CAS Raspberry Pi Educational Manual
You might remember that we mentioned last year that a team of UK teachers from Computing at School (CAS) was working on a Creative Commons licensed teaching manual for the Raspberry Pi, with recognition and encouragement from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. That manual is now available at the Pi Store (which you’ll find on your Raspberry Pi’s desktop) as a PDF. If you’re not a Pi owner, there’s a link to a copy at the bottom of this post.
The manual is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 unported licence, which is a complicated way of saying that it’s free for you to download, copy, adapt and use – you just can’t sell it.
You’ll find chapters here on Scratch, Python, interfacing, and the command line. There’s a group at Oracle which is currently working with us on a faster Java virtual machine (JVM) for the Pi, and once that work’s done, chapters on Greenfoot and Geogebra will also be made available – we hope that’ll be very soon.
We want to say an enormous thank you to the whole CAS team, especially Andrew Hague, who corralled everything (and everyone) together as well as editing much of the document and writing a couple of the chapters. Thanks also to the team at Publicis Blueprint (beware! This link autoplays some video), who did more copy-editorial, production and typesetting work, all on a volunteer basis. Thank you to Graham Hastings, Michael Kölling, Ben Croston, Adrian Oldknow and Clive Beale, who wrote chapters of the manual; thank you to Bruce Nightingale, Brian Starkey and Alan Holt for the digital content. And thank you to the army of CAS members who worked so hard on reviewing and proofreading everything. Everybody who worked on this manual gave freely of their own time to make it happen, and we’re very, very grateful to you all.
The manual itself? It’s brilliant, and we think you’ll find it really useful. Head over to the Pi Store from your Raspberry Pi’s desktop to download a copy directly to your Pi, or, if you don’t have a Raspberry Pi, download the manual here.
We’ll be hosting the manual on this site too, once I’m in front of the right computer – I’ll update again this evening!
I notice that this immediately overloaded Google Docs and so at the risk of killing my own server. A direct link is here: http://www.jamesabela.co.uk/bus/ict/Raspberry_Pi_Education_Manual.pdf
Brilliant work. Well Done to all the team who worked on it!
Raspberry Pi Staff liz — post author
I’ve put it up on the downloads server. Feel free to use that as the main link: http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/Raspberry_Pi_Education_Manual.pdf
Happy New Year :)
Raspberry Pi Staff liz — post author
Thank you! (And to you too!)
Google docs was down when I tried, so I’ve mirrored it here Pi Downloads
Great job folks. Is there anyone developing power point slides for the manual?
Fantastic work. I’ve scanned the Scratch section as I’m starting a CodeClub next week, so appreciating all the inspiration I can get.
There is a mention of the “Raspberry Pi educational release SD” Any word on when this will be released and what will be on it?
You can really see this is a collaboration as some of the screen shots are Raspberry Pi, some Windows and other Ubuntu. Just shows the skills transfer to other platforms and environments. (the image of page 154 says place holder)
Another strange thing is in Acrobat Reader is states that the document has 137 pages, but the page count goes up to 172. Page Number 52 to 71 (included) and 136 to 151 (included) are missing. Not sure if this is just page numbers or whether content is missing.
Still excellent work and it will be hugely useful to all who are looking at a way to show how much fun computing can be.
Re. the missing chapters: see the Table of Contents and Liz’s explanation above to find out why!
Good luck with the CodeClub.
Also, what’s the chances of the resources being available as a ZIP or other compressed format or is there a way on Google Docs to download all.
Figured it out. You have to Open in Google Drive and then you can download the folders as a ZIP file. Not sure how this can be done if you do have a Google Drive account.
This is a fantastic work, but limited to the English speaking community. My son is already on the go with Scratch, thanks to the translations (Dutch in my case).
Is there a way to contribute to a translation? This would preferably be able to be done offline, as I have some spare time during commuting.
If other dutch-speaking people would like to help, we can split the work!
Just let me know how to help!
Hi Bernhard — the licence allows anyone to change or adapt (and improve!) the manual. We would love to see it translated into as many languages as possible, so any efforts there would be much appreciated. The best way to get volunteers together and to manage such a project would be would be via the forums.
