NPOV and all that


24 posts
by liz » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:45 pm
We never, ever edit the Raspberry Pi stuff on Wikipedia, because we take NPOV very seriously. But that doesn't mean that we don't check it assiduously. And today, I saw the best troll edit we've seen on there yet. (It lasted for about ten minutes before someone spotted it.)

Image

Do you fit the stereotype?
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
by Twinkletoes » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 pm
As in nerds who are 30 something (GUILTY), or just over 30 nerds bought 1 meeeeellion pis? We must be told!
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:44 pm
by alexeames » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 pm
Nope - I'm 43 :lol:
My Pi uses 2 watts - what what? ---- HiRes early production Pi photos RS Front Back | Farnell Front Back
User avatar
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:57 am
Location: UK
by liz » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:19 pm
Eben and I are both 30-something nerds. Rob's a mere strapling, though; I think he's only about 21. And Pete's old enough that he never touched a computer until he was 25. (Sorry Pete.) Jack was a roadie for Pink Floyd, which dates him...

As far as the assertion on Wikipeda goes: well, it *is* the nostalgic among you who have helped make us as successful as we are up to now. But between 20% and 30% of Pis are ending up with kids, and that number ramps up every month. The best bit of my day is the several mails I find in my inbox every morning from kids asking me questions about the Pi, or just telling me what they're doing with it.
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
by gritz » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:24 pm
It's possibly something to do with the story on the BBC site regarding the opening of the Pi store:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20757261

Rory Cellan-Jones wrote:But my suspicion is that the main buyers so far have been 40-somethings who look back with nostalgia to their teenage years messing about with a BBC Micro or a ZX Spectrum. When I spoke to Mr Upton this morning, he confirmed that this was pretty accurate - "there's a strong bias towards adults who are computer literate" - but said that was changing a bit.


I'm 45, which possibly explains why I had to look up the acronym "NPOV". :lol:
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am
by liz » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:27 pm
I like Rory. He actually asks difficult questions in interviews (an awful lot of journalists don't, and we wish they would, because everybody reading is *thinking* them, and we usually have pretty good answers).

Some crazy comments under that article.
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
by gritz » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:36 pm
liz wrote:...Some crazy comments under that article.


Indeed. Good thing they're probably too busy posting "you suck" type comments on Youtube pages to visit the Pi blog. Lots of angsty people on all sides.
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am
by mc349 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:15 am
39 so I just fit the demographic. Was 38 when I ordered the PI, 39 when I received it :-)

Just remember nerds get paid well girls...
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:05 pm
by alexeames » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:45 am
gritz wrote:I'm 45, which possibly explains why I had to look up the acronym "NPOV". :lol:


I had to look it up too :lol:

One comment on Rory's article makes the point about the enthusiasts showing kids what can be done with a Pi. I think we're on the verge of making computers and programming cool again.

The barrier we face is that, if we're brutally honest, ICT teachers don't generally know enough about this stuff (programming, physical computing) to be able to teach it. And they're busy people so don't have a lot of time to reskill and retrain. I know there are some bright shining stars out there who don't fit this gross generalisation, but not enough (yet) to make a difference.

Every time I take a Pi demo into my Y5 ICT class, they love it (and I've got video evidence to prove it :lol: ) but I only teach half a day a week and have lots of available time to research this stuff. Others teach fulltime and it's a full-on stressful job. The last thing you want is to be trying to teach something you're not confident with yourself.

The worst feeling in the world is when what you're trying to show them doesn't work. You've got a room full of kids giggling because you've messed something up. You just want the earth to open up and swallow you. It happened to me a few years ago with a data logging demo when I plugged a cable in the wrong way round. Lesson plan down the toilet, not only do you feel a twit, but you have to come up with something else with zero notice :o . AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG. That's two teaching nightmares at once. That feeling sticks with you. Demos have to be bulletproof. :lol:

And to be able to debug someone else's wiring or program, you have to be pretty good at it yourself. There's a lot that can be done with documentation and materials, but what we need to do is encourage the ICT teachers to play. If they start playing and enjoy it, everything else will take care of itself. :lol:
My Pi uses 2 watts - what what? ---- HiRes early production Pi photos RS Front Back | Farnell Front Back
User avatar
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:57 am
Location: UK
by jamesh » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:01 am
In the 80's there were no ICT teachers, in fact, no teachers doing any computing stuff at all, until A level at least. In the end, it was the interest I had in the subject that made me learn it, not input from teachers, since there weren't any. Nowadays, I'm not sure the attention span of the average student is long enough to DIY!
Raspberry Pi Engineer
Raspberry Pi Engineer
Posts: 10598
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by rurwin » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:15 am
jamesh wrote:In the 80's there were no ICT teachers, in fact, no teachers doing any computing stuff at all, until A level at least.


