Month: August 2017

My other computer costs $35

Last week, I was lucky to participate in Picademy at the Ann Arbor District Library and am now a Raspberry Pi certified educator! This was an amazing experience to connect with a cohort of like minded educators from all around the globe and learn physical computing. Our instructors were stellar! Raspberry Pi used to be intimidating to me but thanks to them, now I can see its many affordances. Raspberry Pi has a variety of educational resources. I am excited to start integrating this in my school district and share it with the rest of my technology integration team, administrators, teachers and most of all, the students! I encourage you to try it.

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One of the most powerful activities we did was learn how to transition from coding in Scratch to Python. I loved the way this activity was scaffolded and it was a great way to transition from block coding to text language. I want to do this activity with students so that they can make connections between the two. That feeling of hooking the Raspberry Pi up for the first time and making a light illuminate is incredible! To make it light up again in a different way made me feel extra accomplished.

We explored many different components and projects over the course of two days. I learned how to use the camera, button, motion sensor, motor, sense hat, Sonic Pi and servo motor. I was able to make several iterations of a photo booth, a ferris wheel, pixel emoji art, scrolling messages, and music. We also played around with orientation, humidity and temperature.

My favorite project was The Beethoven Project. I worked with a small group to make an automatic page turner for sheet music. As we started to brainstorm, we realized that this invention could also work as an assistive technology for individuals who have a limited range of motion, too. By the press of a button, the page turns. We would want our next iteration to be able to flip the same page in reverse and be able to flip multiple pages. This was my favorite project because we did not use the servo motor in any previous activities and we figured out how to use it.  I wrote the code for this project and learning the code for servo motors was not easy. I was proud of myself for making the Raspberry Pi do what we wanted it to! This activity was different because we weren’t writing a predetermined code and altering it. Our code was new, unique and I wrote it!  Check out tweets from The Beethoven Project team below.