[edit 3/1/13]I’ve created a thread in the forum to organise translations etc
William H. Bell
How should translators interact with the authors? Are you able to provide source files or text files to translate? Who is coordinating translations with translation teams? Layout changes or font tweaks may be needed, since non-English versions will require different paragraph lengths.
A French version of this text would be very useful.
Thanks and best regards,
Hi Will. I have the InDesign source files. I’ll start a thread on the forums in the Education section about this.
Sorry, ik had over je contributie heen gelezen. Ik doe graag mee. Zullen we even kijken hoe we het wek het beste kunnen verdelen?
Eerste vraag: wie van ons maakt een apart forum-topic aan voor de NL-vertaling?
Volunteer translators? What a community!
Are you taking typo reports somewhere? I found at least 1 so far.
There’s a thread on the forums for this now
I don’t know where to report things like this, so I’ll do it here.
I notice the page footer still says “A beginner’s guide to Scratch” well into the python section.
I guess it may be down to the missing chapters though.
yeah that confused me too, it’s pages 76 and 77.
O, Great !
Just what I need, I have been wrestling with a python for over a week now and I can use some help…
Only programming robots these days….
What is a Raspberry Pi?
Will there be printed versions of this available ? Goodf work on the missing page number btw, its useful when those pages become available its a case of printing page x – y adn not the whole document again, good idea.
keep up the good work. :)
This. I would happily pay £10 for a printed copy. Is there any chance of asking the publishers who sorted the official guide about getting this printed – even if it is only sold through the raspberry pi shop.
This is fantastic – well done to all concerned!
Also, an extra special +1 for Helen Ireland’s Raspberry Pi illustration. I always enjoyed John Harris’s artwork on the ZX Spectrum manuals — things like that add an extra bit of inspiration.
I think it’s quite good too – but then I’m married to the artist :). Thanks Peter, I’ll pass it on.
Is there a collaboration page so people can work together on typo correction, etc? Otherwise, people are just going to end up doing things twice… I’d suggest something like trac to open tickets for “bugs” (typos, incorrect footers, etc). The thing I’m worried about is that there will be several versions of the manual, and it’ll all just get confusing and messy…
A Kindle version of the manual would be really great ! Just to read through overalls and the important stuff.
Seconded. A native Kindle version would be much appreciated since the Kindle’s PDF support is pretty poor.
A warning to Kindle users:
On my Kindle every time I try an open page 2 my Kindle freezes for 30 seconds or more.
I am guessing that this is due to the picture of the Pi on that page.
A kindle friendly version (A5, minimal graphics and colours) would be great.
Wow. This is awesome.
it’s been clear since its announcement that the Pi had the potential to radically change computer education. This brings us much, much closer to realising that potential.
Outstanding, inspirational work. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
A word of warning – the GPIO chapter refers to Version 1 boards, not the current production models. Not much difference, I know, but be careful.
It’s a shame the authors use “wiring” type pin numbering, not the GPIO
numbers – but that’s me.
Other than that this looks a good manual.
There have been corrections already submitted for version 2 boards but these didn’t make it into the current version of the manual. I’m formatting those and will initially provide an addendum.
Who is this document aimed at? The first part seems to be targeted at a youngish audience “make a talking cat” etc. But then the second part has sentences like this: “Games are essentially real-time simulations of a system of rules that have a starting condition that is modified over time due to external input. Other than the external influences, the simulation is entirely predictable and deterministic.” which is very out of character of the first chapter. Then there’s a drug reference in the xkcd python cartoon on page 112 and obviously we don’t want to encourage our young darlings to sample the contents of the medicine cabinets.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the efforts being made, it just seems a bit schizophrenic in it’s presentation at the moment.
Hi Michael — it’s aimed at anyone who wants to have a go at using the Raspberry Pi. This is the pro bono work a group of people who saw a beta version of the Raspberry Pi demoed late 2011 and decided that they would try to do something positive by writing a manual that would help beginners. There was nothing around at that time — no Raspberry Pi, no user guides, no official manual, nothing. But we thought that we’d get off our backsides and have a go. If it’s disjointed it’s because a number of people wrote it in their spare time and it covers a lot of topics. It reflects different writing styles, different personalities and a wide range of content. For example, Scratch was designed to teach programming to 8-14 year olds, whereas Python is a language that is used professionally and Linux is an operating system — the chapters are “schizophrenic” by definition.
