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Don't just use your phone, program it! And there's robots as well...

There seems to be growing interest in opportunities to learn to code...but not just code, code for a reason as part of your own project or to, for example, make a robot perform a series of actions. 

Scratchpad is a new, Auckland-based venture (in which I'm involved in an advisory capacity) that is aiming to support people to develop their coding skills, learn more about mBots, Raspberry Pi, Arduinos, or create a range of gadgets to learn more about electronics. The educators at Scratchpad advise that they "introduce concepts, and the learners are free to apply them and be creative with them". The approach is "very hands-on and practical, readying students for the real world". They achieve this by "using 'flipped learning' where the learning is student-led and collaborative".

They go on to say that learners will find out 

"how to code, how to create games for smartphones and tablets, they’ll work on robotics projects – both individually as well as part of a group. We’re teaching them to use technology in a way that teaches them life and business skills – such as project management, time management, group dynamics, leadership skills, etc – rather than making them antisocial and working in isolation".

If you are interested in finding out more about Scratchpad, they have an open day from 10am to 4pm on 16th January 2016 at Scratchpad, Level 1, 1 Wagener Place, St Lukes Mega Centre, Auckland. You can also find out heaps more on the Scratchpad Web site.

Image: Derf Cartoons robot. CC ( BY NC ND ) licensed Flickr image by Frank Seldon: https://flic.kr/p/8sApJ7

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