Google donates 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schools
Pi Foundation says gift will help to bake future boffins
Google has donated of 15,000 Raspberry Pi Model Bs to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
At list price of £25.92, that’s a £ 388,800 gift and one that the Foundation says, in a blog post, represents a “… really good sign … that industry has a visible commitment now to trying to solve the problem of CS education in the UK.”
“Grants like this show us that companies like Google aren’t prepared to wait for government or someone else to fix the problems we’re all discussing, but want to help tackle them themselves,” the post continues. "We’re incredibly grateful for their help in something that we, like them, think is of vital importance. We think they deserve an enormous amount of credit for helping some of our future engineers and scientists find a way to a career they’re going to love.”
The donation was made by Google Executive Chair Eric Schmidt (last sighted in North Korea), who spent part of yesterday teaching Cambridge kids how to wield a Pi.
The gift has also enabled the Foundation to hire Clive Beale as its new director of educational development. One of the tasks facing Beale is figuring out who is worthy of one of the newly-donated Pis. The Foundation says the groups CoderDojo, Code Club, Computing at Schools, Generating Genius, Teach First and Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examinations will help determine which kids are most deserving of the computers. ®
Google Doing Good Things
Google often lives up to it's unofficial motto of "Don't Be Evil".
Apart from grooming a new bunch of Google supporters, it generates good will.
Could be good for a tax write-off, if they paid tax.
I think the problem is the computers in schools are locked down and the IT staff are to afraid to allow someone to connect up electronics they have made.
If they break a Pi it's not much to replace and if the OS gets buggered an SD card image can be written to a new card in minutes.
Re: Google Doing Good Things
The point is not to teach them about how specific applications on computers work such that they can become effective office drones in 10 years time. The idea is to inspire a new generation to tinker with the nuts and bolts and teach themselves about computers from the ground up, in the way that many of us did with 8 bit computers back in the 80s.
Whatever your thoughts on FOSS vs. Microsoft or whatever is, there is no doubt that Linux provides more (i.e. complete) access to it's internals than commercial software.
Re: Google Doing Good Things
Am alternative would be to pay their taxes - then the schools could decide whether to spend the money on Raspberry Pis or not.
AC @11:55 - Re: Google Doing Good Things
Wrote : - "Which of these two options is valid:
1. Teach kids how to use software that is on 90+% of business desktop machines.
2. Teach kids how to use software that is on <5% of business desktop machines."
Are they mutually exclusive? The Pi initiative is nothing to do with teaching kids to be typists, or accountants, or marketing drones, or administrators.
It is about teaching some technology. You know, the skills that politicians (technophobes themselves) have tended to think is best done over the other side of the world because they hate the thought of rolling up their sleeves to do anything practical.