Raspberry pi and a contribution to education


 
4 posts
by rmac » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:47 am
With the thread on a similar line being closed I think that the most valuable aspect of the raspberry pi has been overlooked. The pi has the potential to encourage and enable children to problem solve. The experience of children, in schools, in various parts of the world seems to have degenerated into a Micro$oft training ground. Schools became focused on training children how to use Word, Powerpoint etc.

Education should be about letting children explore and experiment, plan and create, and problem solve. Not everyone needs to become a programmer but knowing something about it can't hurt. Schools took the easy option and created a generation of 'consumers' - people who depend on others to write the software which they then paid to use. The use of such software is in many cases non productive. Consumers generally pay for the privilege whereas someone who produces stands a chance of being paid.

So what if the power cable is faulty? Things like that happen. One needs to be able to locate the problem, propose a solution and then test it to see if it works, The same can be said for the SD cards. Life isn't a bed of roses with everything falling neatly into place. Sh** does happen and you need to be able to respond positively not just throw it into the too hard basket.

Education should be about exposing children to a range of alternatives and expecting them to explore and problem solve - it is what has made our world what it is today.

The raspberry pi is a device long overdue in educational circles. All we need are enough educators with the vision to seize the chance to enrich their children's lives by letting them loose to explore.
In too many schools the focus is on the end product rather than the path taken. I know I'd sooner have my grandchildren explore and experiment and have little to show in a physical sense than to have an adult centric 'finished product' that they had little engagement or say in producing. The term 'busy work' comes to mind. The raspberry pi has the potential to rid some classrooms of it.
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by Jim JKla » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:29 am
Your comment is valid and correct and it has not been overlooked.

Unfortunately the subject has been done to death thats why the Mods keep locking the threads.

It is to lock out the trolls and those idiots wanting to engage in a flame war. ;)
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by thradtke » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:38 am
rmac wrote:Schools became focused on training children how to use Word, Powerpoint etc.

Undoubtly, this perfectly reflects the reality of their working life.

rmac wrote:Education should be about letting children explore and experiment, plan and create, and problem solve. Not everyone needs to become a programmer but knowing something about it can't hurt.

If they want, they can - without any guidance. I'm 45, and we just bought ZX81's or other machines and started programming. Later, I had courses in USCD Pascal and Assembler on Apple IIe's, and while they were worthwhile, they were in no way essential to catch my interest. That has happened before. Today it is much easier to get into programming as computers have become ubiquitious.

I guess every school offers courses for interested pupils. Other childs should not be forced into learning additional things which are not important for 99.99% of them. They have already enough to learn!

The Pi may or may not be the computer of choice for interested kids, dunno. They will decide ;-). One thing is for sure: If someone wants to program for life, his chances are best if he learns how to program a Windows machine. Sad but true.
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by jamesh » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:55 am
thradtke wrote:
rmac wrote:Schools became focused on training children how to use Word, Powerpoint etc.

Undoubtly, this perfectly reflects the reality of their working life.

rmac wrote:Education should be about letting children explore and experiment, plan and create, and problem solve. Not everyone needs to become a programmer but knowing something about it can't hurt.

If they want, they can - without any guidance. I'm 45, and we just bought ZX81's or other machines and started programming. Later, I had courses in USCD Pascal and Assembler on Apple IIe's, and while they were worthwhile, they were in no way essential to catch my interest. That has happened before. Today it is much easier to get into programming as computers have become ubiquitious.

I guess every school offers courses for interested pupils. Other childs should not be forced into learning additional things which are not important for 99.99% of them. They have already enough to learn!

The Pi may or may not be the computer of choice for interested kids, dunno. They will decide ;-). One thing is for sure: If someone wants to program for life, his chances are best if he learns how to program a Windows machine. Sad but true.


One would have hoped that the other thread being closed (with an explanation) would have been a good indicator that this subject has been extensively covered many times. The discussion generally turn in to arguments, and it all gets a bit unpleasant.

Now, I'm not saying the points raised are not relevant, or are ignored. They are relevant, and the Foundation as well as other are perfectly aware of many issues surrounding the whole education thing.

So with that I'll lock this one as well. Sorry to those who want to discuss - there are other threads on here that cover all the points made, with arguments for and against. Please have a dig around.
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