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STICKY: Advice from first cohort

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:32 pm
by sway1233
Have an open mind and access things at whatever level is comfortable for you. Challenge yourself but don't worry if others are doing things that seem difficult - there's no reason you won't get there eventually! Most of all, have fun :)

Re: Advice from first cohort

Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:47 am
by alp1
Have a go at everything on offer! Network with other teachers this has been invaluable! Have fun and enjoy it! It was certainly the best CPD I have ever been on and one which has excited me about the future of computing in schools! I love every minute and wish I could do it all over again!

Re: Advice from first cohort

Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:56 am
by craigargh
A lot of people can find learning to program very daunting and a bit scary. This is normal. A few people at the first PiCademy felt the same. Most other teachers will have had no prior experience of using the Raspberry Pi so don't feel alone.

You'll be surprised how easy and fun it is to do things once you get started. The workshops on the first day are designed so that anyone with no experience is able to pick them up. Take your time and if you're unsure of anything there are plenty of people around who want to help you. It's a very friendly and supportive environment.

Make the most of the evening meal. You'll find that everyone is excited about what they've learned and what they want to do on the second day. Many of the projects on the second day come together through discussions at the meal.

The second day gives you the chance to play and explore the Raspberry Pi in your own way. Many people chose to work on group projects and find this time very valuable. You also have a lot of people on hand to give you direction and help when you're stuck.

Even if you are nervous at the start, you'll find the experience very valuable and you'll walk away with a lot of new skills and enthusiasm.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:24 am
by MrsKSayers
Enjoy yourself! It's a fantastic, long, fun filled couple of days and your head will be buzzing with ideas.
Everyone will be feeling a little nervous and skill levels will vary massively.
As long as you are prepared to have a go and try and share you'll be great.
Bring a smartphone to take pics and tweet.
Be prepared to write lots of notes too.

The team are amazing and the event is fantastic have great fun!


Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:43 am
by Amy Welsh
I was really apprehensive about attending, as I had only really had a quick play with the Raspberry Pis we have in school, should not have worried.

Go with an open mind, everyone knows something different about what you can do with a Raspberry Pi, everyone learns something new or expands on what they already know. Go and have fun, it is the best way to get the most out of the 2 days.

I have recommended the training to everyone at work!

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:11 pm
by NBizzell
Take full advantage of the second day to test, tinker and create.

There are not many courses that offer this sort of opportunity to consolidate what you have learnt and put ideas into practice with help on hand from the team.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:59 pm
by MrLau
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm at Picademy on 14th July and am pretty excited.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:14 pm
by Dan Aldred
It is and will be amazing.
Ask lots of questions, everyone is really helpful and supportive.
Get stuck right in, there is so much to learn and experience.
Be ready to come away with thousands of ideas
Have fun :D

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:41 pm
by MisterC
If you know nothing, but you know that you know nothing... that's something. Be shameless in your ignorance; that's why we came to Picademy, right? To learn stuff and junk about the Raspberry Pi. Don't be afraid to ask questions of all the Picademy staff; they are there to teach you, not judge you. (Don't be starstruck by these titans of geekdom, they are actually really nice.) You can also ask the people around you; trust me, they'll likely ask you something later and you can return the favour. Just don't be the kid who doesn't get it, but won't ask. That kid always gets an 'F'.

If a project you see or hear about looks too adventurous for you; it likely isn't. Decide on a project you think sounds fun, or would appeal to your class. Have a crack at it on day 2. You'll probably be surprised at what you accomplish, especially with the mighty technomuscle of the Picademy Guru Squad. Even if you don't get it finished on the day, you had some brilliant assistance getting started, you know you're on the right track and you've gained valable steps towards completing it. There were people on the 2nd Picademy who had never seen a Pi before who were involved in all sorts of crazy projects on Day 2; a Michael Jackson (Freddy Krueger?) glove which controlled a computer game through touch, LED arrays responding to typed input and correct or incorrect answers, electric teddybears, and my FM transmitter definitely broadcast a zombie alert over 2 floors of the building (Sorry to anyone randomly tuned into 103.3 at Pi Towers) in the afternoon... I swear.

Talk to everyone you can; network. We're all in this together, folks. If you're not on Twitter, you can get an account for free (I'm @HacklabUK; hit me up!): totally worthwhile, and one for your class is great for outings and residentials, for keeping in touch with parents and promoting your code club events. (Warning: Make sure you enable the privacy settings for a class account so it's private. Don't accept followers you don't know. Twitter is highly addictive. Before commencing a course of Twitter, see your school's AUP: I'm not a doctor.) You can bounce off each other, share resources, get your classes to work together (Skype is a beautiful thing!), or even compete with each other (Robot Wars, anyone?) if that's your bag. There is no 'I' in team. ( Sorry. Trite. I've always found that a dubious argument anyway; there's no 'I' in 'deadly rampant Zulu butt fungus' either... So?)

Get on board! There is literally everything you need to start up a RasPi lab in your school on this site (even links to shops where you can get hardware), but it all comes from people like you. Tinkerers, hackers, geeks, coders, nerds, programmers, engineers, teachers. We all want to make Computer Science awesome for the next generation of learners. If you notice anything about the team at Picademy, it's that they are all pulling in the same direction. They are hot for Computer Science, and they want to spread the love to the world, baby. Picademy is about not only giving you the right tools to get hooked up and pull along with them, but to hook others up with the knowledge too so we can all pull. Once you go back to your schools; evangelise! Turn others on to the simplicity of Raspberry Pi and praise it's openness in a world of closed off, consumer technology. Infect everyone with your hackeritis, and get them to infect other people. Exponentiality... gotta love that action.