Very strange. How come I've got an O level and an A level in Computer Science which included hands-on programming from 1974-1979? I believe all Birmingham schools were similarly equipped. In the same time-frame the private schools were doing amazing stuff.

ETA: I found a reference to my old school. It seems it hasn't changed much ;-)
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2890
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 pm
by jamesh » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:32 am
rurwin wrote:
jamesh wrote:In the 80's there were no ICT teachers, in fact, no teachers doing any computing stuff at all, until A level at least.


Very strange. How come I've got an O level and an A level in Computer Science which included hands-on programming from 1974-1979? I believe all Birmingham schools were similarly equipped. In the same time-frame the private schools were doing amazing stuff.

ETA: I found a reference to my old school. It seems it hasn't changed much ;-)


Sorry, I should have been more specific - in my school and in all the ones I knew about (Cambridge area)! And mine was a relatively advanced public school (we had an Apple ][ when they were state of the art). Point remains though, the majority of people at school in the late 70's early 80's would have had no access to computers or the teaching, and when the new fangled home machines came out you had to teach yourself, because the teachers didn't exist.
Raspberry Pi Engineer
Raspberry Pi Engineer
Posts: 10598
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by gritz » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:40 am
alexeames wrote:
gritz wrote:I'm 45, which possibly explains why I had to look up the acronym "NPOV". :lol:


I had to look it up too :lol:


Am relieved that I wasn't the only one!

alexeames wrote:The barrier we face is that, if we're brutally honest, ICT teachers don't generally know enough about this stuff (programming, physical computing) to be able to teach it. And they're busy people so don't have a lot of time to reskill and retrain. I know there are some bright shining stars out there who don't fit this gross generalisation, but not enough (yet) to make a difference.


This is my concern too. All the cheap hardware in the world won't help without well trained and supported staff imparting a relevent curriculum. We've had classrooms stuffed with a fortune's worth of x86 hardware for years now, but the "we cant let enthusiastic / mischevious children do anything interesting with it, because they'll break something..." excuse is just a bit of a smokescreen for having let things slide for so long at the top (policy making) level.

alexeames wrote:The worst feeling in the world is when what you're trying to show them doesn't work. You've got a room full of kids giggling because you've messed something up. You just want the earth to open up and swallow you. It happened to me a few years ago with a data logging demo when I plugged a cable in the wrong way round. Lesson plan down the toilet, not only do you feel a twit, but you have to come up with something else with zero notice :o . AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG. That's two teaching nightmares at once. That feeling sticks with you. Demos have to be bulletproof. :lol:


I'm from the generation that grew up with the BBC TV tech program "Tomorrow's World". Some time around the late 70's more and more of the features started containing the line "and of course, it's all done by computer." Said computer was presented as a mysterious "black box" by the obviously befuddled presenters and having spent all day frying under the studio lights it would often get the sulks at demo time. The joys of live TV! This is probably the root of the computer related scepticism that I'm still trying to shake off today...

Our school's Computer Studies curriculum circa 1980 consisted of one ZX81 and one (albeit enthusiastic, clever and charismatic) maths teacher who dedicated his spare time to spreading the gospel. I imagine that this was far more than many schools had to offer at the time. We had a Practical Electronics class too - also "unofficial" and far more fun for a nuts and bolts person like me who couldn't at that time grasp the point of a box that had to re-interpret the same program every time it was run. The Z80 later had it's revenge at college when I had to learn ASM and a bit of machine code - all of which I've forgotten...

I have to agree with jamesh, my experience of the time is that the computer-savvy kids learned their chops at home, not at school.
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am
by alexeames » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:51 am
gritz wrote:I have to agree with jamesh, my experience of the time is that the computer-savvy kids learned their chops at home, not at school.


He's not wrong at all. I remember a physics lesson when I was 15, the teacher let us loose on the BBC model B's. The guy I was paired with (class tough-guy) wanted to shoot a space invader. I told him I could make that happen, but it would only be 1. (I didn't know enough for more than 1)

The teacher left me alone because I knew more about it than he did. :lol:

The enthusiasm and drive to learn has to come from the kids, but if the teachers can show them cool things they can do, that will be a source of inspiration to spark the enthusiasm. Of course, they could always just carry on teaching them PowerPoint (and many probably will). :lol:
My Pi uses 2 watts - what what? ---- HiRes early production Pi photos RS Front Back | Farnell Front Back
User avatar
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:57 am
Location: UK
by LetHopeItsSnowing » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:55 pm
I would describe myself as a 36yo professional nerd and amateur snowboarder... Yeah I fit the stereotype!
"am I getting slower, or is stuff more complicated; either way I now have to write it down - stuffaboutcode.com"
User avatar
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am
Location: UK
by LetHopeItsSnowing » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:58 pm
jamesh wrote:In the 80's there were no ICT teachers, in fact, no teachers doing any computing stuff at all, until A level at least. In the end, it was the interest I had in the subject that made me learn it, not input from teachers, since there weren't any. Nowadays, I'm not sure the attention span of the average student is long enough to DIY!