As for xkcd, if you honestly believe that this cartoon will “encourage our young darlings to sample the contents of the medicine cabinets” then by all means remove it and redistrubute a sanitised version — the manual is Creative Commons by-sa-nc.
I agree abut the drugs. One minute my ten year old daughter was making a computer cat say, “Hello. How are you today?”, the next thing she was squatting on top of the bathroom cabinet mashed up on Tyxylix and Bonjela, muttering “import antigravity” and trying to fly. One young kiddie on Cake cried all the water out of his body. Just imagine how his mother felt. It’s a disgrace!
Maybe I’m innocent. I don’t think so – not with what I got up to in the sixties, But I could be wrong.
But I didn’t understand that cartoon, or why it was there. Apart from the reference to Python, it had nothing do do with computing.
Was it to make teenagers think the teachers are cool?
Python is named after a 60’s TV show and so some of the humour can be a little off the wall. The cartoon does have something to do with the programming language, but it is a bit of an ‘in-joke’.
where is the “Raspberry Pi educational release SD card” image? is that the same as Raspbian “wheezy”?
This is a GREAT piece of work! Well done!
I have searched for the “Educational SD Card Image” with no luck.
Does this already exist or is it due for release in the near future?
Let me add my praise to this. I’ve looked over the first few pages quickly. How I wish beautifully thought out and composed books of this sort, with interesting and exciting illustrations, were available in the 1960s and 1970s when I was a kid. Back then textbooks were dull things — long tracts of text and tables, sometimes with illustrations. Experimentation and exploration of ideas were most definitely not encouraged. If you flunked your class no thought was given to whether the teaching materials might have encouraged that. Most of the mathematics textbooks at that time were little better than nonsense sentences interspersed with formulas that were not explained carefully, with numerous examples showing how to solve them.
This book is so very much better than the teaching materials of the 1960s! Talented educators working in teams produce a truly interesting teaching text in this work. The colors and illustrations, and the way the text is written, is surely bound to excite a young reader and get him or her interested in this “programming set” which is just like a “chemistry set”. This is really outstanding writing.
Like others, I too wonder if this work could be translated into Russian and Chinese, thereby reaching a vastly larger audience, and also I would like to see translations aimed at deaf students. Perhaps a movie could eventually made of the lessons, with the languages American Sign Language and British Sign Language.
Perhaps selections from this book could become Geek Gurl Episodes.
I was thinking I might translate the manual to Dutch. How do we organize that? Could I get the source-file to use the same tools and/or lay-out?
I’m not sure I’m the target audience at 64, but I’ll work my way through the tutorials anyway.
I have sent a link to both my 18 year old and my 14 year old and I would like to see what they think. I’ll have to show them how to do a remote login and run vnc because we have it running headless.
Personally I’m not much interested in chapter 1 but they may be amused.
Is there enough info on programming concepts in chapter 3 for non programmers to follow what is happening?
AT LAST! I have been waiting for this manual for some time. Brilliant work and thank you to everyone involved!
Is it OK if I try to translate into Spanish?
Thanks and Happy New Year to the RPi and CAS team.
Raspberry Pi Staff liz — post author
Hi Angel! Really nice to hear from you – I hope you and the family had a great Christmas! You can check out this forum thread for pointers on teaming up with other people on translations and other adaptations – it’s really good of you to offer and we’d love to see a Spanish version!
I am looking forward contribute for the great cause. I will also contact SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) to help as well.
Where’s the HTML version? PDF stinks on tablets and browsers
Raspberry Pi Staff liz — post author
It’s CC – if you really hate PDFs that much, make your own HTML version and share it!
This is a great start, and should go a long way to helping educators get up on step with the Pi (which is at least as important as effectively teaching the material students).
I was thinking that a wiki version would actually be more useful than just HTML in that it would make it much easier for contributors to enhance and expand the content. Yes, I realize how much of a double-edged sword that can be, but with wikis’ built-in version control and contributor access management (if needed), the potential for crazies making a mess of things can be kept to a dull roar. Since most wiki formats support at least partial HTML features, that would provide the means for controlling presentation adequately.