Sign up to GitHub. Useful to the max. (Ask Uncle Ben, he loves to talk 'bout GitHub.) Get Code, make stuff. Take someone else's project and customise it, add to it, or just use a chunk of it. Post your own stuff so others can learn from you. It's free, and easy to hook up.

Take notes. There are loads of resources, leads, lessons, project ideas and bug fixes bandied about on the course, that you'll need to keep track of the ones you think sound like you might use them. Participate in discussions about things you already use too; I gained heaps of hacks and shortcuts to stuff I do all the time.

Ask Craig about exploding TNT (Block ID: 46,1). It's one of the most popular hacks in my Minecraft lunchtime sessions. Your kids will love it. Just make sure they aren't in a world with someone else's work in it. Also, renaming worlds is very handy for this reason.

Ask Dr Sam about 'MetaeX'. Open source Djing with live code...Skrillex who..? Wicked.

That's about all I can think of. Oh yeah: have fun! It's a pretty casual couple of days with positive people who want the best for Computer Science education. That sounds like you, right? Cool! Then you already have that in common with everyone else. Be chill, be positive, pay attention, have a go, learn a thing.



Twitter: @hacklabUK

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:17 pm
by CatLamin
Something that worked really well for cohort 3 was to get in touch BEFORE Picademy - we were all emailed by Carrie Anne together so we began emailing back and forth and then arranged to stay in the same hotel. The Sunday night before Picademy there were 15 out of 22 people sat in the bar getting to know one another ready for the morning, on the second night it was 19 out of 22 in the same hotel. It meant that by the time we arrived at Pi Towers the next day there was no awkwardness and we were already on great terms (just don't ask about room 116). It also meant that after the meal we went to a nearby pub to drink and discuss project ideas and then returned to the hotel bar to carry on chatting about our projects.

As many people have said, be prepared to lean lots, but also to have an awful lot of fun - don't be shy or embarrassed by what you don't know, the other people on your course and the Raspberry Pi Foundation team seem to always be willing to help out and it's such a great atmosphere to learn in!

Good luck!

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:28 pm
by teachescompsci
I think it has already been said, but get on Twitter! Then search for #picademy to see what everybody is tweeting about. It's a great way to follow each other and to share links to resources.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:10 am
by Familysimpson
Definitely try to get in touch with other attendees before hand - either over email or Twitter - and try to meet up or stay close by. It is an intense few days and having a group of people to decompress with afterwards could be useful.

Keep the momentum going when you return back to your school. Organise an event to showcase what you've learned and to see what others nearby know about the Raspberry Pi. Find your local makerspace and try to get them involved too. Ask your nearest FE or university provider too. Make local connections!!

Take the resources you have been given and try to remix them - even just a little bit. I've been so inspired by the use of GitHub for resources I plan to use it to develop a crowd-sourced curriculum within my Computing At School hub.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:47 am
by seitzdeb987
How can I join Picademy? Is there age limit?

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:56 am
by liz
There's no age limit, but you must be a teacher. See for details.

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:32 pm
by jamesrobinson
Picademy is a fantastic 2 days which you are going to LOVE!

Some simple advice would be:

Ask every question you can think of no matter how small, crazy, simple, daft. They is no such thing as a silly question.

The RPF team are amazing, get stuck with anything just ask, they will do anything and everything to help.

It's so rare in teaching to get people together from different subjects / key stages / experiences, talk to everyone, share ideas and contact info.

Quite simply soak up as much knowledge / experience / fun as you can!
You are going to love it!

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 4:30 pm
by hobblewobble
After reading all this positive advice from past attendees, I cannot wait to be a part of the two-day Picademy at Google HQ, London.
Who's going, and what do you hope to achieve?
My wife bought me a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit for Xmas 2014, and it remains pristine in its box. Sacrilege, I know!
I want to achieve wondrous things with it but I lack the confidence. Any suggestions prior to attending the course?

Many thanks,
Mike :)

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:54 pm
by emfran
I've just got a new job as ICT and Computing teacher in a Special School. I bought a Raspberry Pi specially. So far I've used it (hooked up to my TV at home) to learn Scratch but am keen to learn how much I can use it for. I need to come up with a lot of new ideas to really kickstart the new curriculum in the school I'm going to so am really looking forward to Picademy in Liverpool in June. Have booked the hotel, got my ex to look after the kids, swapped my days at my current job and am now raring to go!

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:23 pm
by helpla
Thanks for the advice here - excited to be attending Picademy Glasgow tomorrow!

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:10 pm
by AutumnDowdy
So excited to attend Picademy Austin tomorrow! :D

Re: Advice for Attendees of Picademy

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:49 pm
by bquentin
Go prepared to be challenged! Embrace it! This will be the best PD you have ever had!

Re: STICKY: Advice from first cohort

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:31 pm
by yuandj
I felt a little conservative when answering questions about elective courses. I am a science teacher with a computer degree. I wanted to know which courses are suitable for children, so I chose not to have all the skills. When the course plan appeared in front of me, I didn't know what to do? How can I re-select courses?