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Raspberry Pi

Callum got a Raspberry Pi late last year (just before Christmas – I’m not sure if Santa would have been tech savvy enough to get him one of those). So far it’s been a lot of fun to play with.

Raspberry Pi

Computer programming for kids

The Raspberry Pi was designed for children learning how to computer program, something that Callum himself has been itching to do. It’s been hard to find something to help him learn programming that is neither too easy nor too difficult for him to tackle. It seems that most computer programming lessons come in two varieties. One is for adults, with more difficult concepts tackled relatively early on (such as arrays, stacks, queues, and memory management). The other is for young children, where colorful boxes represent if…then loops, variables, and commands (usually for moving images across the screen a set distance). There are few ways to teach programming to kids that involves actual programming.

Youth Digital

One course that Callum enjoyed was a course offered by Youth Digital called Mod Design 1. This course got students modding the game of Minecraft by actually going into the code and modifying objects in Java. Callum really got into creating his own biomes, mobs, tools, and weapons. He completed the whole course, and is hoping that Youth Digital releases a Mod Design 2 course soon. Meanwhile, Mia and Callum both have been working on the App Design 1 course, while Mia has also been learning Inkscape by taking the Fashion Design 1 course.

The Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a $35 computer that originated in Britain and is popular with tech hobbyists. For $35 you get a lot of computer! Though at times it can be relatively slow-processing.

The Raspberry Pi can run six different operating systems, mostly Linux flavored. Callum set his up to run Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi’s version of the Debian Linux distro. As Debian was my favorite flavor of Linux when I worked at the Medical University of South Carolina, I’m glad to see him going in this direction. He’s already been learning a variety of Linux commands to help him navigate his system.

I’m looking forward to seeing what new things Callum will accomplish with his Raspberry Pi.


Leave a comment
  1. Deb
    05. Jan, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Mason is doing some programming activities on Khan Academy. I’m not sure if Callum has checked those out (he may be too advanced for that now).

    • Brian Crawford
      05. Jan, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

      We haven’t looked into Khan Academy; I will do that with Callum and see if there is anything on there that interests him. Thanks very much for the tip! I hope you and yours are doing wonderfully in Tbilisi.

  2. Diane
    15. Jan, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I was checking out your website. I want to say thank you so much for posting this! My son is huge into computers & art (and of course, all things Minecraft!) I’ve been struggling to find some type of direction to get him on the right track in this area. I will definitely check out Youth Digital (as well as Khan Academy). This really gives me hope. Thanks again! 🙂

    • Brian Crawford
      15. Jan, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

      Thanks so much. I am pleased to hear it! If your son is anything like ours, he will love coding his own mods in Minecraft. Ours created a series of tools and weapons with special abilities, using his own graphic designs. It was fun and educational.

      Good luck, and let me know how it goes if you get a chance.

  3. Meg at Youth Digital
    30. Jan, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    So glad he enjoyed MD1! We can’t wait to see how the apps and fashion portfolio come out.

    • Brian Crawford
      02. Feb, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Thank you very much Meg! I appreciate it. So far it’s been really fun.

  4. Guy
    12. Mar, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m curious as to how you got the Youth Digital Mod Design to work on the Debian distro since they give no love to Linux.

    • Brian Crawford
      12. Mar, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

      Hey, the part about the Mod Design was unrelated to the Raspberry Pi… he completed the Mod Design course on a Windows machine. That said, I agree that it would be a good idea to offer some coding packages for kids for the Raspberry Pi (and Linux in general).

  5. v k jain
    20. May, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    Dear Mr. Brian,

    Thanks for educating on PMP certification. I have 9 years of experience in steel plant consultancy. completed BE Mechanical in 2006 and PGDBA operation in 2011. presently i am working as Sr. Manager Mechanical Projects for steel plant. So can you please suggest that it will be beneficial for me or not.

    • Brian Crawford
      24. Nov, 2015 at 1:13 am #

      Hi VK,

      I am not too certain about the steel plant industry, and how PMP certification can help you in your career at your plant. But I do think that knowledge of proper project management practices can help anyone in their career, and PMP certification couldn’t hurt.

      I would recommend talking to your Human Resources contact about the benefits of possible PMP certification. Your HR department would know what sorts of skills they look for when they hire people on.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  6. Misha
    21. May, 2015 at 5:09 am #

    Sounds like a great way to get kids interested in coding. 🙂

    • Brian Crawford
      19. Jul, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

      Thanks very much for your feedback Misha – I really appreciate it! I would definitely like to see kids starting to code at younger ages, and getting interested in different technologies.

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