Google to bring Raspberry Pi to Bash Street
Computers for kids
Google is to indirectly equip 102 UK schools with Raspberry Pi devices.
The ZX81 de nos jours - though Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who announced the scheme last night, likened the Pi to the more education-centric, posher BBC Micro - will come to schools through UK charity Teach First.
Google and Teach First will fund the training of 102 computer science teachers - 61 focus on IT, 41 with a more science bent - over the three years the programme is envisaged to run.
Would-be educators will undergo six months' training and then be funded to spend at least two years teaching.
Each teacher will come to a school with cash to be used to buy "innovative teaching aids to inspire their classes".
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Schmidt highlighted the Raspberry Pi as an example of just such and aid. He also mentioned the Arduino hardware controller board.
Both have the particular advantage of being cheap, allowing Google, Teach First and their 102 educators the opportunity to put more of the machines in front of kids than focusing on complete systems would allow them to. ®
Re: 100 teachers over 3 years?
It's a start. And it's better than nothing. Frankly, I'd rather have those 30 teachers a year teaching some useful programming and development that interests and excites the students, rather than 24,000 brain-dead morons teaching their bored and uncaring students the joys of MS Office.
Baby steps, and all that jazz.
Re: 100 teachers over 3 years?
Google have publicly criticised how we do things now, they are putting some money in to show how they think it should be done rather than just talking about it... That gets a big thumbs up from me, even if it won't solve the problem at least it might show if this is how the rest of them should be doing it.
Re: 102 RPis?
Mine from the ramped up production run arrived this morning.
Chucked in a fresh SD card, samsung phone charger, gash keyboard and the TV and it's buzzing away happily. Nice work raspberry people!
Managed to step on my one and only wifi dongle so got to wait for a new one to arrive now :-/
"Granted it's a difficult subject, but so are the big three Sciences and learning a foreign language. How much do those subjects contribute to our competitiveness?"
Given that programming is a synonym for "translation", I'd say learning a foreign language or two would be a lot more useful than you seem to think.
How long until Computer Science is a lesson taught in every school? I think as a nation we've arrived at this foregone conclusion much later than we should have.
In the next few decades I imagine Computer Science will play a far larger role in our economy than current stalwarts. Granted it's a difficult subject, but so are the big three Sciences and learning a foreign language. How much do those subjects contribute to our competitiveness?
We should be giving these away for next to nothing to encourage future generations. With the funds massively wasted with Government IT systems; we could have given one RaspPi to every person in blighty.