Raspberry Pi Devices Spread in Schools, Help Teach Programming

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 20, 2014

According to a new DigiTimes report, sales of credit-card sized Raspberry Pi devices, which run Linux, remain very strong. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that 3.5 million units have sold worldwide, with demand from China and Taiwan staying strong. The devices are helping to teach children basic programming skills and are arriving in educational systems all around the world.

As BusinessWeek reports:

"The [Raspberry Pi] website walks users through the construction of such items as an “Infrared Bird Box” or a “Hamster Party Cam.” Upton estimates that the user base is split about evenly among the three groups—students, pros, and hobbyists...Upton, the founder and chief executive of the 10-employee foundation in Cambridge, England, says he grew convinced that more kids needed introductory programming lessons (or, in some cases, remedial ones) while he was running the computer science department at St. John’s College at Cambridge."

Recently, the Raspberry Pi Foundation hosted its first ever Young Rewired State centre and took part in a Festival of Code. According to the Foundation:

"The aim of Festival of Code is to inspire and support young coders in creating something new – the only specification is that it must include an open data set."

"From Monday to Thursday the teams worked on their own projects, Ace Your Place and Moodzi, with mentors and members of the Raspberry Pi team. We even had Twilio and Code on the Road pop by."

Previously, in a very promising step for the Raspberry Pi movement, Google pledged to give U.K. schools Raspberry Pis and pledged to train teachers in how to pass Linux skills onto students.

In the past, when schools have been seeded with new breeds of computers, the problem of training teaches has risen to the top. To really get Raspberry Pi devices entrenched in schools and get students going with them, organizations like the Pi Foundation and Google need to focus on teacher training.

You can expect to see the Raspberry Pi in many more schools over the next several years.