I did GCSE computer science between 1990 and 1992, we did a lot hands programming using BBC Micro's and BASIC; probably one of the most things that influenced my subseqent eduaction and career choices!
"am I getting slower, or is stuff more complicated; either way I now have to write it down - stuffaboutcode.com"
User avatar
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am
Location: UK
by gritz » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:17 pm
alexeames wrote:The enthusiasm and drive to learn has to come from the kids, but if the teachers can show them cool things they can do, that will be a source of inspiration to spark the enthusiasm. Of course, they could always just carry on teaching them PowerPoint (and many probably will). :lol:


:lol:

Agreed - in my "class of 1980ish" the kids had the enthusiasm and they also had tasks in mind for the computer, while the teacher provided the rigour (in a methodical, problem-solving sense) as well as specific technical know-how. He also provided huge amounts of encouragement and made no secret of that fact that he was learning new stuff all the time too, so there was a "collective" feel as well. It was all pretty cutting-edge at the time, so it was ok for the teacher to say "I don't know the answer to that, but I can find out..."

Different times, I guess. :)
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am
by liz » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:26 pm
We had IT lessons at my all-girls' school (I'm also 36): they were 45-minute typing lessons. We also played Granny's Garden.

I am dead good at typing.

Fortunately, I had forward-looking parents who bought the family a Beeb, and the local library was about fifty yards from home.
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Posts: 3903
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
by rurwin » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:17 pm
We didn't do typing. That was something only the girls were allowed to do, that short-hand and cookery. Within five years of my leaving school the secretary and the typing pool were dead. I've always wished I had learned to type properly, before all the bad habits were too ingrained to shift. And I love cookery.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2890
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 pm
by gritz » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:11 pm
My mate Kev was the only chap in our year at secondary school who was brave enough to do Home Economics. He loved cooking (and girls) so he had a pretty good time. He was also a great football player, so he didn't even get teased by the other males about his choice of lessons. Jammy git - I was rubbish at football.
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am
by tufty » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:36 am
LetHopeItsSnowing wrote:amateur snowboarder

You're in luck. It's snowing in the Alps. I've just spent 12 days, 7.5 hours a day, shovelling the stuff. More coming, too.

Image
Posts: 1330
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm
by LetHopeItsSnowing » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:52 am
tufty wrote:
LetHopeItsSnowing wrote:amateur snowboarder

You're in luck. It's snowing in the Alps. I've just spent 12 days, 7.5 hours a day, shovelling the stuff. More coming, too.

Image


Excellent, Ill be is Les Deux Alpes in a month
"am I getting slower, or is stuff more complicated; either way I now have to write it down - stuffaboutcode.com"
User avatar
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am
Location: UK
by LetHopeItsSnowing » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:54 am
rurwin wrote:We didn't do typing. That was something only the girls were allowed to do, that short-hand and cookery. Within five years of my leaving school the secretary and the typing pool were dead. I've always wished I had learned to type properly, before all the bad habits were too ingrained to shift. And I love cookery.


I did a typing course when I was 16 studying IT applications at college, didnt see the point at the time but I can still touch type and its definetly a skill many other people dont have...
"am I getting slower, or is stuff more complicated; either way I now have to write it down - stuffaboutcode.com"
User avatar
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am
Location: UK
by ukscone » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:27 pm
rurwin wrote:We didn't do typing. That was something only the girls were allowed to do, that short-hand and cookery.


I was the first boy in our school district to do typing & short-hand but it it wasn't to learn the skills but rather for more nefarious reasons, lots of cute girls who were always offering to help me. i did Home Ec along with two other boys as I was originally planning on going to catering college instead of 6th form.

We had computers in school (79 to 82) but no classes and the computer club was only during lunch so not only did you have to show an interest in computers you had to learn the valuable skill of forgery to be able to go to computer club as if you weren't on priority or 1st lunch or were able to forge a teachers signature on your lunch ticket you didn't have time to go.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2581
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm