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A website running on a raspberry pi, to educate people about running a website on a raspberry pi

DjangoPi - education through example.

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny, powerful $25 computer aimed at educating people of all ages about how computers work.

It provides a simple lightweight set of tools with which to help teach people the basics of computer programming and computer hardware.

The Raspberry Pi by default comes equipped with Python, a powerful, flexible and cleanly typed programming language. It is perfect for education.

Django is a framework built on top of Python to provide dynamic websites.

This project aims to build a free educational website that teaches people how to set up their own Django website and run it on a Raspberry Pi.

 

The good bit

rpi_image

What seperates this from all the other educational sites?

This entire website will be running on Django, on a Raspberry Pi.

The best way to teach people is through example, and I  am hoping that by getting this website set up like this I can show people how simple it is to learn how to deploy their own website, and learn about everything from the server back end to the HTML front end.

 

 

 

What do we need funding for?

The very nature of the raspberry pi means it is very cheap to purchase and get stuck in, but to get us off the ground and set up this project I need funding to cover:

  • The dedicated raspberry pi device.
  • All the basic raspberry pi components we need.
  • Some extra hard drive space.
  • Domain name registration for the first two years.
  • Cover costs for me to travel and promote the project at Django / Raspberry pi conferences and meetings. 
  • Help feed me whilst I run this project!
This project is entirely educational with no profit in mind.
 

Who are you?

I am Paul Hallett, a third year Computer Science student who has an obsession with Python and helping to educate others about the world of technology.

I have spent a lot of time using the raspberry pi and Django.

I was also one of the first people to successfully install Django on the device after they came out.

I want to show people the potential of the raspberry pi and also help educate as many people as possible about it.

 

What will the project cover?

The project website will be a django based website running on a raspberry pi device, with all the tutorials and FAQ's needed to help people learn about setting up and running their own DjangoPi.

The website will have a regular blog about raspberry pi and django educational news, as well as guest posts from a few experts in both fields.

I will be going to as many Django / Raspberry pi conferences as I can to promote this website and encourage the community to contribute.

I am also planning to do talks at a few schools to get students on board and learning as soon as the website is up and running.

 

What conferences are you going to?

I am hoping to visit Pycon in Germany, a large conference of Python enthusiasts.

I am also planning talks at Django / Python / Raspberry Pi / Hacker meetings around the UK to get experts involved.

 

Frequently asked questions -

Do you want to talk at my conference / school / group?

Of course I will! Send me an email at ph@sponsorcraft.com

Why raspberry pi?

The raspberry pi is cheap and built with education in mind, so this device is a much more cost effective way of teaching students about computer science and I think it is one of the cheapest ways for students to build and host their own websites.

Who is benefiting from this project?

The people benefiting from this project are students from 8+ eager to learn about computer programming and web development. We're also giving current developers a chance to help educate the next generation of programmers by offering them to contribute their own tutorials.

Have you done this before?

I have 5 years of programming experience, including 16 months working for companies and running websites, however this is my first solo venture building a website. This is also my first crowd funded project that I have been involved in. I am not pretending to be an expert and this is an educational experience for me as well. Despite this, I have many people who can back up my ability and skill set for this job.

Do I want to be an educator someday?

I would definitely like to be involved with the education of Computer Science in the next generation of students, this is just the beginning.

Will you need professional help writing the content?

I'd love to get as many professionals and experts contributing to this website, especially those with experience of using the Django + Raspberry Pi combination, so yes! 

What does "early access" mean?

I am one person and I don't have the manpower to full test the functionality or content of the site, so early access will be provided to users to help refine the tutorials and content on the site.

The ideal candidates for early access will be people with some technical knowledge of Django, Raspberry Pi or hosting your own website in general.

What size shirts are available?

We'll be able to print shirts in small to extra large

What comes on the premade SD card?

The premade SD cards will come with all the recommended packages that are installed using our custom made scripts, saving you all the trouble of installing it all and being one of the first to build a Django powered website on a Raspberry Pi. It will include everything you need to start your own website and deploy it live on the internet. The only thing I don't supply is the Raspberry pi :D

Featured on these galleries

"Paul is teaching school student to programme by hosting websites on a Rasberry Pi!" View in gallery
"Paul Hallet raised funds to educate schoolchildren in programming." View in gallery
"Paul Hallett earned donations through innovative methods. He got a £600 donation from his university department, and he ..." View in gallery
£1206
pledged of £1000 target
This project received pledges on Sat 01 Sep 2012
120%
FUNDED
24
SPONSORS
53
SUPPORTERS
Launch Date:
Wed 27 Jun 2012
Completion Date:
Sat 01 Sep 2012
By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

One busy week!

