I remember ordering my own Raspberry Pi. when they were first announced. This credit-card sized computer was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to help teach computer science in schools. The computer arrived at a time when I was in the middle of some other projects and I let a friend borrow and never got to play with my new toy.
Well this month I learned three new reasons to order another Raspbery Pi.
1) While visiting the GeekBus in San Antonio I was inspired by how Mark Barnett has equipped the bus with a flexible computer lab created with very portable Raspberry Pi stations. He even tipped me off about the newly released Raspbery PI 2 which is even more powerful than the original $35 model.
2) During my GeekBus tour I was introduced to the KANO operating system for the Raspbery Pi which included some super cool ways for kids to CODE using Minecraft. Not only can kids use a SCRATCH LIKE interface, the the interface actually shows them the CODE they are building as "real code" beneath their building blocks. As if building in Minecraft was not cool enough! This is triple cool and is the perfect way to lead Minecraft builder into coders.
3) Along with a free open source OS, Kano offers a super cool Build Your Own computer kit complete with instructions and a Raspbery Pi that were written for a 7 year old. How cool is that!
After watching this young lady put her kit together, I was so inspired. She made it look so accessible. I immediately started browsing the Raspberry Pi sites to learn more about the Rasperry Pi accessories.
The big question being - was WHY buy the kit! Why not go out and buy the $35 Raspbery PI and related accessories.
And then it occurred to me... the #1 reason that I was even scouring the web for information about raspberry pi and related components on this rainy day was that this KIT made the Raspberry Pi feel accessible ~ the color-code parts, the readability of the manual, the stickers, and the young lady in the video demo.
MOTIVATION is the number 1 ingredient to a successful learning experience.
(My Geekbus demo visit provided me with high motivation to revisit the Raspberry Pi)
ACCESSIBILITY is number 2 ingredient in my book.
(The KIT made the Raspberry PI feel so accessible it increased my motivation)
These two ingredients are the perfect combination of ingredient to BUILD CONFIDENCE that can launch any emerging geekgirl (or geekguy) onto a journey of learning of high tech learning.
MOTIVATION + ACCESSIBILITY + CONFIDENCE = HIGH LEVEL HANDS ON MINDS ON FUN LEARNING
I did the math. There is probably $100 worth of parts in that kit. So basically you'd be paying less than $50 for a shot of confidence created by the motivation and accessibility that this kit would build. That settled it. I immediately called my grandson and scheduled our next Play date!