Projects for Safer Internet Day

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day, which aims to promote the safe use of digital technology for children and young people. The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology, and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club, we’re committed to helping people to learn more about digital making, building a strong and supportive community who use their skills in positive, fun and creative ways.

To celebrate Safer Internet Day in your school, community centre, Code Club, or at home, we’ve created some fun projects that promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

Username Generator

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There are lots of websites and apps that identify you by a username. This username is often visible to others, so it’s important that your username isn’t your real name, and doesn’t include personal information such as your age, year of birth or where you live.

In this project you’ll generate usernames that you can use on websites like Scratch. You’ll be able to save the usernames that you like to a text file, so that you can use them later. You’ll even have the chance to create a profile picture to go with your new username.

Password Generator

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In this project, you’ll learn how to generate random, secure passwords. First, you’ll learn how secure your passwords are, as well as what makes a secure password. You’ll then create a program to generate random passwords, allowing the user to decide how many passwords they want and how long the passwords should be.

Secret Agent Chat

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Our personal data is important and should be kept safe and stored securely if shared online. Many websites use encryption to keep the data they hold private. This project shows you how to use a basic encryption technique, and how unauthorised people may be able to gain access to your encrypted information if you are not careful!

Find out more about Safer Internet Day on their website, which also contains education packs for learners, parents and carers.

New Projects for the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT

We know from our termly volunteer survey that Code Clubs are keen to try some physical computing projects. Whilst we have a range of amazing resources for the Raspberry Pi over at rpf.io/learn, and are in the process of giving away micro:bits to clubs, we also know that lots of clubs don’t have access to physical computing hardware. Therefore, we think Code Clubs will be very excited about our new Raspberry Pi Sense HAT projects.

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The Sense HAT is an add-on board for Raspberry Pi, made especially for the Astro Pi mission – it launched to the International Space Station in December 2015. It includes an 8×8 multi-colour LED display, a 5-button joystick, and sensors for measuring temperature, pressure, humidity, motion and direction. You can find an introduction to the Sense HAT on the Code Club Projects site.

Trinket have developed an awesome online emulator for the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT add-on. We already use Trinket for Code Club’s Python and HTML courses, but this emulator will allow clubs to get a taste of physical computing without needing any equipment.

Any clubs that do have access to a physical Sense HAT can also make use of our new projects, as the same code works on both the online Trinket emulator and the Sense HAT itself.

We have created 3 projects, which use the Python programming language to control the Sense HAT. The projects are:

Countdown TimerIn this project you will use coloured pixels on the Sense HAT to display a countdown timer.

Rainbow PredictorIn this project you will use the temperature and humidity sensors on the Sense HAT to predict when there’s a good chance of spotting a rainbow. When the right conditions are detected you will display a rainbow on the Sense HAT LED display.

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Where’s the Treasure? In this project you will use the joystick and LED display on the Sense HAT to play a memory game. The Sense HAT will display a gold coin, and you have to remember its position, and use the joystick to find the hidden treasure.

Trinket are still working on adding more functionality to the online emulator. Once the emulator is finished (in April), we will release 3 more projects. These will make use of the inbuilt magnetometer and accelerometer to sense the device’s movement and direction.

To get started using our new Sense HAT projects, head over to the Code Club Projects site.

Free online training from Raspberry Pi!

The Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team have been working on a new way for people to learn about digital making: two free online CPD training courses, available anywhere in the world. The courses will run alongside the current live educator training offerings (Picademy, Skycademy and Code Club Teacher Training) and are facilitated by FutureLearn, a leading platform for online educational training. Here’s the lowdown on what you can expect:

Course 1: Teaching Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi and Python

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This 4 week course will introduce you to Physical Computing, showing you how easy it is to create a system that responds to and controls the physical world, using computer programs running on the Raspberry Pi. You’ll apply your newfound knowledge to a series of challenges, including controlling an LED with Python, using a button press to control a circuit, and making a button and LED game.

If you’re a teacher, you’ll also have the chance to develop ideas for using the Raspberry Pi and Python in your classroom, and to connect with a network of other educators.

SIGN UP FOR COURSE 1

Course 2: Teaching Programming in Primary Schools

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This 4 week course will provide a comprehensive introduction to programming, designed for non-subject-specialist primary or K-5 teachers. Over 4 weeks, you’ll be introduced to key programming concepts. You’ll have the chance to apply your understanding of them through projects, both unplugged and on a computer, using Scratch as the programming language. Discover common mistakes and pitfalls and develop strategies to fix them.

SIGN UP FOR COURSE 2

Sign up begins today with the courses themselves starting in mid February 2017. We hope they will inspire a new army of enthusiastic makers around the world!