I believe Clive mentioned that the original source material is in inDesign file(s), but it’s not clear whether they’re publicly available, or whether it’s expected that a PDF editor will be used by those wishing to contribute. It’s also not obvious how version control would be established if files are edited. Are contributors supposed to make edited PDFs available and the official CAS version will be updated by its originators as they see fit?
Hi Jim. You make a lot of good points as usual and we’ve started a thread for discussing this and more on the forums.
Seems to focus rather heavily on Linux. What about RISC OS?
Thank you very much. This is ideal to teach my children!
yes thanks from me too – I just bought a rasberry pie to get my grandchildren into programming and this looks just the thing to get us going.
I really like this document is very good and very useful and so is the Magpi
I have used both Linux and Risc OS on the Raspberry Pi
This document and the Magpi both concentrate on Linux
Neither of them seam to want to admit the Risc OS evens exist for the Raspberry Pi
I would imagine that the authors wanted to go for the most popular, widely used operating system. Regardless of how good RiscOS is, Linux is more mainstream and therefore more ‘useful’ in the wider world.
On the flipside, I’m sure the authors would welcome a RiscOS chapter if someone would could to write it.
People write about what they use, and linux is the main use for most.
However we do have an article on RISC OS coming up in the MagPi, we just needed someone to write one.
Remember as always with community projects, if you want something included the best way is to contribute.
It looks very good, but the PDF is unusable. Cross-links inside the PDF are absent (you can’t use most of the PDF generators for these, they’re not capable enough), and the tablle of contents page numbers bear no relation to actual page numbers in the file because 2 chapters are missing. Finding the beginning of a chapter is not close to user-friendly.
It’s CC, but can someone point me to the source files so the PDF can be re-generated in a more usable format? owever if indesign is required to do that than the whole CC isn’t much good.
The CC licence simply gives the public the right to use, share and adapt the work–saying that this isn’t much good because the source files are in InDesign completely misses the point. The layout, editing and design was done pro bono by a professional company who use a professional tool (InDesign*). That’s how it is.
The table of contents is correct based on the printed page numbers (not the pdf page). This was deliberate so that anyone printing it out could simply print out the missing chapters when they are published and not have to print the whole thing again.
Computing at School has made the source files available to anyone who wants them. PM me on the forums if you want the files — CAS would love the help!
[*A 30-day trial version of InDesign is available. This should be more than enough time for individuals to contribute to the project if they want.]
The “Education Manual” is a great idea and an invaluable teaching tool.
My burning question is, “Where is the Raspberry Pi educational release SD?” This has come up a couple of times in this thread with no response. Is there anyone who can provide an update?
Not ready yet? Although the current release isn’t far off as it contains all the required stuff.
Thanks for the feedback! I rather thought that might be the case – especially with “missing” chapters, links, etc. in the manual. Unfortunately, no one thought to simply make an “It’s coming!” statement.
I will try to be patient. Thank you.
“Unfortunately, no one thought to simply make an “It’s coming!” statement.”
That’s because we put it in there ages ago and then forgot about it ;) Sorry!
Is anyone interested in producing a multi-media version of the manual? I’ve uploaded a draft that could be vastly improved with better animation, a new (younger) audio track, sub titles etc etc. http://youtu.be/PCHhknywMO0
Hi Richard – if you haven’t done so already, the best place to post this would be in the forums. Thanks and good luck with the project.
richard a wenner
Thank you – have done now.
As one of the original team who produced the Raspberry Pi Educational Manual I would just like to add a couple of comments. The first is that GeoGebra now runs on the latest Linux OS – and so I hope that one of the missing chapters can soon be made available. Also that we had no idea that RISC OS would be available when we wrote the Manual. So now as well as Scratch and Pi as programming languages we can reinstate BBC Basic – and open up the door to a treasure trove of software written for the Beeb, Archimedes and Electron over the years.
The ‘download it here’ link is not working and gives a 404 Not Found. Was able to download it from one of the others sources provided, but probably best to fix the link in the main post.