Introducing a new(ish) face

Today’s grant from Google (if you have’t read the post about it yet, go and have a look before you continue with this one) has also enabled us to pick up our newest hire, Clive Beale.

If you’ve been visiting this website regularly over the last 18 months or so, you may recognise Clive as one of our volunteers. He’s been involved with Raspberry Pi since a few days after this site went live; he runs Pi workshops, writes Pi teaching materials, does a lot of work with Computing at Schools and other CS teaching groups on things Pi, and is now leaving his successful teaching career to head up the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s educational strategy.

Clive’s our new Director of Educational Development, and he’ll be organising getting the Google-funded Raspberry Pis into the hands of kids who will use them; he’s also working with some of our partner organisations on the curriculum, and dealing with materials and outreach. He’ll be dealing with resources for kids, and for teachers and parents too. (If you’re visiting the BETT show at the end of this week, you can meet Clive, who will be demonstrating, talking about the Pi in schools, and torturing Jelly Babies with GPIO pins.) He says:

Sometime during 2011 I came across the Raspberry Pi on the web. As a teacher of ICT and Computing I thought, “Hmm… that’s interesting”. It hinted of physical computing, programming and cross-curricular projects.

Later that year I had a chance to play around with a demo board, and this time I was sold. Until I had the thing in my hand I hadn’t really appreciated its potential: the size, the price, the OS on an SD card. Most of all I loved the fact that it was both physically and conceptually so far removed from the sealed-box PCs that my students used every day.

Using the Raspberry Pi in the classroom, you have no choice but to learn new stuff. It really was a remarkable machine.  So I took to hanging around the forums, writing bits and pieces, helping out with the blog and generally making a nuisance of myself. The plan worked and here I am.

It’s fantastic that that the Raspberry Pi hardware has become such a star–an icon even–but the hardware has always been a means to an end. The Foundation’s goal is to educate and encourage a new generation of computer scientists and to invigorate computing in the UK and beyond. We’ve always been passionate about this and we’re delighted that we now have the resources and support to help make it happen. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’m proud to be part of it. And the best thing of all is—we’ve only just started.

One thing that we think is of paramount importance in Clive’s work here at the Foundation is continued teaching, and continuing conversation with kids from all over the country; it’s no good having someone whose job is to engage with schools and teachers if he doesn’t have up-to-the-minute classroom experience. So the plan is for Clive to visit schools around the UK very regularly, holding classes and workshops for kids in the classroom as well as talking to teachers.

If you’re a teacher from the UK and you’d like Clive to visit, please leave a comment below, and we’ll add you to the list we’ll eventually be picking from. (We’re seeing a lot of interest in this workshops program already, so we won’t be able to visit everybody, but we’ll do our best to make sure that we cover as much of the country as we can.)

Clive rides a motorbike, owns a sous vide cooker he built from bits of junk he’d rescued from a skip, and enjoys pork scratchings. He gave me a photo for this post that’s so awful we can’t use it because it’ll scare children (we’ll have a new one in place as soon as we can).

We think he’s going to fit right in here.