August 7, 2017

RedProCom at Picademy USA

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Below is a guest blog by David Zeledón, a RedProCom leader and ACECEN teacher. With support from EduDeo, David recently attended the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Picademy USA, a 2-day workshop aimed to support educators from around the world as they bring digital making and computing science to their learners.

This trip I attended at Picademy has been a tremendous experience. 40 more educators in which I was part of were celebrating their Raspberry Pi Certified Educator conference at Ann Arbor District Library Downtown, spending two-days of digital making workshops on July 24th and 25th. It has offered me a wonderful way to interact and share to others, opportunities to explore and learn, specially to integrate this technology in a digital making world. I’m still processing all the learning to apply it in the context of Nicaragua, and absolutely in RedProCom, but it is safe to say it was one of the most inspirational conferences I’ve ever had. It has been fun but empowering to wake my passions up to interact in this community of educators.

Both days, I met some inspirational people who have been working in some great projects such the Pi Portable Camera and The Photo Booth. We started spending 30 minutes to take the breakfast and share each other. The first day, the Raspberry Pi Team shared knowledge directly on physical making such us understanding coding using Python to control lights on/off, motion sensors, GPIO pins, how make a camera works with, sense HAT, motors, and Explorer HAT device. After that, we had a brain storming to think how we would apply/explore the RPi.

The second day was so excited to know about some inspirational teachers and makers who showed us great physical projects they’ve done, then we took a couple time with the whole attendances trying to look for similar interests on robots, camera, multimedia, coding projects. I specifically worked with Beth Wallace to build a little box and design a system which take a picture if someone tries to open it; we called it “Do not Open”. We used a camera, buttons, and some extra stuff to build the box, basically we started coding the motion sensor, but it did not work as well as we expected, but it’s part of digital making, try-fail-test, in some point you will have a final project.

In fact, I also spent time with 3 families members of Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, Dave Stienstra connected me with the Mission Team at CRC. Teressa and her husband Don Streng gave me hosting at their house, I also was invited for dinner with 2 wonderful families (Nom&Barb Fichtenberg, Harvey&Audry Stob), it was an honor to visit and share them about my rol in Nicaragua.

I’ve been reflecting in “Teacher Makers Lead to Student Makers”, this short expression, but powerful has given a lot of thoughts to answer What’s next step?, so I’m looking forward and can’t wait to share this to my partners in RedProCom, and also in the public community of educators, we have to inspire them not only in the way of technology but also in a Christian perspective. I know there are many challenges to face in education, but it is my hope that all I have to share will help to equip and inspire teachers in Nicaragua. 

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