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Oh My! Oh Pi! PiCademy Reflection

Raspberry Picademy - Photo by Eureka McCormick
Raspberry Picademy event. Photo by Eureka McCormick

This article was originally posted on Eureka’s ArtTech K-5 Leaders in Learning Blog

We all have done it. We’ve all had to apply to admission to our favorite college. You fill out those forms. You check the mailbox every day anxiously waiting for that notification. Finally, the response arrives! You open that envelope hands nervous while wondering are you accepted or is it a letter of rejection. I checked my email and there was my letter of acceptance! I’m going to Raspberry Picademy!

I wanted to share with the world so of course, I hopped on Twitter and Instagram! I read the email several times just to make sure that it stated that I was accepted. I immediately began to brush up on my coding skills. I worked on the Python lessons on Codecademy.


Eureka McCormick photo taken by Raspberry Pi.
Eureka McCormick photo taken by Raspberry Pi.

The meaning of cohort is a group of people banded together or treated as a group. At Picademy, we indeed became cohorts. We were encouraged to collaborate. We were encouraged to help each other. I like this about Picademy. The fun had begun! All forty of us were ready! As we were going through the different training lessons you could hear people exclaiming, “I did it! I did it!” Of course, everyone wanted that taste of success. That excitement drives you to succeed, not to mention this was a ton of fun! My favorite coding moment was when I wrote my first lines of code to program the Raspberry Pi to take my selfie. I had a grumpy look on my face because I was at that frustration point where I thought I had an error in my program, but then it snapped my pic.

What did I learn?
I learned that learning and making with Raspberry Pi is lots of fun.

Yes, it is fun, but how can I use Raspberry Pi with students?
As an educator I asked myself, how I could I use this tool to motivate my students to learn to code Raspberry Pi. When students are curious I find that they seek to explore and learn. Imagine encouraging students to take control of their learning. As a launch, to hook my students into becoming curious about Raspberry Pi students will explore the camera.  Everyone loves to take selfies. Everyone loves to take pictures.Students will take selfies with their created works of art (I teach art and technology). Students could place these pictures on their own website or perhaps they could program their Raspberry Pi to tweet out the pictures. This would certainly build my students’ computational thinking skills. To further engage students to learn and make, students will utilize the free resources that are located on the Raspberry Pi website.

Reflections: The Phenomenal Experience

Selfie pic with other at the Raspberry Picademy taken by Eureka McCormick.
Selfie pic photo by Eureka McCormick.

I experienced the failures and successes of trying ideas while at Picademy. This had reaffirmed my belief that all students need to experience failures and successes when exploring new ideas. It is a vital part of the learning process! Part of the learning process with coding that I noticed while at Picademy is that when failures happened it pushed everyone to keep exploring because we wanted to succeed and figure out why it didn’t work and how can to “fix” it in order to be successful! Students will explore coding with Raspberry Pi by making and rethinking their ideas through collaboration and exploration. These are key components to their growth and learning! Raspberry Pi will spark my students into exploring their ideas by making and learning. The experience will the inevitably lead  to moments of failure but these failures will propel them forward to succeed!

The only thing that I can think of that I would change about my Raspberry Pi experience is that it should happen for more than just two days. Two days was just not enough. It was just enough to hook us into wanting more, which is a good thing because if we wanted more then you can imagine how students are going to feel once they have tried Raspberry Pi! Oh my! Oh Pi!

For more photos of Eureka’s experience visit her ArtTech K-5 Leaders in Learning Blog.


Eureka McCormick, M.Ed.(@techk5teacher): Eureka is an Art/Technology teacher for grades kindergarten through fifth grade at two elementary schools. She is also a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. Eureka has led and co-facilitated several professional development sessions about technology to teachers.