Project Planning

Today we looked at breaking down the ideas learners had for what they wanted to do with the Pis into SMART targets.

We’ve looked at SMART targets before as all learners do the Improve Own learning and Performance Key Skill, but most needed to refresh their memory with a quick Google to remember the acronym!

I modelled the process first with a project I fancy having a crack at, and we started working on a collaborative Google doc.  Unfortunately although some learners are used to working this way and ready to contribute, a certain amount of silliness did set in with some at the realisation they could tamper with each other’s work.  When this didn’t subside in reasonable time and after a warning or two, we decided to have everyone download their own copy to work on and merge them back later.  This was more timeconsuming and we’ll have to work on self discipline during collaborative tasks as we go on!  Increasingly Google Docs is being used in the workplace and we’d be in a fine old state if the staff all decided to sabotage, rather than improve, each other’s contributions!

It did demonstrate how much of a learning curve there will be and how much targets breakdown needs to be practiced and reinforced.

Some very interesting ideas coming out of it too!

First workshop

A few inital hiccups (Moodle ones not Pi ones again!) when the open guest access meant registered learners too were deposited in the course without enrolling.   Sorted temporarily during the day by turning off guest access.  On again now, but learners will have to manually enroll from a link at the side rather than being prompted.

As discussed here we went through some aims and objective.  Interesting to see where the learners priorities did and didn’t match ours!  (The bid objectives tallied up but their assessment of what they wanted to learn and what we thought they needed to learn were rather further removed!

ITeC’s Aims

Our Cross-curricula requirements to get the Welsh economy and culture involved in everything we do is still proving a challenge to get learners to fully take on board.  Surprisingly they don’t prioritise awareness of the job market either – we definitely need to work on that!

Skills The Project will Need

The research and self study skills which have been a concern to the staff in the past still are not seen as a priority either.  I wonder if it’s because they think they are already good?  And how they’re defining ‘good’ – any of you out there care to comment? 😉

Most learners engaged well with the activities although I think we’ll add more direction to what we mean when we say have a god and tell us what you think!”  They have had very little practice in using different applications and systems and comparing the advantages and disadvantages – probably comes of always having been told “Use this””

We watched the following video.  Probably it’s more aimed at tutors, but we keep saying this is, in effect an adult programme and this is the level of learning that their CPD is going to need in an IT world.  Part of the Moodle course involved summarising the aims as stated in the video and everyone got the gist.

The cloze exercise for the background reading working well, prompting lots of discussion and some unexpected literacy work as we discussed how we could get clues from whether the sentence meant the gaps needed a singular or plural answer!  I’ll definitely use that again!

For the practical part we had two Pis (one a learner’s own) between 8 so had a two small groups working on the Pis and a third using live USB boots to try out Linux itself.

There’s some more writing to be done on the wiki but overall it went well.

Raspberry PI achivements and news

Raspberry Pi won another award for innovation of the year at stuff gadgets 2012, which I think is great as Raspberry Pi lets the users do  so much which lets them use their own innovation.

Picade is using Raspberry Pi to create a mini desktop arcade game, with a real joy stick and buttons with a solid carbonate case. I think this is great as people can play classic games such a Pac-Man on a classic arcade style platform.

Raspberry Pi is being used in schools using censors monitors and lights including programming, and also students are enjoying using Raspberry Pi’s. I think this is a good idea to use them in schools as students can learn different things such as programming.