Shakespeare Rocks!

We’ve been using a Y6 creative programme to link programming with literacy through digital making.

Songs to code to alongside insults to sling!

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A Shakespearean school production gave the impetus to manipulate lists of data in a CSV format using Python to build a random insult generator.

Fab resource link from the Raspberry Pi Foundation below, and intuitive enough for groups to follow.

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Click to launch the resource from RaspberryPi.org

Bit of a favourite:

“You beslubbering earth-vexing canker-blossom”

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Shakespeare rocked so much that we used it for the workshop at Leeds Raspberry Jam in June.

More insults in the digital making 😂

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Getting started with #AIYProjects

I finally got around to finishing this #AIY project build after completing ‘start to cardboard box’ with Jr in an hour on the first day : )

Another awesome edition of The MagPi for ideas and inspiration to expand our portfolio of project successes (and, of course, failures).

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Loved how intuitive the project instructions were from the paper copy and this link for burning the right SD image.

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So we’ve done the maths, pitted our wits with rapid fire calculations, heard the worst and best jokes and looked into AI with an Election 2017 focus.

Some areas needing more work than others……

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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.

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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 😀

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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…..

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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.

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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!

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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 👝

 

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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.

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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:

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

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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:

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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 🙂

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