Thursday, 22 October 2015

Scratch to build confidence

Long time no blog!

So I've been wanting to get my pupils using physical computing for a while now. Some have been doing it, but others have been unwilling to engage / point blank refusing. I put this down to them being anxious because they've never seen it before, and therefore the think they will fail etc etc (the joys of teaching pupils who self confidence is so low trial and error is not a valid learning technique).

Enter scratch - an easy to use, colour coded graphical programming system that works with the raspberry pi GPIO! However, whilst a lot of the scratch resources out there were good, for my pupils with low reading ages (or unable to read at all), the heavy text content meant they would be out the window in seconds. So, I set about making a series of guide, which could be followed independently or in a group, with minimal text and maximum diagrams, and here they are.

Feel free to use and adjust, like all things it's under creative commons license :)

Have they worked? Yes - all my pupils have coded GPIO in scratch. A weakness? Not enough extension for the top end pupils. See what you make of them, all comments welcome!

Update - Raspbian Jessie contains a new updated version of scratch with yet more GPIO support, for more details click here