This is a shout to Tommy, Jordan and Paul,
Thank you SO much for your help. This was a new experience for me. our school created a mini elective class for our 5th graders. it meets 4 days/week for 40 min. my focus was on tech/science and my principal really wanted me to try using piper kits with the kids. So without any training in computer sci I began by assembling a piper kit on my own to learn how I would introduce this to my class of 18 students. At the time I had the raspberry pi 2 with the WIFI. dongle.
We ordered 2 classroom kits of 4 and 1 single so we’d have 9 (2 students/piper). the kits had been upgraded to Raspberry pi 3 by this time so I had more learning to do All I can say is it was a blast for all! There were times I was frustrated because of my lack of knowledge in this area. However Tommy was a great help in those very days. He was especially helpful when I had to troubleshoot a raspberry pi and help me dicover I needed a new motherboard and SD card.
Because our time was so short, I use Monday as an engineering meeting (after consulting with an engineer parent). Each student had a journal and we discussed what our goal should be for the week. Each pair of students set goals and a timeline for the week. then Tuesday thru Thursday I let them work independently, serving only as guide or a tech if they needed some help with program glitches that would arise. the following Monday the team would meet and answer two questions. What went well? explain in detail. What went wrong and what is your plan to solve the problem? They team would set a new weekly goal and plan for the week. This turned out to be a great week to see how a pair could /could not communicate.
During the course of the class. the kids learned SO much and the kids loved updating their computer and finding a new level. By the end of our time with the piper. a new version had come out (1.0.6) and our kids had trouble downloading the update. Jordan cam to the aid and helped troubleshoot thru back and forth screenshots (Thanks Jordan!) as well as Paul who walked me thru line by line what I needed to type in the terminal window to down load the latest version (Jessie). With everyone’s help I learned my school’ WIFI was a little glitchy, so I hard wired each raspberry pi3 and that made updating a piece of cake. Thank you Paul!
The lessons that have been developed have also been a great help. The tear down power point was very helpful. The students had to take notes in their journals so they could refer back in case they needed help with the protocol for disassembly. The team evaluation and self reflection surveys were a great help for me to see how the teams really felt about their our work and their teammate. The results were very accurate to the actual behavior observed.
The students were fully engaged and unexpected leaders arose during the unit. Several girls stood otu as some of the best troubleshooters and resident ‘experts’ for different problems. Collaboration also grew during the course of the unit and by the end students were eager to help each other regardless of gender and that I really enjoyed; especially when a male asked a female for help and both worked together with respect.
my pipers are all updated with the latest version and ready for my next group of builders. Thank you all again for the support you have provided. I’m looking forward to what I learn in January with group 2!
Teacher, San Jose CA.