GESS Dubai 2018 – Come meet us!

We are on a mission to bring the power of physical computing to the world of education and help educators from all around the world bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to life. In January, the pi-topTEAM showcased our learning by making ecosystem at Bett in London and FETC in Orlando and just a few weeks ago, they were at TCEA in Austin.

In less than a week, we are packing up our mean green dream machines to GESS Dubai from the 27th of February till  the 1st of March at stand M10. The show is free to attend and CDP accredited, so if you are happen to be in Dubai , come join us! Here’s a taster of everything we’ve got planned.

Free STEAM education workshops

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Experience pi-top’s modular products and get making, innovating and inventing with them! Run by our in-house educationalists, we will explore a whole new chapter of computer science, STEAM education and learning by making.

Join us for a hands-on workshop session in a collaborative classroom setting. Learning with pi-top is about solving problems together, applying knowledge and collaborating with others. Does this sound appealing to you? There are a limited number of spaces available, book yours quickly to join us at stand M10.

pi-top stand

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The pi-top ecosystem for collaborative learning provides a transformative maker-centered learning experience. Come meet the team on stand M10 to find out how you can empower students to become collaborative, critical and creative thinkers.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, we encourage teachers and learners to think beyond the screen and spend less solitary screen time and more collaborative ‘creative time’. We want to equip students with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century.

GESS Talks

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As we’ve highlighted in the pi-top magazine, we are on the precipice of what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. Graham Brown-Martin, Learning Reimagined’s author, broadcaster and pi-top’s Chief Education Adviser, will present  on the 27th of February at 15:00 those changes and how education is at the heart of preparing present and future generations to thrive.

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On the 28th of February at 14:00 pi-top’s CEO and co-founder, Jesse Lozano, will share pi-top’s story; from his kitchen table he made to the world’s leading learning by making platform, where computer science and STEAM education are brought to life via the medium of physical computing and collaborative problem-solving. The talk will be followed by an interview with Graham Brown-Martin, and we are sure you wouldn’t want to miss!

See you soon,

pi-topTEAM

Bett 2018 – Show Recap

It might sound like a cliché, but it’s crazy how time does fly! A couple of weeks ago we were sharing our enthusiasm about attending Bett 2018 and now we surprise ourselves writing a show recap.

Like every year, we had an amazing four days at one of the world’s leading education technology shows. It was chock full of activities; engaging workshops, interesting talks and extraordinary people that, like us, want to empower students to become collaborative, critical and creative thinkers. So, without any further ado, these are some of the show’s highlights!

pi-top winning!

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We are chuffed and incredibly proud to announce that we won the ‘Innovator of the YearBett 2018 Award. This is the second year in a row that we take home a Bett award – last year we won ‘Start-up of the Year’ – so massive props to the team!

Winning ‘Innovator of the Year’ means a great deal to all of us, as it’s an important recognition of the great work that we’ve accomplished over the last year. Plus, it raises the bar for what we now want to achieve in 2018 and beyond…

Hands-on STEAM education workshops

 

We managed to get everyone making, creating and innovating with our modular products during our fun workshops. They were focused on solving problems together, applying knowledge and inciting learners to discuss with others what will work best.

Bett Talks

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We passionately believe that Collaborative Problem Solving is an essential skill in education and a basic necessity for the 21st century workforce. It is undeniable that the world is changing at an overwhelming pace and, as educators, we should all be thinking of how to equip our children with the skills to thrive in this transforming society.

As Jesse Lozano, pi-top’s CEO, explained in his keynote, the reason we wake up every morning is to design an inspiring learning by making ecosystem that supports students in the development of critical and creative skills while empowering educators to achieve their goals.

 

We also hosted two talks on Collaborative Problem Solving from the educators’ and students’ perspective. Both were hugely enlightening and clearly demonstrated that our education system needs to evolve and adapt to both educators’ and learners’ needs.

Drinks Reception

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On Friday 26th of January we hosted a pre-TeachMeet drinks reception in the STEAM Village to celebrate STEAM education and a wonderful week at Bett. We had a great time meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces 🙂

#NoStormtroopers Competition

In one of pi-top’s magazine articles we wonder if Constructionism can prevent our children turning into mindless Stormtroopers (you can read the article online) so we thought it might be a good idea to fill ExCel London with our #NoStormtroopers stickers and badges.

We encouraged all of our stand visitors to share their best #NoStormtroopers pictures with us to be in with a chance of winning daily prizes of pi-top swag for the most creative placements. Check out some of our favourites here!

 

If you didn’t make it to Bett this year, don’t worry. You can have a look at the very first issue of the pi-top magazine ‘Learning by Making’ here.

The mag features case studies and articles by Learning Reimagined author, broadcaster and pi-top’s Chief Education Adviser, Graham Brown-Martin  and Mitchel Resnick (Professor of Learning Research at MIT Media Lab and author of Lifelong Kindergarten).

