Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hey! Year 10, this is a Raspberry Pi...

So, after a few weeks of playing around with my Raspberry Pi I had promised my Year 10 and Sixth Form that we would do something a little different in the last couple of weeks. Today, I took the plunge and not only ran 10 Raspberry Pis in class with my Year 10s, but also had my Head of Department do a lesson observation on it! My thinking was that I might as well go all in!

The lesson did require a little bit of preparation in terms of getting all the SD cards to have everything I would need on them, so a bit of time was spent making a nice image and then putting it onto the 10 cards, and testing the odd one just to make sure they would work.

I decided it might be a good idea to check the Raspberry Pi boxes to make sure that each one had a Pi (obviously!), SD card, Power cable, HDMI cable. At the end of the tally, I was two Pis short and 3 power supplies down - a cold sweat broke out! After searching the department all but one set was found, and it was discovered it had been borrowed by another teacher to work on at home, a quick scramble of bits and pieces and we had the 10 I needed for my lesson.

The lesson began....

A quick show of hands showed that most of Year 10s had not heard of or seen a Raspberry Pi, which I was a little surprised about. One swift introduction into what a Raspberry Pi is and what it could be used for and we were off, the students piecing together their kit and getting it booted up. After getting the students to save a python file in the correct location they were off, looking at the different programs and working out how they could adapt them to do something else.

By the end of the lesson, all students had managed to get a program to run (and one pair had managed to overwrite the file!) in Minecraft Pi and worked out what the Flower Path program did, which then became lava paths, sand paths you name it. I was surprised how well the students managed to get my room back into some sort of order, and everything packed away in one piece. At the end I could not believe how many had questions about what you could do with a Pi and if we would use they again next year - how could I say no to that much interest? So roll on next year for the Year 10 (to be Year 11) adventures in Raspberry Pi and roll on tomorrow for the Sixth Form getting a go!

And after all of that my Head of Department was really impressed at how well it went, and what the students managed to learn and produce!

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