This term I’m going to a few weeks of Raspberry Pi activities with my Yr 5-6 CodeClub. They all really enjoyed the physical computing aspects of the DIY Gamer project from last term and asked to do more hardware-related stuff.
Thanks to various donations and competition wins, and by raiding the family collection, I now have enough Pis for 10 children. I tested the school Computing Suite infrastructure with and end-of term Pi Minecraft edition session (with the younger CodeClub) before the holidays so I’m reasonable confident that I have everything I need.
I’d like the Pis to all run the latest Raspbian UI, but that will mean updating all the SD cards I burned in December. I could just lets the children do the update during the session, but to be honest, watching apt-get upgrade running is not that much fun or all that informative (I’ll get them to perform some updates, but I don’t want them to have to wait for a whole load of packages to install).
When I burned the cards before Xmas, I just used a single USB reader/writer, doing all 10 over the course of a few days using dd. Invariably it took longer than necessary because I’d leave one copying job running and then forget about it. It seemed like the whole process was ripe for automation, so I purchased a couple more cheap readers/writers from eBay and dug out my USB hub.
Because I have some full size SD cards and some micro SD cards (with adapters to allow use in model Bs), I have two reader/writers for each size of card.
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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.