thomasd538
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Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:27 pm

I am reaching out to other teachers who are using Raspberry Pi in the classroom. I am in the US and I have already begun using it in the classroom. I have more computers coming in shortly so I very excited. I would like to know what you are doing and how your Raspberry Pi implementation is going. Thanks - Tom

jagoda
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:46 am

Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi Tom,
I, for one, would be most interested in learning about any progress, or lack of it, you are experiencing.
I would dearly love for more teachers to become actively involved in exploiting the raspberrypi (and other embedded systems) in the classroom.
In the US you had some really lovely initiatives for teachers regarding STEM and Robotics (Lego NXT Mindstorms and VEX Robotics) ... run by CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) ...
VEX Robotics do have a Linux powered version ... which uses an FPGA and a simple(ish) user space library to drive some of the peripherals ...
There are embedded Linux systems with FPGA hardware on board but they are more expensive ... even though better suited to robotics and hardware interfacing than the Broadcomm chip in the Raspberrypi ...
My concern, having run many courses over many years on Linux/Posix programming is that there is a fairly steep learning curve involved ...
In the UK, sadly, open source tools and Linux is not that widely used ... Microsoft still seems to dominate ...
Though I am getting some responses for teachers wishing to attend RaspberryPi workshops the impression I get from more general inquiries is the "the RaspberryPi is a cleverish toy/gadget" and should be relatively easy to "pick up on" ...
Maybe I am wrong ...
However ... it seems to me that
- if you want to producer consumers give them toys and gadgets to play with
- if you want to stay towards the forefront of where technology is heading (and, here, I mean culturally - rather than a technocratic elite who can find work anywhere in the world) then you need to make sure that a large number of people are fluent in the technology ...
So .. you need to train teachers ... and to do this seriously as part of a continuing professional development program ...

carolannf
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:37 pm

Hi Tom,

I'm in British Columbia (Canada) and just bought a Pi, my thought is to start a little club at my school for kids to learn about computers (our school is K-7) - and how they really work. I would love to know what you are doing with yours, I'd like to start some projects for the kids. If I come up with a good idea, I'll use my classroom funds to build a mini lab...

Carolann

techpaul
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:38 am

Well not a teacher other half is and so far I have several kids (15-16) using addons for GPIO in their own time and one 6th former (17) doing an A level computing project using one with some GPIO hardware.
Just another techie on the net - For GPIO boards see http:///www.facebook.com/pcservicesreading
or http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/pi/

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Douglas W. Jones
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:38 am

I'm teaching a compiler construction course (upper level undergraduate, intro graduate) at the University of Iowa this spring, using the Pi. I'll divide this reply into two halves -- one half is general, applicable to any class using the Pi. The other half is about my class.

---- part 1: logistics of classroom use
The Pi is cheap, but what about using it? Keyboards, cables, displays, etc? We've decided to work things as follows:

We will have a stock of Pi kits available for sign-out. The kit includes a 1-amp power supply and a Model B rev 2.0 Pi mounted in the Raspberry colored enclosure you can get from MCM Electronics.

We will have several workstations in the student lab space equipped with a flat-panel display, keyboard, mouse, and network cable, plus a wall outlet. Plug in the cables from monitor, mouse, etc., and you have a workstation you can use.

Students must provide their own SD card. This eliminates our liability for the contents of their file system. They keep the SD card when they return the Pi, so we don't have to sanitize any disks. SD cards are cheap.

Students who have old USB mice and keyboards, and who have access to an HDMI display, are free to use those. Most modern flat-screen TVs have HDMI, and old mice and keyboards are commonplace (I'm currently using an olde Apple mouse from the Bondi-Blue generation of I-mac as I type this). We also provide a list of sources for everything, including part numbers, local retail outlets that stock the parts, etc, for those students interested in buying new.

Just this evening, I mounted 20 brand-new Pis in their cases. The case we chose has 4 screws to close it, and none of the detailed fiddly work you need to go through to assemble those pretty laser-cut cases. Assembly went very quickly, and I had the time to test a number of the assembled Pis to verify that they are good -- and I encountered no problems.

In sum, students may opt to spend money, but the expected cost per student to use the Pi is less than the cost of many modern textbooks. The course is not textbook-based -- the necessary resources are all on the web.

---- part 2: The class.
Why teach compiler construction on the Pi? Why not use a PC? The big reason is the ARM CPU. The ARM CPU is far nicer, from a pedagogical perspective, than the X86 architecture found inside PC compatibles. Intel tried hard to kill the X86 in the late 1980s (Microsoft reacted by buying enough Intel stock to prevent that). The X86 is horrible because it is the product of evolution, not intelligent design. It has features that made great sense on a bottom-of-the-line 8-bit microprocessor like the 8088, but are horrible on a 32-bit machine. In contrast, the ARM is a clean CPU, designed to be what it is instead of evolved from a work into a dinosaur.

But of course, there are ARM emulators available on PCs. I've taught using emulators for decades. It works, but students know they're not using a real machine, and the result is, they feel less motivated. I'd like to teach the course so that, when they finally build a working compiler, they can see their code running directly on a real computer. The Raspberry gives me that opportunity.

