In The Classroom

Graham Hastings of St. John’s College School has kindly put together this video that discusses the use of the gPiO box in a classroom environment.

Click + on right for more on Graham Hastings

CAS Master Teacher.

Member of the working party that advised the DfE on the new Computing POS.

Member of CCITE (Cambridge Centre for Innovative Technology Education).

Board member of CPET (Cambridge Primary Education Trust).

Introductory Video

YTable of Contents iconou can either watch the whole video or if you click the table of contents icon at the bottom of the video you can choose to watch specific sections.


Key Stage Usage

Key Stage 2

The new computing curriculum at Key Stage 2 states that pupils should be taught to:

“Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems”.

The gPiO box provides a simple and robust way to deliver these goals, and incorporates simple methods for connecting physical devices such as lamps, switches, motors and other devices. The box also incorporates a variety of protection circuits that prevent problems caused by wiring errors.

There is much more information in the video above.

Using LinkBoxes, the gPiO box can be connected to a variety of microcontrollers including Raspberry Pi, micro:bit, Arduino and others.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 children begin to migrate from block languages like Scratch through to text based languages like Python. This can cause difficulties as there is a need to understand the syntax of the language before starting to code. One new development is Edublocks that combines the two – as shown below.

Also at Key Stage 3 there are other hardware options, so children may be moving from micro:bit to Raspberry Pi.

Our Steady Project has the code needed run the game written in a number of languages and on a variety of platforms including Raspberry Pi, micro:bit, Arduino and PICAXE.

Key Stage 4

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Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5/Level 3 the gPiO Box is often deployed as one element of a project, rather than as the sole device.

One example of  a project incrorporating  a gPiO box is the A level Quiz project where two gPiO boxes provide a simple mechanism to connect multiple input and relatively high power outputs.

With a number of input, output and motor control circuits the gPiO box offers a convenient solution to project I/O requirements.

gPiO Box capabilities include 6 high power (Darlington) and two motor control (H-Bridge) outputs. each output circuit can drive 0.5 Amps at up to 36 V d.c, with PWM support with appropriate controllers. By using LinkBoxes the gPiO box can be driven by a variety of controllers including Raspberry Pi, Arduino, PICAXE and others.