Today we were asked to look at different pieces of technology that can be used in education. I spent some time looking at the Raspberry Pi. No, it was not pie that you eat but rather a computer processor the size of a deck of cards. There is no screen or key board but rather just ports that allows you to plug in a monitor and key board, and a variety of other devices. The Raspberry Pi allows the user to program the device any way they would like. I was curious to see how others had programmed it and for what purposes. What I found was very interesting, some used the Pi to take their Christmas light display to the next level, while others used it to open and close their chicken coop door at specific times of the day in a way that would not squish the chickens. This device is an empty slate that allows the user to personalize and program it to do anything they can dream of.
In an educational setting the Pi is a cheap way to teach basic computer programming skills. Running at about $35.00 USD a piece, it is a safer and a cheaper way to teach programming in schools. There are no worries that a student will mess up the district programming. It also allows students to chose their own projects. Some might program a robot, others a video game, every project would be unique. Since you can attach camera and video devices some sort of system could be set up and run using the Pi. Every student can try and experiment with different ideas and different difficulty levels of coding so that they all have success and can do something that interests them. The Raspberry Pi is a great innovation that can change computer programming in schools.