Baikate
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:11 pm

Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:20 pm

Hello,

I run an after school program that is made up entirely of low income/underserved youth. I purchased a Pi 3 and a Pi 0 W with set up kits just to see what I could do with them.

So far I have the 3 up and running as a desktop used mostly for watching YouTube videos.

I am now looking for something useful to use the Pi 0 W for. I tried to set it up with Kodi, but I am unable to easily get around our content blocker so that has proved less successful than I had hoped for. I do have a wireless mouse/keyboard and monitor hooked up to it now.

Having played around a bit with what came loaded on the 3, I would love to be able to strip everything but Sonic Pi and Scratch plus a userfriendly GUI. This is the first time I have ever tried anything more advanced than the occasional Excel Macro so I am looking for some help from anyone who has ideas.

skspurling
Posts: 192
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Location: US. Right in the middle...

Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:09 am

How old are the kids? Pi zero W shines in physical and embedded programing tasks. Scratch, python, some sonic pi. Things like that. Get some buttons, LED's, resistors and wires. Maybe even some cheap motor drivers and motors for some robotics.

tpyo kingg
Posts: 331
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Location: N. Finland

LAN-based Web sites

Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:10 am

If they are all on the same LAN you could modify the /etc/hosts files on all their machines to give them unique names. Then they could connect by name instead of number to any services you might add. The easiest services to add and learn would be SFTP and WWW.

So depending on their age, you might have them try out their own web servers on each machine. That can be taken to several levels.

You can have them add a basic nginx setup and set the permissions on the DocumentRoot so they can edit their own simple web pages using HTML and CCS. If you want to go advanced with that, then you can thrown in Server-Side Includes for standardized headers, footers, and menus without the headache and insecurity of PHP.

Then they can do Per-user Web Directories for their own accounts on their own web server, so each can also serve web pages from their own home directory:

Code: Select all

location ~ ^/~(.+?)(/.*)?$ {
    alias /home/$1/www$2;
    autoindex on;
}
Then they could add SFTP accounts for their classmates and allow them to upload web pages onto each other's servers. In effect they'd have their own model WWW on your LAN but the methods would be more or less the same as you'd find in any professional environment.

The web editing can all be done graphically once nginx has been set up, since the graphical file managers support SFTP. Setting up nginx has to be done via the shell but that is a good thing.

The above can be simplified somewhat or made more advanced, it's a very deep rabbit hole.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:20 am

Doing per user directories is easier with sudo a2enmod userdir.
That makes http://192.168.3.14/~dougie/ point to /home/dougie/public_html

That also separates the user's HTML stuff from all of their other world readable files.
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
Mainframe database troubleshooter
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Twitter: @DougieLawson

2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

tpyo kingg
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:26 pm
Location: N. Finland

Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:59 am

That would be for Apache2, which might strain the Pi 0 W a bit. nginx is a bit lighter, but requires a few extra lines for per-user directories. However, once configured, somewhat trivial in either case, either would be out of the students' way and allow them to work on web pages. Sever-Side Includes (SSI) can be done on either as well.

What I am missing here though is an adequate substitute for KompoZer. That was by far the best beginner tool for learning to write web pages but it has been abandoned.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:57 pm

Apache2 doesn't strain my old B+ (same processor, not as overclocked).
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
Mainframe database troubleshooter
MQTT Evangelist
Twitter: @DougieLawson

2012-18: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Z, ZW, 3Bs*3, 3B+

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

B.Goode
Posts: 6544
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Location: UK

Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:07 pm

This bike-shedding discussion about web server selection and configuration doesn't seem very helpful to our OP, who asked:
Having played around a bit with what came loaded on the 3, I would love to be able to strip everything but Sonic Pi and Scratch plus a userfriendly GUI.

tpyo kingg
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:26 pm
Location: N. Finland

Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:09 pm

If you just want to edit the menus to hide everything else, you can go to the Raspberry Pi menu at the top left of the screen and roll down to "Preferences" and from there choose "Main Menu Editor".

Then inside the "Main Menu Editor" you can mark the "Programming" menu for display by making sure it has a check mark in front of it and uncheck all the others -- except for the "Preferences" menu. (If you uncheck that, either accidentally or on purpose, you can still recover, but you'll have to enter a formula into the terminal to launch alacarte manually with the python interpreter.)

Then still in the "Main Menu Editor" investigate the "Programming" menu itself. Uncheck everything except what you want: Sonic Pi and Scratch.

And then right-click on the icons at the left of the bar at the top of the screen to remove the unwanted icons from it. Choose "Application Launch Bar Settings" and remove the items one by one by selecting them with the mouse and choosing "Remove".

If you have something different on your display, say and we can figure out what you have and what steps to recommend. Or if we're all barking up the wrong tree, say that too.

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bensimmo
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Re: Pi 0 W uses for after school program

Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:15 pm

Use apt to remove them, or the add/remove in the RaspberryPi menu and search the names.
I cannot remember specifics but they are on the web for trimming the desktop.
Mathamatica, office etc.

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