Maker aspirations and inspirations

PiParty was brilliant and another reminder of the strength of community in supporting and inspiring digital makers; experienced makers or those dipping a toe into projects.

Got me reflecting on my own motivations for learning, and learning from others, and took me back to the first ‘YESSSSSSSSS’ traffic light moment as I prepped a course for teachers the following week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And of course a chance to see new lights and hats for project inspirations, and a bag of Blink! to take back home to bling something up!


Quite often new ideas emerge from working with young makers and their teachers in schools, or at community Jam events.

It’s always 2-way, and hearing 6 year olds talking about ‘amazing’ Raspberry Pi and realising some of it’s potential makes the future of digital making look very bright indeed 😀

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sharing learning through digital signage

I’ve been tinkering with this signage project, using Screenly, after a primary school asked for support to extend opportunities to communicate learning and news.

Their fundamental requirement is to share more brilliant learning around the buildings, with a limited budget, and that means using existing screens without adding further network points.

 

Images, links and video work brilliantly with the Raspberry Pi cabled in…..

fullsizerenderfullsizerender-1

Next step to explore wireless capabilities in more detail and boot up again with school proxy settings  – the latter will be fine 🙂

Alexa’s Untold Stories: Voice commands with Raspberry Pi

Intrigued by the opportunities for voice activated reading projects in school, we set to with an Echo hack using Raspberry Pi.

 

Speaker, microphone and Amazon Developer account at the ready, the first tests with ‘rock, paper, scissor’ challenges against Alexa proved insightful.

Multiple terminal windows using Terminator made the set up so much easier for one, and more than a bit of tinkering was needed with the wake word support.

img_1389

Terminator to organise multiple terminal windows

Weekend sports scores, mental maths checks and recipe requests all worked fine although Christmas themed questions were a bit more tricky.

Fact and opinion conversations ensued 🙂

Back to the fundamental aim of getting Alexa reading an Alan Bennett book, then. Many possibilities but not quite with the same diction as my favourite audio book!

What’s next?  Will Alexa have the capacity to become more of an intelligent learning partner in 2017?

More literary projects to develop and general ideas to explore from this great list.

Big thanks to @heeedt and the @HuddRaspJam crowd for supporting and help with original questions!

wsckpi7k1j8upgcnp1sq

Image courtesy of Lifehacker

(Not so) Extreme Computing: Summer Digital Making Challenge

 

  • Flip-flops. Check 😀
  • Sunglasses. Check 👓
  • Summer reading in the bag. Check 📗
  • Suncream and hat. Check 👒
  • Raspberry Pi packed. Check 👝

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’re all set for the Summer season with a holiday coding challenge inspired by extreme reading activities, alongside another project from the maker community.

A conversation about challenges for teens got me thinking at FabLearn Europe, when I heard about this brilliant makerspace in a bag project used by Swedish embassies around the world.

image

The bag in this case is ‘hand luggage sized’ and we’ve taken guidance as criteria from our nearest Yorkshire based airline.

Size is definitely everything in this project case, as all finished digital making designs and builds need to fit within the luggage *

Extreme final designs with extraordinarily large resources aren’t allowed within the rules of this challenge.  Success lies within carefully planned and packed purpose and digital making.

Students involved have access to Raspberry Pi loan kit and add-ons once they’ve created a first draft of their design process.  Then it’s off to the Leeds Riviera or beyond to extend creativity and design-thinking over the break 🙂

 

*That said, security considerations will be shared and we’ll be encouraging students to work on their code, rather than take their digital making equipment with them in hand luggage, if they do travel abroad.

Solving real life problems with Flotilla: Successful pairing of clean socks from the laundry basket

Our Flotilla kit from Pimoroni arrives and the first project is 4-fold:

  1. Check out ‘intuitiveness’ in the usual household fashion of what’s possible in 10 minutes without reading the instructions.
  2. Explore how we can expand IOT possibilities with Raspberry Pi and learn more about inputs/outputs with these new sensors.
  3. Have fun and a bit of mischief (that’ll be me reassigning chores and trying to make them exciting).
  4. Seeing an end to the realisation during work meetings that you’ve put on odd socks in the dark winter mornings.

Set up stage 1: A quick sudo aptget update and upgrade and we’re away:

img_8992

Set up stage 2: An even quicker reboot and we’re connecting and tinkering in Rockpool.

img_8993

Set up stage 3: A few decisions about colour sensors, RGB values and inputs/outputs. And then a quick test to get the ‘colour-o-meter’ working over random moving pets and confectionery wrappers.

 

Set up stage 4: The great sock-o-meter test (actually, the better test will be next week in brightly lit meeting rooms).

The mind wanders….

Bit of an update with another one to come mid-January:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Update: I should’ve remembered that you can’t rush the full beauty of a Christmas amarylllis!  Here it is……..and the truth sensor worked.

PINK, definitely PINK 🙂

FullSizeRender

Ending the year with wearable sparkles

Seems fitting that after a year of deconstructing dance and concentrating on Tim Ferriss’s ‘material over method‘ approach that 2015 ends with final sparkles in the form of wearable tech with Codebug.

And with so many projects focused on inclusivity and participation, it’s been great to see new and emergent collaborations nurtured to share knowledge and projects.


 
Reflecting on Purpose before tech or vice versa this week, I’ve realised that during the year my intentions have differed through defined purposes.  And actually, I’ve probably learnt more about learning through computing with unfinished projects, collaborations and planning possibilities. Very much a personal fascination during MakerEd research observations.

Dance was different; very much so.  Learning analytics supported a focus looking at data to inform and giving me choices to make decisions impacting on my own performance.  Context and environment became the dance mantra when we realised the significance of these factors with my own learning.

Recognising the trip switch in my head that says ‘no more; data & info overload’ proved one of the more valuable tools supporting learning and teaching.  Both styles adapted significantly, on occasions, after becoming dependent on my afternoon’s work activities.  Moreover, repetition as a pedagogical approach finally nailed the spin turn 🙂

Next steps for 2016?

More projects exploring Learning Analytics in a school environment start in January.  If the approach impacted on my performance, then how can it be utilised in a school setting?  Can data, or rather which data (I’m not meaning the 5 A*-C stick), really impact on educational performance?  More so, what about impacting on students’ learning in primary or secondary school environments?  Can it?

Community learning events with Raspberry Jam also continue in Leeds on the first Wednesday in the month. Link here to the  6th January event at Swallow Hill Community College.

IMG_8531

Raspberry Jam in Leeds

And there’ll be more news coming from the MakerEd Leeds research project too, as another school participate and more activities emerge.

Our blog is also live, now : )

ProCollage_image

Getting creative with animation using Sense Hat: Moving Minions

Recently I’ve been tinkering with the Sense Hat on Raspberry Pi, and mostly wearing a Space and STEM ‘themed hat’.

With the Principia Mission fast approaching and opportunities for ‘Space Jam’ activities with students in the diary, it’s been great to find inspiration with the Sense Hat for broader and more creative challenges from Carrie Anne’s ‘Gurl Geek Diaries‘ series.

For the youngest member of our family, the latest video tutorial sparked an initial flash of inspiration which hinted at a Minion animation but developed further.


What resulted was a great exploration through Python with RGB values, loops and fundamentally creative computing with Raspberry Pi.

IMG_8135

Pixel planning

FullSizeRender-1

Minion testing

Previous Older Entries