The last week has been stupidly hectic for a number of reasons which I'll cover for you now. Don't worry - it is all good.

The first talk

On Monday, I did the first ever presentation of Djangopi at the Bristol RaspberryJam, a forum for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. There was a huge number of teachers and younger kids there who really liked me talk. In fact - the entire response from everyone was positive. Which was brilliant!

I am hoping that I can add some of the schools of the people I met to the first round of workshops I'll be doing, if not then definitely the second bunch.

Development set backs

I had just reached the point where my Raspberry Pi was running brilliantly as a server, delivering content rather speedy and then... my sd card snapped! 

I attempted to back it up by first taping it to fit in the plug, but the master boot record was corrupt. After a day of trying I decided it would be easier to just start from scratch and upgrade to Raspbian at the same time.

This is also giving me a chance to update my Django installer script to work with Raspbian and avoid installing heavy software like mysql and apache.

I'll be doing a blog post soon on the development and software choices I've made.

Website development decisions

I've decided, in order to reach the website's Minimum Viable Product (MVP as they say in the start up world), to limit user accounts to just tutorial contributors for the time being. This is good for a few reasons:

  • Gradual increase in stress tests on the website will help improve the performance when user accounts become open to teachers and students.
  • Promote the contribution of tutorials first and foremost.

Don't panic - all the tutorials will still be visible on the site, you just won't be earning badges for completing them straight away.

The ETA is still the first week of September for the site launch. This may change if Plymouth University (specifically their networking department) are still terrified about my raspberry pi being a fire hazard.

One week to go

Tomorrow will be the one week mark before the funding time completes.

Thanks to your contributions I've already gone 13% over the target - amassing £1136! 

I'd like to make one last push and help prolong the time I can provide workshops and the website for free, so go ask your friends, tweet about us and get people contributing!

Don't forget - every little helps.

I'm moving to Plymouth on the 1st of September, but I'll try to make a final update on that day once I've settled in.

Have a great week.

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

One busy week!

The last week has been stupidly hectic for a number of reasons which I'll cover for you now. Don't worry - it is all good.

The first talk

On Monday, I did the first ever presentation of Djangopi at the Bristol RaspberryJam, a forum for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. There was a huge number of teachers and younger kids there who really liked me talk. In fact - the entire response from everyone was positive. Which was brilliant!

I am hoping that I can add some of the schools of the people I met to the first round of workshops I'll be doing, if not then definitely the second bunch.

Development set backs

I had just reached the point where my Raspberry Pi was running brilliantly as a server, delivering content rather speedy and then... my sd card snapped! 

I attempted to back it up by first taping it to fit in the plug, but the master boot record was corrupt. After a day of trying I decided it would be easier to just start from scratch and upgrade to Raspbian at the same time.

This is also giving me a chance to update my Django installer script to work with Raspbian and avoid installing heavy software like mysql and apache.

I'll be doing a blog post soon on the development and software choices I've made.

Website development decisions

I've decided, in order to reach the website's Minimum Viable Product (MVP as they say in the start up world), to limit user accounts to just tutorial contributors for the time being. This is good for a few reasons:

  • Gradual increase in stress tests on the website will help improve the performance when user accounts become open to teachers and students.
  • Promote the contribution of tutorials first and foremost.

Don't panic - all the tutorials will still be visible on the site, you just won't be earning badges for completing them straight away.

The ETA is still the first week of September for the site launch. This may change if Plymouth University (specifically their networking department) are still terrified about my raspberry pi being a fire hazard.

One week to go

Tomorrow will be the one week mark before the funding time completes.

Thanks to your contributions I've already gone 13% over the target - amassing £1136! 

I'd like to make one last push and help prolong the time I can provide workshops and the website for free, so go ask your friends, tweet about us and get people contributing!

Don't forget - every little helps.

I'm moving to Plymouth on the 1st of September, but I'll try to make a final update on that day once I've settled in.

Have a great week.

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

100% funded!

We've just hit the £1000 minimum target for the project, with 17 days left to spare!

Now what?

We still have 17 days left until the funding time ends, so I think we should continue sky-rocketing and try and raise more!