As things progress, I'll post materials on the course web site (which is not yet ready to go live, but which will be linked from my home page when it is).

-- Doug Jones
-- http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/
-- jones@cs.uiowa.edu

DanielBarker
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:01 pm

We just released Open Access teaching material in bioinformatics. This is based on a final-year BSc module intended for students with a background in biology/biochemistry (not computer science etc.) that we ran on Raspberry Pi last semester. See:

http://eggg.st-andrews.ac.uk/4273pi

You can download the SD card image, put it on as many SD cards as you like, and it "just works". Except if you're using static IPs, a minor text edit is required on each SD card.

Although some kinds of bioinformatics research are well known for requiring heavy computers, for teaching the principles a small computer can be fine. I would say it went well, and was more fun (and better education) than using ssh under Windows to connect to a remote, strictly managed server.

Daniel Barker

Wattminder
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:25 am

My startup located in Silicon Valley are also devoted to making science fun, with our evolving 'Pi-powered Experimenter's Bench. (See HTTP:/WWW.wattminderInstruments.com).
We eagerly seek teachers to collaborate with us on building lesson plans for hands-on experimentation on sounds and, lights.
Please contact us at http://www.wattminderinstruments.com/contact.

apimentel
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:58 am

carolannf wrote:Hi Tom,

I'm in British Columbia (Canada) and just bought a Pi, my thought is to start a little club at my school for kids to learn about computers (our school is K-7) - and how they really work. I would love to know what you are doing with yours, I'd like to start some projects for the kids. If I come up with a good idea, I'll use my classroom funds to build a mini lab...

Carolann

Carolann

I'm a BC teacher, too! I am starting Raspberry Pi with a grade 7 class. Have you and other teachers at your school used it? How did it go? Is your district doing workshops on it?

Apimentel

DonSaldicco
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:22 am

Hi Tom,
I am a Public High School Teacher in Carmel, NY, USA, teaching introductory engineering and computer science courses.
I am in the process of setting up a Pi to be a wireless router and server for myself and introduction to computing students, our school district does not support WiFi or use your own device...yet. Furthermore restrictions on school computers make it impossible to teach command line computing, Sooo frustrating! So I posed to my district that we GIVE each programming student a Raspberry Pi. I got a funny look until I told them the computers were 40 bucks, 10 are on back-order, got one at the NY Maker Faire and plan to order 10 more. I will let you know how it goes.
Don,NY

Smcintosh
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:05 pm

I am a secondary school teacher in the UK who has just started delivering the new Computing course from OCR.

I have provided each pupil on the course with a RPi that I intend then to use throughout the course, however, we have not yet powered them on. We have spent some time making cases with the schools laser cutter and have identified the main hardware parts on the Pi during the introductory module. This week we will br installing raspbian on our SD cards and then we will be firing them up!

Interestingly one of the coursework options for pupils this year is based around the RPi. Pupils have to produce a user guide describing how to use the RPi for various things.

Tinx100
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:01 pm

Hi. I am a secondary school mathematics teacher and I am looking at starting up a Raspberry Pi club at school. I have done some programming in my degree course but will need to refresh my knowledge and probably learn Python. In these early stages, does anyone have any advice in how I should go about this?

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DougieLawson
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:54 pm

Note: Having anything remotely humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

jphilli85
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:43 pm

I am looking for resources to justify using Pi for an upper level undergraduate program for electrical engineering technology. There is a plethora of material on interesting projects, and I would like to incorporate as many as possible, but I need something a that describes the architecture and what is going on with the projects from an EE point of view. What I need is a textbook, all I am finding are lab manuals. Any ideas?

thomasd538
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:03 am

Folks,

I thought I would update folks what we have been doing in the classroom. I have now been using Raspberry Pi in the classroom for 18 months. I have been using with and without Arduino micro controllers. I have learned a lot about embedded computing. It is very popular with my students. I am happy to share my teaching resources.

As far as traditional computing, I go back and forth between using Python 2 or Python 3. Which version are you using and why?

I now want to start teaching kids more networking. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Tom

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cbscribe
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:40 am

I thought I would update folks what we have been doing in the classroom. I have now been using Raspberry Pi in the classroom for 18 months. I have been using with and without Arduino micro controllers. I have learned a lot about embedded computing. It is very popular with my students. I am happy to share my teaching resources.
I would be very interested in seeing more about what you're doing. I primarily teach coding, but there has been a lot of interest from the students in branching into electronics.

I try and stick with Python 3 in all my classes. I think that in the long run, it's the one they're most likely to get the most use out of. Except for Minecraft Pi, that is - we have to fall back to Python 2 for that.

