With jobs of the future skewing toward technology and engineering fields, educators are eager to teach tech literacy and basic programming skills in school. But any conversation about increasing computer-based learning inevitably comes down to money—laptops and tablets aren’t free, and budgets are so tight that it’s not uncommon for a school to have 2,000 students using one computer lab. Cash-strapped school districts can’t get serious about teaching computer science if they can’t afford the equipment kids need to learn it.
But such financial hurdles could disappear thanks to Raspberry Pi, a new credit card-sized computer designed specifically to teach computer programming to students. The device is the brainchild of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a U.K. charity that “exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level” and wants “to put the fun back into learning computing.” The device is set to make its debut in December and will cost a mere $25 each.
Raspberry Pi runs on open source software and comes packed with outlets for digital and audio video, two USB ports, an ethernet port to get students online, and a slot for a SD memory card. Students can plug the device into a TV, smartphone, or tablet, and get to hacking. Because the base is open-source, students can change the code in infinite ways and design their own apps.
» via GOOD