Sunday, March 8, 2015

Computing resources part 1: Raspberri pi, Kodu and Makey Makey

Raspberry Pi

I'm not going to pretend to be a Raspberry Pi expert, but I am a fan of it, what others have done with it and its potential. The brilliant Raspberry Pi website tells you everything you need to know and the introductory film is fab. My #DLchat buddy @clcsimon has created resources for this site (the sorting hat) and I know that @MissPhilbin and @eslweb are Pi experts. It's worth checking out their blogs because although they are secondary, some of the resources will transfer to upper KS2, especially with your computing whizzes.

I bought my Pi at a Raspberry Pi teachmeet in Cambridge in 2012, but aside from getting it started and playing around with Scratch on it, I haven't really used it ... We had just purchased our iPads in school and the digital leader energy was focused on that. I'm sure we have some at East Harling, but I am not responsible for the digital leaders there, so I am not sure if they have used them. I shall show mine to my Code Club this year to see what they make of it. Even if we just use it for Scratch, it will be an achievement for them - and an introduction before they go off to high school, where I know @kevin_sait is doing marvellous things with tech.  

For more information or ideas for using your Pi in primary, try Sway Grantham's blog. You can see her digital leaders in action here.


I've blogged about Kodu before, because I think it is one of the best free resources available for KS2 up (though they promote it from age 5 up). The way that you toggle between creating and play is excellent and the potential for creativity enormous. The folk who say that the computing curriculum is dull or doesn't have potential for innovation/imagination (yes, I've read lots of tweets along those lines) are not looking in the right places or are interpreting the curriculum in the right way (in my opinion). With kodu you can take any theme you want and create your world to go with it - I made my own Game of Thrones World! Tutorials are provided and I know that someone with more time than I have could take this to a multi-layered game. The free classroom kit contains lesson plans and activities for teachers to use.  I highly recommend this resource! 

These film clips are what some year 6 children created during their first 'play' with it in 2011. You can see the original post here.

Makey makey

One of my Roydon DLs with Mathieu and his Makey Makey

My digital leaders at Roydon experienced Makey Makey when we went down to London for the Nightzookeeper kidsmeet. Using the kit and some clips you can turn everyday objects into computer touchpads. Genius! You can read about the creators on their blog and find out more about the potential and creativity you can encourage through the Makey Makey. More resources and ideas can be found here.

If you have any more links, please add them via a comment - I'm sure the folk at the Shropshire conference will be grateful!

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