Aug 03 2013

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Kid-powered Creativity: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Kid-powered Creativity: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi. Have you heard of it? If not, you are not alone. It's a fairly new. (Read the story about Raspberry Pi here.) It may not look like anything you'd be interested in buying, but here is what you need to know: It propels kid-powered technological creativity.

What is Raspberry Pi?

In short, Raspberry Pi is a inexpensive basic computer. It uses a phone cable for charging and a SD card as its “hard drive.” It can be plugged into a monitor or TV with an HDMI or VGA cables.

What can be done with a Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is, by design, intended to be a technological playground of sorts. Learn the basics of code with Scratch (not just for Raspberry Pi). Design a robot with BrickPi. Surf the web, play basic games, and use other programs usually associated with a computer. (It uses a different operating system than Mac or Windows.) If you do a YouTube search for Raspberry Pi, you will find that young and old are experimenting playing with it in all sorts of ways.

What is needed for a Raspberry Pi?

Other than the Raspberry Pi, it is essential to have the following:

  • a power supply (It uses a regular cell phone charger. Apparently, not all cell phone chargers are equal. I had been using one charger and discovered it was not powering the Raspberry Pi enough to boot. Once I changed out the charger, it worked like magic.)
  • an SD card (We have 2 8 GB SD cards. This is where the operating system will be. It is possible to buy an SD card pre-installed with an operating system, but it is not necessary. RaspberryPi.org gives clear instructions with their NOOBS download–that's what I used.)
  • a Keyboard and mouse (usb)
  • monitor or TV with cables (We are using an unused HD monitor with HDMI to DVI Adapter Cable.)

Not essential, but nice to have:

How did we find out about Raspberry Pi?

I first heard about Raspberry Pi from LifeHacker (Click here for load of ideas.) Then I got to see one. (Thanks J.S.) After that, I was sold. Bear got to see it too. He is a lego master and our resident engineer. I was convinced this would open up a new world for him. After his nod of approval, he received a Raspberry Pi for his 9th birthday.

It sat dormant for a while as we had to get all the other pieces in place. Plus, it took me quite a while to figure out the power problem. This week, I solved it and Raspberry Pi became the newest sensation in our house.

We are still very green, but the excitement level is high. More details on our adventures with Raspberry Pi coming.

Empowered through Raspberry Pi play

Kid-powered creativity is awesome. Kid-powered technology play is sweet too.

Want to help your kids be empowered? They need the time, space, and materials. Learn more about how you can facilitate your child's play (and creative power) better at Pure Play Workshops.

Note: This page contains Amazon affiliate links.


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  1. Jimmy Schappet

    Challenge One: Write a program that takes user input in Scratch.

    Extra points of they can get the Wii remotes to work with the Raspberry Pi

    1. Cheryl Simpson

      That sounds like a great challenge. Have you gotten your Wii remote to connect with the Raspberry Pi?

  2. Jimmy Schappet

    Nope, but it can be done

    1. Cheryl Simpson

      Ah, all the things that can be done. I mentioned it to the boys. The first question: How? My response: Research.

  3. jschappet

    http://pinterest.com/paconsulting/raspberry-pi-nspiration/ — Just for a little more Pi-nspiration

    Any luck with the WIImote?

    1. Cheryl Simpson

      No energy towards that yet. We have one week of homeschooling under our belt. But, I hope we will dig into the Pi more as we get into a school groove.

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