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WyteNite
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Picademy for people other than educators?

Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:03 pm

Hi Carrie Anne

I have had no response when posting this against a fresh topic, it is a simple question to which I would much appreciate a simple answer

Although I am well past my sell-by date, and cannot claim to be a teacher, I would love to get trained up on the Rpi. I have been a professional programmer in the past, but only Windows stuff using visual studio, so it will be a large jump for me to get to grips with this. I would love therefore to attend one of your courses; and I would be happy to help out with local schools once qualified on the Pi if this were needed, or indeed was a pre-requisite. I have purchased all the required equipment so I would be self sufficient, and only look for a sociable way to boost my learning.

Do you have restrictions which count me out? If so perhaps we can start another set of classes for which I would be within an acceptable set! Please advise.

Russ McAnulla

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justinrains
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:52 pm

Is there any online training for this? I am not an official educator, just a guy who owns a couple of Pi's and would like to teach maybe at something like a makercamp. I'm also a scout leader and would like to get our scouts involved in more electronics projects also.

Thanks!
Justin

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WyteNite
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:12 pm

Hi Justin

Well I hope that get more of a response than I did on this issue. I must admit to being very surprised that no-one on these forums seems to have the manners or common decency to at least reply and just tell be to get lost if there will be no course which I can attend, or give me some clue from the "inside" as to where I should be going if this is the case.

Russ

Gbaman
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:09 am

WyteNite wrote:Hi Justin

Well I hope that get more of a response than I did on this issue. I must admit to being very surprised that no-one on these forums seems to have the manners or common decency to at least reply and just tell be to get lost if there will be no course which I can attend, or give me some clue from the "inside" as to where I should be going if this is the case.

Russ
Hey Russ, I don't speak for the foundation but from what I can see, the education team is currently incredibly busy with September term start days away.

From everything published, they are not currently accepting non-teachers for Picademy.
Currently the foundation only do roughly 1 Picademy each month with a maximum of 24 people.
As teachers will have the highest degree of influence with kids, they are the highest priority.
Plus teachers teach teachers so the knowledge can spread.

So in answer to your question, at this time to my knowledge non-teachers are not being accepted for Picademy.
This may change in the near future for all I know, but I doubt it given that there are hundreds of teachers interested.

All the stuff that is taught at Picademy is always available somewhere on the web.
A great place to start your Pi based adventure is the new Raspberry Pi Resources section.
There are a number of great hands on "make" projects and lots of "learn" section activities for learning how to program using the Raspberry Pi.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/


The Raspberry Pi community is a great and helpful bunch so if you have questions, make sure to ask them. IRC is a great way or via the forums.
Depending on where you live, try and get yourself along to a Raspberry Jam!
These are Raspberry Pi enthusiast meetups and are nearly always also aimed at complete beginners!
They are all over the world!
The Cambridge Raspberry Jam (one of the biggest) or the Southend Raspberry Jam may suit you.

They are a great place to meet Pi experts and get help on projects etc.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:56 am

It has been said elsewhere that picademy is only for teachers. Given how busy the folks on the education side are just with picademy, I think that running another set of classes is just not possible.

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WyteNite
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:40 am

Well, I do think it rather sad that Pi "educationalists" appear to take such narrow view of who they think they should be educating! It seems a strange dichotomy ; They believe that the best learning results are obtained by face-to-face teaching in a class environment...and then say to people outside their own field "go and learn by yourself on the web, it's easy and effective". Then they give only one training course per month, in the presence of a huge demand! As somebody who has to work every day, I ask myself what the trainer(s) is/are doing for the rest of the month 8-)

There is obviously time for one trainer to run 20 1-day courses per month, rather than one (school teachers are trainers, and they obviously have to cope with this workload); why cannot opportunity be taken to expand the input cohort to include anyone who is prepared to pay? As an Engineer in a fast moving area of technology, I have to spend many days a year either learning in, or presenting at, CPD training courses, all of which I have to pay, or be paid, for. If there was demand for me to give CPD courses every day, I would happily do it, as I love teaching. How difficult can it be to organise a few additional financially self-sufficient training courses, when there is an obvious demand?

