Happy Halloween, Frozen Style!

With Frozen seemingly taking over the planet and indeed our household, it was no surprise that when I asked the children what kind of pumpkin we should carve this year, my two year old daughter immediately said “Frozen pumpkin!”

So with Pinterest as our guide the only digital bit about this task, (the iPad clearly visible in the background as our muse) we set about on our carving mission!

The children really enjoyed watching us make it, and even set about drawing Olaf, hopefully the trick or treaters tonight will enjoy it just as much!



PumpkinPi – Raspberry Pi powered Pumpkin

I got the Halloween stuff out of the loft today in preparation for the scary end to October. I decided to get a bit creative with a few LEDs, a speaker, a Rasbperry Pi, a Pibrella, and of course a large plastic pumpkin.

What followed was a mini-make session where I mounted a battery powered pi on the back of the pumpkin and wired up to a button ready to scare any unsuspecting trick or treaters!



Smacky Cars in Scratch

If you haven’t seen the new game called Smacky Cars on the AppStore it won’t be long until you do. On the playability and annoy-ability front, think Flappy Bird with cars!

Smacky Cars

The aim of the game is to dodge the cars as they come whizzing towards you. I only saw this game last nigth and straight away got my Scratch skills out to see if I could remix it a little.

Here is the final product, feel free to remix it on the Scratch site, I tried it out with some Year 7’s today and they loved it!!

Let me know what you think.

As always, enjoy :)

Pearson Teaching Awards 2014


Having been kindly nominated by my school, Ysgol Bryn Elian, I went through an assessment process in early April. Two assessors visited the school where I had my Year 7 students playing with the Raspberry Pi’s and Pibrella breakout boards. It seems like a lifetime ago since they came in, and today finally arrived. Thank a Teacher Day.

I arrived at school in anticipation of the result and waited for some news, any news, an email, phone call, anything to put me out of my misery. Yet it did not arrive in the timely manner I had originally hoped. I got to break and still no news, people coming up to me saying have you heard anything yet and my answer remained “no not yet”, I was beginning to think it was not looking good.

After break I was teaching my Year 11 students when the head’s PA asked me to go and help the head with a problem in studio 1 as the IT manager was out of the building, so I promptly went on my way to assist. As I arrived at studio 1, I saw Mrs Hughes coming towards me, apologising for requesting my assistance, and as I got closer to the entrance, I saw the IT manager in there. At this point I thought she had lost the plot as I felt like saying “Kev is there look!!”

Where my story ends, the video takes over. Can I thank Mrs. Herbert for her very kind write up that was my nomination, very kind words. You don’t realise how lucky you are until you hear something like that. Secondly, thank you to the awesome team of people who I work closely with who in addition to me, make this stuff happen, Kev, Craig, Mel, Nick, and the leadership team for thankfully sharing my vision for the future of technology use in Bryn Elian and for allowing me the freedom to run, experiment, learn, share and succeed, and lastly Liz at Raspberry Pi for highlighting the work I had done in education with the Raspberry Pi that the foundation saw educational value in. I continue to strengthen my own expertise in this area to continue assisting colleagues in my region and beyond.

I now head to the House of Commons on the 24th June for a celebratory tea, I’d better be on my best behaviour. Then on to London in October for the final. Fingers crossed for the gold award. In between now and then I’m busy working in Primary schools doing Raspberry Pi training and doing CPD in North Wales for Minecraft and Raspberry Pi, so I’m sure it will fly by, enjoy the video and seeing my “fix a problem face” turn into shock and realisation.

#CPiD – THE Raspberry Pi CPD in North Wales

CPiD gives teachers across all education authorities in North Wales, the chance to get familiar with the Raspberry Pi. Having attended the recent Picademy at Pi towers in Cambridge, and now a Certified Educator no less, I will be helping both primary and secondary teachers with all things Pi. There are three dates available in June with more to follow in the next academic year, all promising to be packed with examples of how you can use the Pi to great effect in your classroom, whilst at the same time, helping you understand some of the basics to build confidence.

The events are being held in Conwy on the 16th June, 18th June, and 20th June 2014, to book your place, visit the links below.

16th June

18th June

20th June

There are only 10 spaces on each day so book early!

Places cost £99 and include an absolutely awesome goodie bag thanks to our wonderful sponsors:

Cyntech – David, extremely helpful and all round super awesome, can’t thank enough!

CPC – Lindsey, super duper person to deal with!

ModMyPi – Jean, one of the nicest suppliers we’ve ever dealt with, like EVER!

The MagPi Magazine – thanks Will/Colin, i’ll be sure to send you the story afterwards too!


I look forward to seeing you all there, ready for some really exciting #CPiD




Seven Segments of Pi Lesson Plans

Here is a set of four lesson plans to use the seven segments of pi, leading up to the final project. All links to resources are included.


As always, enjoy!

Control Fla-Pi Bird with a Pibrella

If you want to control Fla-Pi bird with the lovely big red button on a Pibrella, make two simple changes to your code.

Instructions can be found here and take a look at this video below:

As always, enjoy!

Pi-Land in Minecraft – Map Download

Just over a week ago I posted about Pi-Island, a Raspberry Pi made in Minecraft with the main (not all) components on a pi. Mainly aimed at KS2/3 pupils to introduce the pi from a component/make up point of view and to promote discussion and interest in the Raspberry Pi.

After a few comments and a bit of feedback, here is the map ready to download. Yes, it’s for Pocket Edition but Craig Richardson (@CraigArgh) assures me the map can be imported into Minecraft Pi too, I was VERY pleased to hear this. Also, Adam Clarke (@thecommonpeople) also said we could wire it up to pocketmine.net and create a PHP mod (I’ll leave that one to him, I can’t wait to see it!)

The map can be put on any iOS device running Minecraft Pocket Edition, you will need to download the free program iFunBox (Windows), and connect your device(s) via the cable. Firstly, open iFunBox and click iFunBox Classic:

iFunBox Classic

Then, put the unzipped Pisland folder in the minecraftWorlds folder (User Applications>MinecraftPE>Documents>games>com.mojang>minecraftWorlds):
minecraftWorlds Folder

Disconnect the device, load up Minecraft and open the island map to take a tour around a Raspberry Pi in Minecraft!

Welcome to Pi-Land

I hope you like it, and look forward to seeing what else you do with it, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @MrAHeard

As always, enjoy!


Fla-Pi Bird in 6 Lessons

A while ago I created Flappy-Bird as a basic Scratch file and posted it here on my blog and put the basic files in Dropbox. Since then I have done some work that will hopefully come in useful if you want to create this game in class.

Click here for the introduction and links to all of the lessons. All the game saves at various points to match the lessons, graphics, and sounds are available in the same Github repository.

I hope you enjoy using it!

If you like it/use it, please feel free to comment below.

Fla-Pi Bird