For every £10 extra raised, I can purchase components for an extra Raspberry Pi device (SD card, cables etc)

For every £25 extra raised, I can purchase another Raspberry Pi for school workshops.

For every £50 extra raised, I can give one extra school a free workshop in Raspberry Pi and Computer Science.

Don't forget as well that the rewards are stil available - T-shirts, stickers and early access to the website!

Nag your friends and family, tweet about the project, post about it on facebook and make this project more and more successful!

 What the project can now do

Now that we've reached the minimum funding total we can:

  • Provide a free, educational website that teaches students how to use a Raspberry Pi, program in the Python programming language and build websites with the Django framework.
  • Provide free workshops to schools and learning groups.
  • Provide our own equipment, including 12 Raspberry Pi devices.
  • Collect tutorials written by professional programmers and developers so students are learning real practical skills.
  • Improve the computer science education of students everywhere.

This project would not have been successful without you. I owe you all a drink (as well as the rewards you'll be getting in October).

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

Plymouth University support added

I have made a donation to the project, which represents the amount of money Plymouth University have spent purchasing equipment for this project.

This includes:

  • 12 Raspberry Pi devices
  • All the component cables needed for the Raspberry Pi devices.

 

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

3 weeks left and we've got big news

23 days left until the project finishes and I have a list of good news:

Plymouth University support

Plymouth university have been very interested in this project and this week I have been in Plymouth chatting with lecturer Shirley Atkinson, who has agreed to help fund this project with a collection of Raspberry Pi devices.

The devices will be used in the on-going phase of the project - workshops around the country, teaching students about Raspberry Pi devices and Computer Science using tutorials on the project website.

This is very big news for this project as a large portion of the funding was needed for these devices.

Shirley will be taking a more active role in this project too, helping me connect with schools and get workshops set up with them.

Pycon conferences

I can confirm that I am talking at both Pycon Germany and Pycon Ireland in October this year.

Both of these talks will be technical and will cover:

  • Technical achievements for this project (building a website on a raspberry pi)
  • Limitations I've had to over come.
  • Managing a webserver on a Raspberry pi
  • Getting developers involved in contribution.

The last point is the real focus of these talks: getting real developers, who know real programming, to help create tutorial content for the site.

Project Progress

The website is very nearly complete. I am adjusting the styling and working on the first set of tutorials. There will be pretty screenshots next week, I promise.

Confirmed: website launch date

I can confirm that the djangopi website will be launched in the first week of September, providing I can stick to arrangements I have made. I will of course let everyone know if that date changes.

Support

We're getting closer and closer to the finishing date and closer and closer to the time I'll be constantly nagging people to pledge.

If you know anyone who has said they're interested in supporting the project - remind them that time is running out to pledge!

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 8 months ago

4 weeks to go!

Tomorrow, there will be 28 days left until the project has finished raising funding, in that time we still need to raise £675 - can we do it?

Start gathering support

Help us reach our target before the end date, otherwise we will not get any of the money, which means we won't be able to do a lot of stuff and this project might fail.

Email the project link ( http://bit.ly/djangopi ) around to your friends and your office, tell people about it and help us raise the last £675!

Project progress

The website is almost 90% complete and the past week I've been building automated deployment so I can update the site when I need to.

I've also started reaching out to developers who might like to write tutorials for the website for launch day.

Next week targets

Next week I am mentoring at youngrewiredstate.org - a week long hackathon for under 18's. I'm planning to bring along the website and get some feedback from the kids, get them trying a few of the tutorials and seeing what they think of it.

This'll be great feedback for the website.

 

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 9 months ago

27th July update

I've been able to do a ton of work on the website this week and I've got a screenshot!

Website development

So far the website consists of:

  • 9,000 lines of code
  • 70% towards first iteration completion

and here is the first screen shot:

Djangopi screenshot

A much larger version can be viewed here:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19242643/djangopiscreenshot.png

This screen shot shows a tutorial step. Each step has extra details (for those wanting to learn more) and an image to accompany it.

A tutorial can have any number of steps. Tutorials award points based on the difficulty and the number of steps, more points awards you with badges for your user profile (if you sign up).

Next weeks aims

I'd really like to raise some more funding for the project, so contact your friends and family to help make this a reality!

I am going to be starting on the more complex issue of making this website run at a decent speed for multiple users across the internet.

The limitations of the device make this a challenge compared to a standard webserver, but I like a challenge!

