The librarians were from schools around Sydney, brought together by the School Library Association to meet with makers from Ozberryi. You might be asking yourself: Why librarians? Well one answer could be that librarians are a group who can see the writing on the wall for what is seen as their traditional role. But in my experience librarians tend to be early adopters and have a far more wide-ranging view of the role of technology in education than many other groups. Perhaps this derives from the fact that librarians have seen their role change so much over the last few years. In any case I’ve generally found librarians to be very accommodating of new ideas and this group in particular were engaged and enthusiastic.
They all seemed to have enormous fun creating and controlling their first circuits with a Raspberry Pi, but that wasn’t the inspirational part for me (I’m still not entirely sold on the Raspberry Pi). What I loved was the way some of them immediately leapt to seeing ways they could incorporate technology into their curriculum. One plan hatched on the evening was to use the Pi to measure air quality and several different schools and then mirror that data in a Minecraft environment. There’s science, collaboration, geography, technology and fun in one exciting package.
The thing that’s going to get programming and technology into the school environment, where it should be, is enthusiastic teachers like this understanding that it is not only a stand-alone goal but a way of enabling whole new ways of meeting other curriculum outcomes.
The kids who go to schools with educational leaders like the people I met last night are very lucky. They’re set to have a lot of fun and learn so much over the coming months and years.