CEP 811: Maker Prototype


IMG_1239Welcome to my journey of exploring how the Raspberry Pi 3 can be utilized in the realm of education. The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized circuit board that can run many types of software. The biggest problem I had with the Raspberry Pi is that it was impossible for me to explore all the possibilities in one week. There are so many possibilities with this kit because it can be turned into a device that can preform many of the same functions as a standard computer and it can also be programmed to do so much more as noted in the links below.

Along with teaching individuals about the many different functions of computers, one of my passions is teaching individuals to utilize technology to manage their time and resources. I can see the Raspberry Pi as a valuable option to allow hands-on experimentation in both of these areas. By allowing learners to be creative in their choice of building their own device, they have options to build different designs while utilizing similar components seen in all computers. After learners complete the process of building their device, we can work on setting up the device to manage their digital life and organize their calendar for the real world. I am excited to explore more of the capabilities of this device in the future. For this project I have decided to build a digitally enhanced coffee table that assists with time management and can also function in a plethora of other ways. Below you will find written instructions, videos and other resources that contributed to my design and I hope will inspire you to create something of your own.


  • Raspberry Pi 3 w/ power cord (Purchase options from Amazon.com)IMG_1248
  • MicroSD Card pre-loaded with NOOBS (https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/)
  • Raspberry Pi Case (included with Raspberry Pi kit)
  • Wireless keyboard/mouse (any keyboard/mouse will do; wireless is nice)
  • Bluetooth Speaker (I had this on hand for audio)
  • LCD Monitor w/ power cord (I had a 19” on hand)IMG_1266
  • HDMI to DVI cable (this depends on monitor capability; Pi requires HDMI)
  • Coffee Table (obtained from the Salvation Army; modification may be necessary)


Step 1: Insert the factory pre-loaded MicroSD card into the Raspberry PI, put the Raspberry Pi in the case, connect a monitor via HDMI, place the wireless keyboard/mouse dongle in one of the usb ports and connect the the power via Micro USB. The Raspberry Pi will turn on when connect to power and automatically boot to the operating system installer, which is called NOOBS. If your MicroSD card is not preloaded, visit https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/videos/ for helpful videos.
Step 2: Setup your wireless network from the NOOBS home screen then choose to install the Raspbian Operating System.
Step 3: Update the pre-loaded software by opening the Terminal program from the desktop menu and enter “sudo apt-get update” and then enter “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”.
Step 4: Install Ice Weasel (Mozilla FireFox’s web browser designed for the Raspberry Pi). In the Terminal program enter “sudo apt-get install iceweasel”.
Step 5: Login to https://calendar.google.com on the Ice Weasel browser, set Google Calendar as the default browser homepage and add school, work, personal and other iCals to the Google Calendar. More info at http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/30834/add-an-ical-or-.ics-calendar-to-google-calendar/. Press F11 to make the calendar full screen.

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Step 6: Shutdown the system, install the components within the coffee table, startup the system, open Google Calendar within Ice Weasel, press F11, put your feet up and wait for your next appointment.

[External Link]

Step 7: Explore more of the built in software, downloadable software and other projects to utilize with the Raspberry Pi. See the references below for more ideas.

Note about Multi-modal Elements: My hope is that the above use of multi-modal elements to display the creation process will give you the ability to recreate or assist in the process of building a modified project of your own. I appreciate any feedback and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Amazon.com. (2016). Purchase options for Raspberry Pi 3. [Web Page] Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_4?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=raspberry+pi+3&sprefix=rasp%2Caps%2C336

How-To-Geek. (Oct. 4, 2010). How to Add an iCal or .ICS Calendar to Google Calendar. [Web Page] Retieved from http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/30834/add-an-ical-or-.ics-calendar-to-google-calendar/

Nazario, Suleman, Shepherd. (Feb. 11, 2016). The best projects to try with the Raspberry Pi Zero. [Web Page] Retrieved from http://www.itpro.co.uk/mobile/21862/raspberry-pi-top-20-projects-to-try-yourself/page/0/1

Piney. (2014). Raspberry Pi Wall Mounted Google Calendar. [Web Page] Retrieved from http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Wall-Mounted-Google-Calendar/

Raspberry Pi Foundation. (2016). Teach, Learn and Make with Raspberry Pi. [Web Page] Retrieved from https://www.raspberrypi.org/

Skaai. (Oct. 24, 2015). Installing Iceweasel on Raspberry Pi. [YouTube Video] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4i548u-2Ro

Slavin, Tim. (Nov. 2013). My Adventures with Raspberry Pi. [Web Page] Retrieved from https://www.kidscodecs.com/my-adventures-with-raspberry-pi/

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