Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reviving Programming: Raspberry Pi

Earlier this month I was invited to attend a session at Cambridge University about Raspberry Pi.  As I didn't know much about this, I did some research and found that the mini-computer was designed as a way of stimulating the teaching of basic programming/computer science to students as a response to the concern that fewer and fewer students were applying to read Computer Science in UK universities.  Raspberry Pi is a very cheap ($25) linux box, about the size of a credit card, that can plug into a TV and keyboard.   It boots from an SD card, will run on 4 AA batteries or a power supply and at the moment doesn't even appear to have a case.  10,000 boards have been manufactured and the Raspberry Pi Foundation started shipping in March of this year.  My first thoughts are that it is very interesting - I can see a huge market for this in schools both in the UK and (because of the price) in many developing countries.  I'm excited and I want to know more!

While at Cambridge I'll also be doing the TeachMeet and making a presentation about the 3 IB programmes.  It seems there is a lot of talk about the IB in the UK at the moment, though I think the DP is the only programme of the 3 that is offered in UK schools.  My main focus will obviously be the PYP as although I've taught all 3 programmes this is the one I know best.  It will be very interesting for me to see how UK teachers react to a concept based curriculum - the national curriculum seems driven by content.

So first ISTE, and then Raspberry Pi and TeachMeet at Cambridge University.  I'm looking forward to a great summer of learning.

Photo Credit:  At Last! by Barney Livingston, 2012 AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 

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