• Question: What Are Raspberry Pi boards And Whats So Special About Them?

    Asked by charlotte1999 to Andy on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Andrew Hearn

      Andrew Hearn answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Hi there – fantastic question! As I can’t shove enough information on my profile 🙂 The Raspberry Pi boards are proper computers the size of a credit card. Seriously! And they cost around 30 to 35 quid each.

      The idea is to just let students do whatever they want with them, there’s no danger of breaking them, and if they do get broken, they get replaced easily, and students get to learn how to program without even realising it – use them to run robots, create in-car entertainment centres, home (school!) movie theatres, set up a device to sense when someone else comes into the room and take photos of that person on the sly (perhaps play a laughing sound too??), or whatever your imagination comes up with, you choose! (I’d be real interested in knowing what you guys come up with!)

      All this is to stop ICT lessons from being soooo boring! There are a group of people, software engineers and computer scientists, who are real worried about that – ICT and computing at schools used to be so much fun that students fought over each other to sit by a computer, so something is very wrong with how schools teach students computing today, and these people came up with the Raspberry Pi project.

      And I’m real annoyed that I never got a chance to mess around with them Raspberry Pi boards when I was at school – yeah I’m jealous……. imagine getting a device to play ’embarrassing’ sounds depending on who approaches it, or put that thing on wheels and let it drive about by itself like a remote controlled car, filming confused teachers. But that’s just me looking for some cheap laughs – am sure you guys are much more sophisticated 🙂

      The skills gained while using these Raspberry Pi boards will then be easily used for future software engineering. This country has a shortage of skilled software engineers and system admins with Linux knowledge!