We set off to explore the desktop, which includes a web browser and the XBMC open source media player.
We were impressed that this tiny machine could play out an HD movie, but after checking out the first minute or so of Big Buck Bunny, the cartoon that comes loaded on the SD card, we remembered the real function of the
Raspberry Pi, teaching the joys of coding.
There are two programming languages available to try on the Pi: Scratch and Python.
Scratch is designed to introduce younger children to programming, and is already used in a number of primary schools. Isabell found a demo racing car game, and showed me how simple it would be for children to change instructions in the program.
Next, we found the Python folder, aimed at slightly older students.
It came with a selection of games – the idea is you play them, then tinker with the code. We tried one, it froze, we then tried a number of keyboard commands to force it to quit, but nothing happened, so we had to reboot.
Then, after a bit of exploration, Isabell opened a Python window and tried out a line of code.
She typed in ‘print “Hello!”‘, pressed return, and, lo and behold, the computer said “hello” back. One small step for coding…
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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