Last night I had the privilege of attending a workshop designed to show interested parties how to set up their own Raspberry Jam.
If you haven’t heard of the Raspberry Pi, and by association, the social activity around that small computer, then start here with this film.
A group of interested people from different disciplines and professions gathered at Mozilla HQ, London, to flesh out how to run one of these events led by the ubiquitous Alan O’Donohoe (@teknoteacher).
Alan’s Powerpoint for his talk can be downloaded here.
HOW TO “READ” THE FILM QUICKLY
The initial part of the meeting was 45 minutes. No-one has time to sit through a 45 minute film of a meeting.
So I have marked some of the initial concerns and questions people brought to the meeting in red text laid over the film – if you download it or let it download in the browser, you can “scrub” back and forth to see the discussions around the main points. Some parts of the video stopped and became “blocky” for about 2 minutes but the sound held up. This is an edit of the live video stream I did on the evening. At one point the video light fell off in case you are wondering :).
WHY I DO THIS
This is part of an ongoing set of Live Video Outside Broadcast Streams of events to do with Teacher / Other professional meetups in the capital and beyond. I’m interested in documenting where formal meets informal education and the social aspects around the increased activity in this area, and how aspects of such activity can be brought back into the classroom where appropriate.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL ACTIVITY
Because of the rise of social media and the amazing amount of resources and expertise out there, people are reaching out to work together across disciplines and make things happen in education that were not possible before. For example STEMnet and UKIE are beginning to use “Ambassadors” to go into schools to work on projects that highlight Ambassadors’ own life experience roles in the world of work – I am witnessing on a regular basis a rise in these bridges out into the “real world” with all its challenges.
I’m fascinated how social media manages to help drive and facilitate face to face activity where educators, families and children can come together to learn in a more informal atmosphere without the pressures that may or may not exist in schools and institutions.
For me, at any rate, this appears to provide the enrichment that seems to be draining out of the education system at present…
The film only documents the intitial meetup and questions, elicitations and roadmap. What was even more interesting, in many ways, was the conversation afterwards when people came together from the world of Engineering, Museums, FE, Primary Schools and Computing Departments in Universities; each person had an interesting perspective on how to take social meetups forward and how to get people from different academic, scientific and educational worlds to give each other appropriate help within the social activities around the Raspberry Pi and other equipment. The accent was definitely on the process of how people could come together and trade expertise around planning and the mechanics of putting that planning and expertise into practice when organising an event.
It is people like Alan O’Donohoe, who are managing to facilitate social change in the world of education in positive and constructive ways – politicians and Ofsted inspectors take note. This kind of activity needs to be documented and it needs to be disseminated as something to be considered by anyone who wants to put on a community event of any kind. What’s more a Raspberry Jam is almost always a fun day out for all the family.
A TV STATION FOR TEACHERS
When the L4LTV CPD Station launches in a couple of weeks this is one of the films that will be pointed to as an example of activity in Computing outside of the more formal school day.
There will also be a “shorter” series of films on all aspects of self-directed teacher CDP in all areas of the curriculum. These instances will be documented in a 26 week season that will help highlight different aspects of practice that I consider worth filming – it is hoped they will make people reflect on their practice no matter what their views on different pedagogies and the efficacy of those strategies for teaching within the context of a more formalised exam-driven education system.
I will also be going outside of the school walls to document and show other allied associations involved in similar processes and change and will be trying to join up the dots in terms of what might be taking place in these small pockets of cultural activity, as I see it, in these areas.
I hope that it might help you to make a variety of considered choices about the new curricula and practice emerging from the miasmal mist at the moment and to see how other people are beginning to approach tackling the challenge of change – together. In these times they are difficult to spot – that is why I go out of my way to film them.
THE BEST RESOURCE
Your best resource is other people – take the extra step and contact them on Twitter or through other means to meet up and arrange ways in which you can develop your practice in your specific areas of expertise.
Please share this information, and film, as widely as you can, if it is of interest to you.