12 months ago when I was told I was to lead the STEM / Computing charge at school I eagerly bought 12 raspberry pi's, pibrellas and a couple of raspberry pi controlled cars, and we have used them, but not to the extent that I knew (or thought) we should be able to. It wasn't that I didn't know how to do things on a raspberry pi, it was that I needed to have the little bits of knowledge that I did have connected.
This is where Picademy comes in, I knew the Raspberry Pi foundation were running teacher training courses, and a year later (no fault of raspberry pi, just my disorganization) I was on one!
Picademy was awesome! To say it was the best CPD I have ever been on is not an overstatement by any means. There were two key components to both the days, no question is a stupid question and community is integral to innovation. This made all the difference and was created by the excellent Picademy Team.
By the end of the day my brain was melted. So much information in such a short space of time. Everything from minecraft, to physical computing, to python, to sonic pi, and then linking it all together! However, despite my brain now being a puddle on the floor, I learnt a lot, and that new knowledge was there for me to call on in day 2.
Day 2 was the best day in my opinion, after the information overload of day 1, day 2 was putting it into practice. It was the kid in a sweet shop situation all over again. The Picademy Team pointed us in the direction of various boxes of stuff (including Lego and gaffa tape!) and let us loose! It was so much fun! I was working in a group of two, other people worked individually but no one was left by themselves, unsupported. Teachers supported each other, Picademy Team supported, much Googling and looking things up happened, a true collaborative learning experience.
By the end of it all the teachers on the course became Raspberry Pi Certified Educators! I have to confess, I came home on the Friday and immediately added the Certified Educator Logo to the bottom of my work email signature. Next step is take what I've learnt, disseminate it to the rest of the STEM/Computing team at school and start to get the kids excited about innovating, creating and developing using the Raspberry Pi.
Thankyou Picademy team!