mrs (withheld)
I am not certain that the RaspberryPi is the best option for primary
schools ... unless you and your staff are prepared to do a lot of
learning ... or are already familiar with Linux.
It also depends on what your teaching objectives are ...
e.g. if you are planning to teach Linux then the RaspberryPi would be
a good addition to the curriculum
If you are planning to teach something about embedded systems and
robotics then, I think that the Arduino would be a better choice, or
even the LeTry teaching kit
(successfully used in Asia ... ) ... we do sell them through Robotiq
(http://www.robotiq.co.uk) - and it can be combined with nano format
Arduino boards.
Then, of course there is Lego Mindstorms, VEX Robotics and Tetrix ...
I think that the RaspberryPi is quite frail for classroom use ...
even at £30 a go ... breakages would soon add up ... so you would
probably need to get suitable boxes / enclosures for your
RasbperryPi 's ...
If you are planning to use the raspberryPi for e.g. demonstrating how to
control motors, lights, and how to detect button presses ... then the
available boards that interface to the
raspberryPi, typically, use I2C or SPI ...
In this case you might as well use Arduino boards directly ...
Programming wise ... your options are probably Python and Lua ...
Arduino's are programmed in a simplified variant of C/C++ ... not too
complex if you avoid getting sucked into the more subtle aspects of
C/C++ programming.
For gifted primary school children ... say from 8 onwards ... there
are many possibilities ...
If you want to come and have a brief explore (as opposed to coming on
a workshop) then do let me know ...
You could pop up on say a Saturday afternoon to Carshalton and have a
"little explore" ... we have RaspberryPi's, Arduino's, VEX robotics
and LEGO Mindstorms in stock and also an extensive set of books
You might wish to take a peek at the workshops we have put up on
http://www.absolutebeginners.uk.com ...
There are more professional ( and therfore more expensive ) courses on
http://www.ftt.co.uk ...
If you read through the various outlines and do some "googling around"
that should be a start.
Hope this is of use
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by jagoda » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:48 pm
I have just finished reading a very useful introductory RaspberryPi book from the Pragmatic Programmers stable ... I've posted a review here
http://www.absolutebeginners.uk.com/Rec ... _Books.php
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by jagoda » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:33 am
orcadian1 wrote:Where are the workshops held? I live in Edinburgh, Scotland

I have already replied to orcadian via email ...
My thoughts are that if there is sufficient demand there is no reason why workshops should not be run e.g. in Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff , Belfast ... as well as in London ...
These workshops could also adopt some of the format of Maker Faire's ...
However ... it is important to make a start ...
I happen to live in South London ... so, in this case, South London is where the initial workshops are being run ...
It should also be possible to run "distance learning" courses ... with "meetups" and "projects" ..
The subplots / side effects would be to provide skills that can be useful in e.g.
- applying for jobs ... (e.g. using RaspberryPi and Arduino based experience as an entry point for a career in embedded systems programming)
- We do, at FTT get inquiries for distance learning courses from those who cannot afford to come to the UK for training ... and are always trying to come up with ways of transferring skills and knowledge ...
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