Thursday, 22 August 2019

Microbit with Minecraft adventures

I will be creating a series of new resources over the next 6-8 months focused on learning CS using the Micro:bit in combination with Minecraft. The plan is to build up from the basics into more advanced topics. 

Challenge one: "Variable hunter"

Challenge two: "Selection blocks" 

Challenge three: "Steve-Nav"

Challenge four: "What an array of blocks"

Challenge five: "Going loopy while loops"

Challenge six: "Going loopy for loops"  

Challenge seven: "2D arrays pixel art"

I'm sure this will change completely but that's all part of the fun :)


Monday, 1 July 2019

Thanks the dish best served........

The aim of this blog is to give a small token of thanks to Alan O'Donohoe. I could write a heck of a lot about how helpful he has been over the past few years to me. From the podcast link, to the Raspberry Jams, the empowerment through pertinent and timely advice. He is a legend but here is what other people had to say .............

"In 2013 Alan introduced me to the Python community in the UK via PyCon UK. This started my career writing Python code for projects in publications across the world. Alan's tenacity and enthusiasm are infectious and are a continuous source of drive for us all."

Rachel Lancaster

"I love everything about Alan. From his flamboyant shirts, to his infectious character. If I ever need advice then I know that I can simply ask Alan. I think I first met Alan whilst working at CPC maybe 5 years ago, but since then, I’ve attended many events alongside him, and we run Raspberry Jams together. Alan never fails to amaze me. He really knows his stuff and he leaves a lasting impression wherever he goes. Alan. I salute you."

 "Alan is a good friend and a very inspirational character. I first met Alan at Preston Raspberry Jam back in September 2015 and he was amazed by a small project that I had made. He then enthusiastically created a YouTube video about it. Since then Alan has supported me with planning talks and sessions, as well as helping me with my GCSE examinations."

"Alan has helped me by providing opportunities to meet others interested in computing in schools e.g. the monthly science museum get together. His friendliness has always made me feel included

"Well, Alan started me off in the tech space so I have a lot to thank him for. If it wasn't for the Jams and the people who he connected me with, nothing that I have done in the past 6 years would have happened and it's the same story for a lot of people. Our community all comes back to Alan starting a small jam in Preston, ultimately."

Josh Lowe's dad Dave

"Joshua’s mum and I own Alan so much. When josh was 8 years old he was really starting to get into tech and coding and we had no idea what to do to help him. Lara started to look on line to see what groups there were out there. She came across the Preston Raspberry Jam and we took Josh along to see what it was all about. At the jam we met Alan and told him all about Josh and the problems that we were facing. That night changed our families lives forever. Alan put us in contact with people like Les Pounder, Chris Dell and Jason Meares. These people have helped to shape and nurture Josh into the young man he is today. Through Preston Raspberry Jam Josh has acquired the skills to do talks and presentations and of course it was the birth place of EduBlocks. We will be forever indebted to Alan and can not thank him enough for all that he has done for Josh."

"Alan was always a friendly, knowledgeable and inspiring supporter on Twitter, sharing computing resources, tips and teaching techniques. I have had the pleasure over the years to work with him. He has an ability to develop while still empowering you. He truly is an enabler, bringing out the best in others. Alan is kind, funny, smart and has made a real difference to Computing at both the educational level and the human level. His can also pull off the coolest shirts."

"I can't recall the first time I met Alan, I think we had chatted online many times before actually meeting up... Alan has always been really supportive of me through Exabytes and I remember meeting with him at BETT one year where he sat me down with a coffee and gave me some the best advice I have ever had about running the Hull Raspberry Jam (I am still working on implementing what he told me!)..."

"6 years ago I went to Manchester to the first Jamboree and met this larger than life character. Without really being asked I ended up volunteering at the event. Alan showed me the true value of community and how so much can be achieved with the enthusiasm and backing of like minded people. I have run numerous events since (not all Raspberry Pi or technology) and the lessons I learnt from Alan in Manchester still ring true today."

"Full ideas and sage words of wisdom. Helped me think though a lot of ideas and given me great advice. He has infectious enthusiasm. "

"He is THE loveliest of people. I was just saying how highly esteemed he is in my eyes :-) Well. If ever anyone in education was worthy of receiving an MBE then its Alan."

I think thanks is a dish best served communally.

Cya :)

Exabytes 2019: Micro:bits and Minecraft

During #Exabytes19 I ran a session on using Micro:bits with Minecraft. All the demos are included in the zip file below:

Link to zip file: here

They are all pulled from the BitIO blogs which you can access here. To make it easier to plug and play with the demo's I have put 10 of them all in the above zip file. They can be accessed in the 'src' folder. If you read through the getting started with BitIO blog then you will have all the key information you will need to get started.

I hope you find this useful, I intend to use it at enrichment sessions in the new academic year and hopefully future Raspberry Jams.



Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Microbit Express V1.5(Remote controlled) in EduBlocks 2019

This is a recode of the original Micro:bit Express in EduBlocks. Here is the link to the original blog for 

This is a follow on from this blog . This iteration builds upon the basic Micro:bit Express which goes forward and stops with a simple press of "a" and "b" button presses. This version adds the ability to remote control the Lego Train using a second Micro:bit.

Here is a picture of the Lego train......

here is the code for the motor controller..

Here is the XML file...... link
Here is the hex

Here is the remote code......

Here is the XML file ..... link
Here is the hex


Microbit Express V1 in EduBlocks 2019

This is a recode of the original Micro:bit Express in EduBlocks. Here is the link to the original blog for 

Here is Micro:bit Express set up.......and in action
Here is what the code looks like.....

Here is the link to the code editor...... link

Here is the code as a hex
Here is the code as an XML file that you can load straight into EduBlocks Micro:bit

Enjoy cya

EduBlocks 2019

Here I will be linking to projects created / recreated using the new version of EduBlocks over the coming months.

Here you can see all my previous EduBlocks blogs / experiments.... link

This will be then new landing page / source of links for my future experiments.

Blog 1 Microbit Express V1 link

Blog 2 Microbit Express V1.5 Remote controlled link

References / credit
Credit for the screen grabs of Edublocks icons are taken from the Edublocks website were created by Josh Lowe. 


Saturday, 6 April 2019

Coventry and Warwickshire Jam '21 Stop frame Lego animations.

Here is the excellent creations by some of the attendees at today's mini jam at Coventry Central Library, using Martin O'Hanlon's GuiZero software.