HackSpace magazine

Digital Making at Home

By Andrew Gregory. Posted

When we talk to makers, we often hear that they don’t know how to code; they just copy and paste bits and bobs from the internet until their device does what they want it to do. If it works, it works, and we’re not going to judge. But if you’ve ever seen how intuitively some people can code, and want to pass that skill on to the young people in your life, we have to point you in the direction of Digital Making at Home, a recent and ongoing initiative from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. 

Digital Making at Home is a weekly content series for young people who are creating at home with code. No prior knowledge is required – there are three difficulty levels, from basic introductory coding in Scratch, to working with external libraries in Python. Lessons are self-contained and don’t need a great deal of parental input, so if you’re not confident with lists, parentheses, objects, and statements, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. 

Each week there’s a theme to spark learners’ creativity: we’ve had games, mindfulness, jokes, celebrate our planet, and the perennial favourite, music. Each lesson is structured as you would a hardware project, with a goal in mind, rather than a look into coding for coding’s sake. There’s no Hello World here. 

Thousands of people have signed up for the programme, with kids from all over the world sharing the things they’re making. 

Young learners can use the skills they’ve gained to create their own versions of projects – while they’re learning programming, they’re not just gaining technical skills, they’re gaining an ability to express themselves creatively, and that’s why the sharing element is so important. It’s enlightening to see children from opposite sides of the world see the same problems.

For more information on Digital Making at Home, check out the blog: hsmag.cc/QLRTGp.

To sign up for Digital Making at Home, visit: hsmag.cc/pbJRrN.