In the last three posts I have included information that allows for you to get Making in education. I have also emphasized that with Making in the classroom there needs to be an integration with curriculum standards along with those important 21st century skills. That integration really is possible, it just requires some creativity and thinking outside the box. In this post I wish to examine a tool that can get your students Making computational devices. This is a perfect addition to the STEM classroom and could also fit in other areas.
I first remember computer kits when the personal computer age first took off. In fact, a few of you just might remember the Timex Sinclair Computer Kit. In 1982 it sold for $99 and had 2K of memory, used Sinclar Basic, and had a speed of 3.25 MHz. It was in direct competition with the Commodore Vic-20 which would later produce the Commodore 64. It is now 32 years later and there are some amazing opportunities for your students to Tinker with computers. Let me introduce you to Raspberry Pi, it is an awesome tool that can be much more then dessert!
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that can plug into your TV and an existing keyboard. It is a amazing computer which can be used in electronics projects. It can also perform many of the things that a desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. In fact, it can also play high-definition video. It is an amazing tool for students and allows them to learn how computers work, how to manipulate the electronic world around them, and how to program. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a registered educational charity (registration number 1129409) based in the UK. The Foundation’s goal is to advance the education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects. Kits start at under $40 and provide a great opportunity for learning. Check out the links below to learn more about how you can start Making with Raspberry Pi.
- Places to purchase the Raspberry Pi – Raspberry Pi, Adafruit and Amazon or do an internet search for possibilities.
- Raspberry Pi Resources – Some great free opportunities to use the Raspberry Pi to Teach, Learn, and Make.
- Raspberry Pi Organization – Visit this outstanding site with all of its resources. Be sure to watch that front page video. Check out the Downloads, learn from the Community, and interact in the Forums. There is so much to learn. You can also check the Help area and read the current and archived Blogs.
- Raspberry Pi Quick Start – This is part of the organization site… but deserves its own listing. Take a moment to read quick start ideas and also watch the video.
- Raspberry Pi Educational Guide – Check out this direct link to the PDF Guide.
- Instructables Raspberry Pi – Check out some of these awesome Instructables to inspire any Raspberry Pi Project.
- Maker Magazine Raspberry Pi – Great place to find all the information in Makers magazine.
- Learn Raspberry Pi – Learn the “how to” from Adafruit using these lessons.
As you can see, computers have come a long way since 1982. The power and capabilities of the credit card sized Raspberry Pi are remarkable when compared to the room size computers of the past. Best of all, we can put this power and possibilities in the classroom. This invites opportunity that goes beyond what any classroom of even ten years ago may have had. It might be a perfect solution to get your students learning and Making.
I hope you found this information is something you can use in your school and share with other educators. As always , I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration please sign up for21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy Making! – Mike (http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/
cross-posted at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com
Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com.