As for networking, check out this link for a great example project:
http://www.raywenderlich.com/38732/mult ... ith-python

Regards,
Chris

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Jim Manley
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:18 pm

Douglas W. Jones wrote:I'm teaching a compiler construction course (upper level undergraduate, intro graduate) at the University of Iowa this spring, using the Pi.
As things progress, I'll post materials on the course web site (which is not yet ready to go live, but which will be linked from my home page when it is).
Hi Doug - how has your course using the Pi to teach compiler development been received by students, and have there been any lessons learned from your experience? Thanks!
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

DanielBarker
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:28 pm

Last week we brought computational biology to the classroom at Kilgraston School, Scotland. It was a voluntary activity for pupils in their last two years (S5/S6). For details see this blog:

http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/biooutr ... graston-pi

The disk image was 4273pi:

http://eggg.st-andrews.ac.uk/4273pi

The practical hand-outs were closely based on week 1 and week 6 of 4273pi version 1.1. (The exact material will be incorporated into the next release of 4273pi.)

Best regards,

Daniel Barker
http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/staff/db60

NBizzell
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:28 pm

Tinx100 wrote:Hi. I am a secondary school mathematics teacher and I am looking at starting up a Raspberry Pi club at school. I have done some programming in my degree course but will need to refresh my knowledge and probably learn Python. In these early stages, does anyone have any advice in how I should go about this?
If you want to brush up your skills and learn python I'd recommend http://www.codecademy.com/ as a good starting point. the course gives you the chance to practice on screen (with hints and a forum if you are stuck). Can be a little patronising if you are already a programmer, but a great way to learn practically.

NBizzell
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:45 pm

I am a Secondary School Teacher in the UK and we are looking to use the Raspberry Pi in a number of units and optional activities in our standard computing curriculum offering at KS3 (11-13) from September.

We are planning to encourage student led projects with the Raspberry Pi alongside this.

We will be using Sonic Pi to teach some programming concepts and we have planed to implement a Scheme I am developing with the rest of my group from Picademy (if you haven't applied yet, stop reading now and go and apply for the next course; it's the best CPD I have ever attended - http://www.raspberrypi.org/picademy/) which uses the Pi as part of a creative D&T style project creating a questioning machine.

We are also looking at using another Picademy Idea the - Michael Jackson Tribute Glove (#MJTG) which uses the GPIO pins to control actions of a character on screen in scratch (Michael Jackson in the case of the demo version hence the name) to show physical computing in action.

Our plan is to have a very modular curriculum so that students can choose tasks from a selection of related tasks so they can personalise their learning to fit with their interests. Alongside some core elements we intend to have some tasks where students can choose to use the Raspberry Pi to complete set tasks or to come up with projects of their own.

I am also currently looking to use Minecraft Pi to get my GCSE Computing group excited about learning Python in preparation for their programming task.

I have also used Sonic Pi at our Y5 induction day and blogged about the results here - http://raspberrywhy.blogspot.co.uk/2014 ... h-y5s.html.

Other than that I have a number of sixth form (16-18) students working on the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) with Raspberry Pi based projects. I have one who I am directly supervising building a cycle computer and several others who are just developing ideas (goal line technology and security systems ate a couple of the ideas). We are also looking at some projects with the STEM club using the Raspberry Pi to monitor Science experiments.

DanielBarker
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:32 am

Last week we brought computational biology to pupils of Forfar Academy, Scotland. It was a voluntary activity for pupils in their penultimate year (S5). For details see this blog:

http://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/biooutr ... academy-pi

We used the same practical classes as for our visit to Kilgraston School in June (see my post above). But this time, instead of us visiting the school, Forfar Academy pupils and two teachers came to visit us at the University of St Andrews.

Both approaches worked very well. One attraction of holding the event at the university is, pupils get an idea of what it's like to be a student here. We used the exact same room and equipment we use for our final-year, optional undergraduate module in bioinformatics. Refreshment breaks were in the nearby Bell Pettigrew Museum (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/museum/bellpettigrew). Like any visit elsewhere, it did involve paperwork for the school teachers. We're grateful for this effort.

If you work at a school within an hour or so drive of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland - and would like to be involved in a similar event, either at the university or at your school - please let me know. We hope to hold some similar events, February-August 2015.

Best regards,

Daniel Barker, db60@st-andrews.ac.uk
http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/staff/db60

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Carrie Anne
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:31 pm

We've written a Raspberry Pi in the Classroom resource for schools to help get started. This will be added to over time and we hope it helps teachers and support staff.

At the foundation, we are always thinking about how we can help support people using Pi in class. Please keep the discussion going as I promise we are paying attention and working on solutions.

DanielBarker
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:24 pm

For anyone interested in teaching and learning computational biology on the Raspberry Pi: we are delighted to announce release 1.2 of 4273pi. Please download it at:

http://eggg.st-andrews.ac.uk/4273pi

This includes material used in the two schools events (Scottish S5 and S6 level) I mentioned above.

Thank you,

Daniel Barker http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/staff/db60

DanielBarker
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Re: Using Raspberry Pi in the classroom

Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:17 pm

4273pi is a resource for teaching and learning computational biology on the Raspberry Pi.

4273pi is now on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1601672893393809/

and Twitter, @4273pi:
https://twitter.com/4273pi

Web site, including download of SD card image or zipfile:
http://eggg.st-andrews.ac.uk/4273pi

Thank you,

Daniel Barker db60@st-andrews.ac.uk

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