There are various software packages which will help speed up access times and help me provide larger content such as images better. Any suggestions from the technical minded are welcome.

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 9 months ago

20th July update

I've had a busy few weeks, so apologise for not keeping to a weekly schedule.

Funding

Currently the Djangopi project is on £290 worht of pledges, just under 30% of our goal. The project currently has 43 days left to reach its goal and we'd love it if you helped reach that goal by telling your friends on twitter, facebook or face to face about this project!

What I've been up to

Last week I met with Plymouth University lecturers, but not all of them as a few were ill.

However we did agree on meeting before the start of the new school term in September and putting together a proposal for local schools to give them a few workshops using The Djangopi website and its tutorials!

I'm also happy to confirm that I have been shortlisted to talk at Pycon in Germany in October. For those who don't know: Pycon is an annual conference about the Python programming language, which is the main programming langauge supported on the Raspberry Pi and also The Djangopi project. I'll be talking about the project and getting experts on board to help create some high quality tutorials.

I have also been making arrangements for many meetings and getting in touch with loads of educational / computer science / technology groups to try and promote the project.

Project progress

I've been working away building the website and it is almost at the stage where I can start showing it off to people. Once it is has been tested and I've got some feedback on it the next step is to start optimising the Raspberry Pi so it can handle the traffic correctly and deliver the website content at a decent speed.

Help promote the project!

We are just 43 days from the funding ending and we're now just under 30% complete of the total.

We'd really like your help promoting this project, so if you'll share it on facebook, twitter or via email with your friends it would mean a lot to us.

You can use this link http://bit.ly/djangopi which is a short link to this webpage.

See you next week!

Paul

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 9 months ago

6th July update

It has been just over a week now and the djangopi project has been getting a lot of attention.

Funding

We're currently sitting at £265 worth of pledges, which brings us to 26% of the total, with 57 days still left to go we might rocket past the target!

Raising interest

I've been in touch with a few schools and universities trying to get them involved and I'm having a meeting on the 16th July with Plymouth University who are very interested in sponsoring the project. This could be potentially big news!

Talks and conferences

I mentioned above that I had been contacting schools to encourage them to let me do small workshops or lectures about the project and once the website is up, maybe a few lessons learning using the tutorials.

I have also submitted talk proposals to:

  • Pycon UK (the UK python conference) - 28th September 2012
  • Bristol Raspberry pi meet up (called a Rasperryjam) - August 2012

If I get accepted I'll be talking about the project and how people can get involved.

Website progress

I have been working hard this week building up the basics of the website and getting a consistent design going.

Hopefully next week I'll have some nice screen shots to share.

I have also been writing a few tutorials so that the website will have a good amount of content when it launches.

How can you help?

This project has 57 days left and we're already over 1/4 of the way to our goal. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could pass the target and do much more than intended?

If you'd like to help, link people to this project, share it with friends and email me at paulandrewhallett@gmail.com if you'd like to help more yourself.

Together we can help improve Computer Science education!

By: Paul Hallett · 1 year, 9 months ago

Talk schedule

Here is my current talk schedule for the Djangopi project. If anyone would like to contact me to organise a talk, email me at paulandrewhallett@gmail.com

  • Plymouth University studio presentation: 16th July
  • Digpen (to be confirmed): September 2012
  • Pycon Ireland (to be confirmed): 13th - 14th October
  • Pycon Germany (to be confirmed): October 29th - November 3rd

As you can see, I'm getting a lot of offers for talks! These will increase exposure of the project and get more people on board sponsoring me.

£1206
pledged of £1000 target
This project received pledges on Sat 01 Sep 2012
120%
FUNDED
24
SPONSORS
53
SUPPORTERS
Launch Date:
Wed 27 Jun 2012
Completion Date:
Sat 01 Sep 2012
£1206
pledged of £1000 target
This project received pledges on Sat 01 Sep 2012
120%
FUNDED
24
SPONSORS
53
SUPPORTERS
Launch Date:
Wed 27 Jun 2012
Completion Date:
Sat 01 Sep 2012

Only project crafters and their sponsors can post comments.

No comments have been posted yet.
£1206
pledged of £1000 target
This project received pledges on Sat 01 Sep 2012
120%
FUNDED
24
SPONSORS
53
SUPPORTERS
Launch Date:
Wed 27 Jun 2012
Completion Date:
Sat 01 Sep 2012