Thanks again to everyone that stopped by the STEAM Village to see us at Bett. We loved meeting each and everyone of you. And we cannot wait to see you again next year!


Onwards and upwards,

pi-topTEAM

Bett 2018 – Competition

Bett 2018 is here! This year we’ve got a lot of things planned: two stands F480 and G480 full of pi-top fun, several free hands-on workshops over the course of Bett, three Bett talks and our drinks reception on Friday, 26th of January. But it doesn’t end there. Here at pi-topHQ we thought that it would be a good idea to get creative and give you the chance to win a free pi-top modular laptop for learning by making every single day.

This competition is only open during the BETT Show times between 24th-27th January 2018. The competition is open only to Bett 2018 visitors aged 18+.

Come find us at G480 for a change to win a new pi-top!

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How to participate*:

  1. Come to stand G480 (in the STEAM Village)
  2. Scan your badge
  3. Grab one of our free pi-top stickers
  4. Get creative and find the best place for your pi-top sticker! Take a quick snap of it and tweet us @GetPiTop using hashtag #NoStormtroopers
  5. The lucky winners will be contacted

*Entries valid only during BETT show times, between the 24th to the 27th of January 2018. The competition is only open to participants aged 18+. T’s&C’s apply.

Prizes:

At the end of each day the pi-top team will choose the three most creative sticker placements posted on social media from all entries of the day! Winners will be announced at the end of the day and prizes will be handed out or shipped to you directly after the event.

  • 1st prize:

1 x the new pi-top with Raspberry Pi 

1 x pi-top swag pack 

  • Runner up prizes:

2 x pi-top swag pack


Competition Rules Overview 

  1. This competition is only open during the Bett Show times 24th-27th January 2018.
    1. Closing date is the 27th January 2018 at 5pm.
  2. The prize competition is open only to Bett 2018 attendees and participants aged 18+.
  3. Multiple entries by the same person will not be accepted.
  4. Valid entries must have complied with all the entry requirements steps.
    1. Get badge scanned by pi-topTEAM
    2. Upload a picture with pi-top sticker to Twitter
    3. Tag @GetPiTop
    4. Use #NoStormtroopers
  5. The prize is non-transferable
  6. The winners are selected by pi-topTEAM
  7.  Any personal data submitted with consent will be kept by pi-top for marketing purposes and will not be shared with any other third party.

pi-top Bett 2018 competition T&C


See you there!

pi-topTEAM

Collaborative Learning by Making and Playing

Here at pi-top we passionately believe that students learn better by making fun things together.

This is why we have made it our mission to give teachers and kids everything they need to embrace STEAM learning collectively and to really bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to life.

What we are not about is using technology for technology’s sake in the classroom. Education technology needs to be driven by creativity, collaboration and making things. And not about adapting consumer tech gadgets and tech toys to the curriculum.

Introducing Creative Collaborative Learning in Schools

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Collaborative learning is best demonstrated when we allow students to work on projects they strongly want to solve together. Sounds pretty straightforward, no?

For pi-top, the real value of blending project-based learning with Computer Science and STEAM education in schools is clear. Both kids and teachers love building things together. And the notion that children can say that they’ve built their own laptop computer, robot, music-making machine or countless other cool things is what makes pi-top so special.

There are some deep-rooted systemic challenges for schools and teachers who see the real value in pi-top’s unique flavour of collaborative, project-based physical computing. Not least the fact that we work within an education system rooted in the late 19th century, driven by an antiquated text book and measurement industry that regards teaching as delivery rather than design.

That said, many forward-thinking educationalists are convinced that our education system needs to be based much more on collaboration, making and constructionism. And much less on direct instruction and rote learning.

As Mitchel Resnick, the Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab passionately argues: “The most important thing for us to do is to help children learn to think creatively, adapt to change and come up with innovative approaches to new and changing situations.

“Too often in today’s schools I think we end up valuing the things that we can assess. Instead I think we have to figure out ways of assessing the things that we value.”

The Root of Creative is Create

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If we need our children to be creative, critical and socially skilled, then why are they being taught to behave like machines? Schools need to move from the traditional model of education and really embrace creative, hands-on, collaborative student-centred learning.

This is far more than an issue of differing perspectives on educational theory. Designing collaborative learning experiences to encourage learners to make things together and helping them to solve interesting real-world challenges is going to be the key to giving children the skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

As pi-top’s chief education adviser, Graham Brown-Martin, notes: “We are on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Automation. Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing.

“The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. And governments, educators and parents alike must ask the question about how they can prepare present and future generations to thrive in this transforming world.”

At pi-top we are obsessive about creating the best physical computing platform to encourage collaborative learning by making and playing. Constructionism and experiential learning, technology that liberates and inspires, personalised learning that’s focused on the child rather than the instruction.

