Three Days to the Launch of the Raspberry Pi

 

After several delays, the Raspberry Pi computer looks like finally making its debut on April 20th - perhaps just in time, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt,
 
He says: "I was flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn't even taught as a standard in UK schools. Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it's made. That is just throwing away your great computer heritage."
 
So it may be that the Raspberry Pi might just be the antidote to the ICT currently taught within UK schools, which is all about merely using software, rather than creating it.
 
And this goes a long way towards explaining the dramatic fall - 57% - in the number of British students achieving IT qualifications between 2005 and
2010.
 
Developed by volunteers from the UK's educational sector and technology industry, the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi computer is hoped to inspire an interest in coding in today's schoolchildren.
 
It's certainly making waves in other areas: Education Secretary Michael Gove is planning an overhaul to the existing ICT curriculum and it's almost certain that the Raspberry Pi is going to feature heavily in his plans.
 
After all, with the lack of available training and the number of companies willing to outsource their coding and programming requirements overseas at present, the UK is dropping further and further behind other countries when it comes to young peoples' coding skills - and industry requirements for those skills.
 
Admittedly, the Raspberry Pi isn't exactly what you'd call a standalone computer - it still needs a mouse, a monitor and a keyboard - all of which can be found in the average loft, plus an SD card to act as a hard drive.
 
But for a cost of anywhere from just £16 upwards, it's definitely a cost-effective way of introducing UK students to the basics - the very basics - of computer technology.

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