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The Raspberry Pi

Well what is this fruit thing?

It may just look like your average piece of computer junk but in fact this credit-card sized piece of PCB (printed circuit board) is an extremely affordable computer that was designed to revolutionise the way ICT is taught.The Raspberry Pi is a cheap and easy way to get kids coding stuff, whether it to be a Smartphone App, a website or a supercomputer and many politicians and educators are encouraging schools to buy them up and use them in classrooms across the whole of the UK.

It is a common assumption that all modern computer products are designed in either America or Asia but the Raspberry Pi has been designed by a team right here in the UK and is currently being manufactured in Wales. For a device that has received praise all across the globe for its simplicity and multiple applications, it is definitely something the UK tech industry should be proud of.  

But why do I need to learn how to code?

In the modern world computer code is everywhere! Any electrical device whether it be a washing machine, a smartphone or even an aircraft; all use some level of code to function. With the digital age now fully upon us the demand for people who can code is ever increasing and it is expected that within the next few decades, the ability to code is going to become a requirement in more and more jobs. Unlike spoken languages, computer programming languages are universal languages; so whether you’re coding in C++ in China, Brazil or France, the language is still the same. Being able to code gives you the ability to be creative in a computer environment and make something that looks and does exactly what you want it to do. You never know, you may end up being the next Bill Gates, Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg.

When will the Raspberry Pi be a part of my ICT lesson?

Currently Rasberry Pi focused ICT lessons are being trialed and piloted all across the UK, in both primary and secondary schools, however it is unknown as to how long these trials will go on for before the government decides to integrate the Pi into the cirriculum. Currently there is also a massive shortage of Raspberry Pi's due to the phenominal demand for them world wide, and it could be months or even years before they can manufacture enough to meet orders. However there is some good news; companies such as Google have pledged they will  fund a rollout of these devices into schools across the country and there are already smaller companies such as element14 who are taking these devices into the classroom and teaching kids to build their own websites. With the enthusiasm behind the Raspberry Pi there is a very good chance you'll come across one in the not too distant future.

What Now?

In the mean time theres plenty of information on the Raspberry Pi and some of the hundreds of cool projects people have made with them over at the the official Raspberry Pi website and forum.

The BBC has also several articles and videos on the Pi and its uses so be sure to check them out at the links below:

Ripples from the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi: Primary school children get coding

Cash prizes to reward young Pi programmers

Students spend summer on Raspberry Pi and talking web


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