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

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All of these things are the reason why we get out of bed in the morning. pi-top is about designing inspiring education technology, working closely with some of the world’s most skilled educators to further collaborative learning in every way we can.

Most of all we are energised and inspired on a daily basis by the many start-ups, teachers and groups of students that we work with. These are the people who are liberating learners and teachers alike to work together to solve problems and create new knowledge.

The bottom line is this: if new technology and STEAM education in schools is not encouraging kids to work together, and promoting hands-on learning through play and project-based learning then it is doing something wrong.

We are providing kids an exciting, engaging and playful entrance into the worlds of hands-on computer science, coding, engineering, design, robotics, 3D printing, business management and so much more. Our technology encourages less solitary screen time and more collaborative ‘creativity time’.

pi-top is about inspiring kids to reach their full potential. After all, isn’t that the point of education?

Want to find out more? Visit booth #2453 at FETC or head over to meet our team at Bett on our stands F480 and G480. We’re also hosting three Bett talks:
24th of January at 10:30 (Schools Theatre). Teacher’s voice: Collaborative Problem Solving.
25th of January at 12:45 (Schools Theatre). Learner’s voice: Collaborative Problem Solving.
26th of January at 14:30 (Bett Arena). pi-top’s CEO, Jesse Lozano, keynote  Make project based STEAM learning a reality in your school.

Why Moonhack is not another meaningless attempt to break a World Record

Last year, the Australian Code Club had 10,207 Australian kids participating in their free coding event, Moonhack. This year they are not holding back and they are turning the 15th of August into a worldwide event so kids (and not-so-kids) from all around the globe can take part and collaborate.

The event’s aim is to have as many young people from 8 to 18 years old coding as possible and set a World Record. However, the project goes way further than that: by bringing together people and getting them to code for a specific purpose they want to spread a love for coding and trigger a passion for it in future generations. This aligns directly with pi-top’s mission and beliefs. Learning to code can help young people strengthen their problem solving skills and logical thinking as well as their resilience when dealing with things going wrong. In this digital age that we live we think that it’s important to provide kids with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a world of accelerating advancements, for both their personal and professional lives. Moonhack is a great place to start as it provides a fun environment that can either be structured or treated as an open, creative sandbox, depending on your preference.

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Moonhack is an inclusive event, so is coding. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of their skill level, age, gender or country of residency. Even if you don’t fall inside the age range, you can participate and submit your project, but it will not be counted for the World Record.

At pi-top, we think taking part in the Moonhack is a great idea, especially if you’re looking for something fun to do over the summer holidays so why not sign up on Moonhack’s website and get involved. Once you’re sign up,  you will have access to tips, ideas and project guides. On the 15th of August you will be able to upload your moon-themed project made in Scratch, Scratch JR or Python to make sure it’s included in the official record-breaking project count. For those that prefer to follow a project, do not panic, there are also open source Moonhack projects that you or your kids can complete, with easy to follow instructions for any level of learner.

So go on, sign up. Learn. Play. Create… And break things digitally!

Makerfaire Berlin, Raspberry Pi Jam and Mozfest: a snapshot of what we’ve been up to this month

It’s been a busy month for us here at pi-top, we’ve attended several events and met a great range of inspiring people. This month saw the pi-top team heading to Germany for a second time this year, this time attending another Makerfaire in the bustling city of Berlin as Gold Sponsors.  

The event highlights the innovations and creative projects from the maker community, and this month’s event in Berlin was no different, with a colourful mixture of amazing projects, talented makers and inspiring inventions – from robots breathing fire, to a full size R2D2!

Whilst we were rarely able to leave our booth as we were often busy talking to attendees that stopped to meet us, or companion companies who were also exhibiting at the event – it was great to see familiar faces again after the previous Makerfaire in Hannover earlier this year. When we did get a chance to take a look around other booths at the event, we checked out Pimoroni, our fellow maker and educator friends from the UK, who had a real treasure trove of fun goodies at their booth, making it into a ‘candy store’ for makers, which we thought was pretty cool. One highlight of the event was being awarded the ‘Maker of Merit’ ribbon! Which praises creativity, ingenuity and innovation for our Makerfaire project.

We also caught up with James Mitchell, the organiser of the Raspberry Jam Berlin, who was also at the faire – this time with a spinning tardis and Twitter photobooth. Earlier this month, one of our friends, Nic Hughes held the very first Raspberry Jam meetup in East London, which is for fellow Raspberry Pi enthusiasts to come along and talk with other like minded hobbyists and developers. We enjoyed attending the event and ran a CEEDuniverse workshop in Digilab’s big workshop room.

To close this month, we’ll be heading to Mozfest in London on October 28th-30th, where we’ll be holding a range of workshops for the attendees. You can keep up to date with all of our news and events our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Here’s a few photos of the team from the Makerfaire in Berlin:

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