Maybe I am missing something??? Are the trainers perhaps providing their time for free, and thus having to limit their availability? If so, why? If a group of say 8-10 non-teachers are willing to pay typical CPD course prices for training, the trainer could be earning £1000 plus for a day's work. I don't think that many educational posts are this highly paid. Am I the only one to spot an opening for an entrepreneurial trainer here?! I would be really grateful for some enlightenment.
Russ

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Richard-TX
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:50 am

The problem I have with this Certification is that it is UK only. Of course there are other problems with "Certification" but those are people problems.

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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:00 am

WyteNite wrote: Maybe I am missing something???
Picademy is far from the only thing they do on the charity/education side of things. If they didn't run picademy at all, they would still be short on time.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:21 am

I have a dear friend who is a teacher nearing retirement and she has seen the ICT syllabus, and the amount of work the RPF and other bodies have undertaken to provide a framework, not just for Autumn 2014 but Autumn 2015 as well, it is not surprising that first and foremost that Teachers need to be got up to speed.

After all the RPF was set up to provide an education for 5 to 19 year olds in ICT rather than them learning Word and Excel.

There are many Computer Clubs around Britain and many are not well attended, so maybe the ones who want to learn could reach out to similar minded people because learning is not a 3 day course it is a lifetime journey :o
Adieu

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WyteNite
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:12 am

But we are in a commercial world here. If they are overworked, and more work = more turnover = more profit = business expansion = success! then I would have thought that recruitment would be a better answer then "too busy". Isn't that how we developed from counting on our fingers to where we are now (counting on our toes as well 8-)

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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:17 am

I don't want to derail this thread into an argument, so I won't post after this. We may live in a commercial world, but the raspberry pi foundation is a charity with limited funds. Picademy does not bring in funds, so hiring more people to run them, does not make commercial sense. If there was a way they could scale picademy up, while maintaining quality control over it, I'm sure they would.

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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:30 am

Yes, I'm sorry, I am not trying to be argumentative, simply offering what I hoped was constructive criticism. As far as I am aware Charitable status does not preclude fund raising, and I am simply suggesting that much needed funds could be raised by running courses commercially for guys like me, giving you the additional money to expand your charitable activities.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:31 am

WyteNite wrote:But we are in a commercial world here. If they are overworked, and more work = more turnover = more profit = business expansion = success! then I would have thought that recruitment would be a better answer then "too busy". Isn't that how we developed from counting on our fingers to where we are now (counting on our toes as well 8-)
""The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in
schools, and is responsible for developing a single-board computer called the Raspberry Pi.""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi_Foundation

Therefore it is not a typical business like say PC World / Currys it is more like AgeUK in governance....


Maybe this will be of interest https://lug.org.uk
Adieu

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WyteNite
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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:39 am

AgeUK, like many other charities, runs shops to raise funds for their main activities. All I am suggesting is that consideration could be given by the RPi Foundation to utilising their existing staff and volunteer expertise to run commercial courses to raise additional funds. Would not this then be a great benefit to the main Academy activities and potentially allow them to expand?

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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:09 pm

WyteNite wrote:AgeUK, like many other charities, runs shops to raise funds for their main activities. All I am suggesting is that consideration could be given by the RPi Foundation to utilising their existing staff and volunteer expertise to run commercial courses to raise additional funds. Would not this then be a great benefit to the main Academy activities and potentially allow them to expand?
I can assure you that the Raspberry Pi Foundation and its charities considers many such options. Further discussion on this should really go in another thread. A few points I'd make:
  • "Just hire more people" isn't always an easy answer - it's not always easy to find good people and there are always overheads bringing new people on board. See also my fourth point.
  • There is a wide range of areas the Foundation can use its resources, paid-for training courses aren't necessarily worth focusing on even if it's a potential revenue stream. You could argue that charging for training goes against the ethos of the project.
  • The idea that the education team are not working hard is ludicrous, and your comment beginning "As somebody who has to work every day" comes across as rather insulting. They have many other responsibilities and projects beyond training. One of the reasons that Picademy has been so well received is that it's delivered by people who have so much Pi experience and they're not just delivering a course from someone else's notes.
  • Be patient. I'm sure there are plenty of conversations going on about how to scale Picademy, but it would be a big mistake to jump headfirst into something that doesn't maintain the quality and gives people a substandard experience.
EDIT to add: I'll also highlight that the education team spend a large amount of their time spreading education on using the Pi to all who want to - creating the resources anyone can use http://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/. Also check out whether there is a Raspberry Jam near you.

