Schools coming together to explore the roles of Digital Leaders #WRISTDigLead 

Yesterday 5 of our Digital Leaders attended the first ever WRIST Digital Leaders Conference. This involved 8 schools coming together and sharing ideas on the role of being a Digital Leader. Each school had something different to offer making the event varied and exciting. The event was split into two sessions allowing each group to split in half. One half would demo or present while the other half looked around, after the end of the first session, they swapped over. 

So what did we take I hear you ask? It was more a case of what didn’t we take! 

 We had put a lot of thought into what works well in a primary school, what is simple to use and what has plenty of online resources for lessons. So here is the list;

Codebug – George demonstrated a Full fruit/veg keyboard. The fruit conducts electricity while you hold one end of a croc clip and press a fruit with the other end, this then scrolled the name of the fruit. This works by coding the Codebug to assign the name of the fruit that is attached to a particular leg number. 

 Sonic Pi – using a netbook Noah Banged out some awesome tunes and Elise treated us to a little live coding. People were able to have a go themselves by taking part in our guess the tune workshop. We showed Sonic Pi on windows so that people could see that their was no cost involved in buying extra equipment it could simply be downloaded on any computer. It is safe to say this was a big hit. 

CamJam EduKit- Josh showed us his breadboard skills using the CamJam EduKit 1. He showed us how to code in Morse Code and say Hello. After this he talked us through his traffic light sequence explaining why we used resistors, how to tell the difference between the negative and positive leg of an LED and how the grid of the breadboard worked. Josh coded using EduPython which is a great stepping stone to using the GPIOZERO worksheets. These were no ordinary traffic lights though they were Jelly Baby Traffic Lights. 

 Raspberry Pi & Pibrella- William showed a very impressive solar system that 2 of the year 5 children did as part of their topic earlier this year. Attached on top of the Raspberry Pi was a Pibrella which allows you to very simply control lights, buzzers, switches and motors. William used a project code that Carrie Anne Philbin used in her Digital Garden project but instead of spinning flowers he spun planets. 

Last but not least was Elise with the Astro Pi Sense Hat on a Raspberry Pi. After explaining that Major Tim Peake was currently running projects with these in space she showed how easy it was to collect information like temperature and humidity. Then she made use of the accelerometer and showed us her pixel pet – hot dog when you shake the Pi it reads the temperature then the dog sweats if it’s hot. Finally Elise showed how the sense hat could interact with Minecraft, needless to say there was a fairly big queue to have a go at creating a physical Minecraft world. 

 What was great to see at this event was how enthusiastically the Digital Leaders talked with each other. Let’s hope this is the first of many more events like this. 

This week at Pi Club we had a visitor from one of the other local primary schools who had been at the conference yesterday. He was a willing guinea pig for us as we were trying out a workshop that we are running next month at The CAS Diverserty Conference. Well Done Mr Costas Walker you did great! 

24th May 2016.