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Re: Picademy for people other than educators?

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:40 pm

I've split this off into another topic.

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Re: Picademy for people other than educators?

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:49 pm

Why would the foundation be interested in doing this ? How does it align with there stated aims ?

If there was a market for this I'm sure the normal techincal training providers (e.g. QA) would have already jumped on the band-wagon and would already be providing it at their normal commercial rates.

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WyteNite
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Re: Picademy for people other than educators?

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:01 pm

How does running a charity shop align with a charity's stated aim? It brings in much needed funds to help with whatever its aims are! Aims are always easier to achieve when cash flows are positive. Believe me, I have been a charity trustee, and most of the meetings were taken up with finance issues!!!

I think that there are probably two issues which stop the mainline training providers getting involved.
1) The market is as yet small, so they have not noticed it.
2) The Picademy probably has the bulk of experienced trainers in the field.

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PeterO
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Re: Picademy for people other than educators?

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:37 pm

WyteNite wrote:How does running a charity shop align with a charity's stated aim? It brings in much needed funds to help with whatever its aims are! Aims are always easier to achieve when cash flows are positive. Believe me, I have been a charity trustee, and most of the meetings were taken up with finance issues!!!
I think with 3 million units sold the foundations finances are well in the black. I'm also sure that the people at the foundation responsible for financial matters and planning are quite able to do their jobs without the benefits of your insights into the running of charity shops !

I think that there are probably two issues which stop the mainline training providers getting involved.
1) The market is as yet small, so they have not noticed it.
The market will always remain small because the PI is not a mass market or consummer product.
2) The Picademy probably has the bulk of experienced trainers in the field.
I doubt that very much. It has some of the high profile ones for sure, but there is (and has been for some time now) a growing band of teachers out in schools. Look at CAS for example, and also the indreasing number of STEM ambasadors and the like.

And to be honest there is nothing special about using or programming a PI that any half competent engineer or programmer couldn't pick up by reading the code examples or by reading one of the several PI related books. And for less experienced people wanting to get into using the PI there are Pi Jams and Maker events and forums like this one where they can get help.

The Pi Academy is for teachers, its focus would not be appropriate for delivery to non-teachers.

PeterO
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clive
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Re: Picademy for people other than educators?

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:44 pm

PeterO wrote:...And to be honest there is nothing special about using or programming a PI that any half competent engineer or programmer couldn't pick up by reading the code examples or by reading one of the several PI related books. And for less experienced people wanting to get into using the PI there are Pi Jams and Maker events and forums like this one where they can get help.

The Pi Academy is for teachers, its focus would not be appropriate for delivery to non-teachers.

PeterO
Spot on, thank you Peter. Picademy is about building teachers' confidence, good teaching practice and the practical use of Pis in the classroom.

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Re: Become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator too!

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:47 pm

WyteNite wrote:... All I am suggesting is that consideration could be given by the RPi Foundation to utilising their existing staff and volunteer expertise to run commercial courses...
We are considering this plus other options.

The problem here is that we are comparing apples and oranges. Running a training course is trivial compared to a 2.5 day event like Picademy. For example: Picademy actively involves over 12 people on site at Raspberry Pi HQ, including the whole of the Foundation, developers, our CEOs and community experts. In my 10 years of teaching all of the many training courses I went on were delivered by a single person.

I'm closing this thread as I don't think that further discussion will get us anywhere (and in fact is taking up Foundation / moderator's time) since we've clearly explained our position.

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