I thought I'd post a bit here about what I have been doing with Pis and schoolkids. Partly to let other people see what I have done, and partly to give people a chance to point out what I could do better.
The launch of the Pi 3 coincided with my school deciding that a computer programming class would be good, and yours truly would be the ideal person to spearhead it.
I work in a middle school, with students from about age 12 to about age 15. The school has no specific focus (arts/music/sports or technology), nor does it recruit only a certain type of student. It's an ordinary school.
So far we are in week 4 of my cobbled-together-one-evening syllabus. I teach two 90-minute classes a week, and I have 18 students and 4 other teachers who want to learn about the Pi.
The first lesson was a wash. I'm calling it lesson 0. We didn't have a room. And we didn't have any Pis. I was determined not to buy Pi 2s because the Pi 3 had just become available. Unfortunately our local supplier didn't have stock yet. So lesson 0 was all about how cool everything was going to be. At least, that's what the students thought. I was thinking about the syllabus I hadn't written yet.
The next week we got Pis! But cases were out of stock. I was trying to get things done
I cringed when I saw that the Pis had arrived and been given to the students. I asked them to keep them in the anti-static bags, but you know what kids are like. Unfortunately lesson 1 was also a wash as we were moved to the ironically-titled PC classroom, which was mostly full of broken equipment. No PC for the projector. No whiteboard. So I did my first lesson by simply waving a Pi around and talking about how cool everything was going to be. Eventually my co-teacher (the science teacher, who also got roped into this, because computers are science, right?) found a working PC and we got the projector going. I was able to show how to use win32diskimager to write the OS file to the SD cards. I then realised it was going to take a while to write 18 of them (I had already done the teachers' cards). I took 7 cards home at the end of the lesson.
So that was week 1 and week 2.
Week 3's class involved getting everyone's SD cards written, and assembling the cases (which arrived that day). I got the clear acrylic cases with 4 tiny screws to hold the Pi in place. I didn't have enough screwdrivers, but that didn't really matter.
I was determined to let the kids do their own thing, so they put the screws in and assembled the cases. Some kids got their SD cards to boot and plugged them in to the monitors in the PC classroom, some of which worked. Certain combinations of certain Pis and certain monitors didn't work. In the end I decided two Pis were faulty (they booted, but had no HDMI output), so they were sent back to the supplier, and the science teacher and I gave our Pis to the students that had had them.
The second class that week was the first time we got all Pis booting. All working. And all ready to go. So, we covered the basics of plugging everything in, expanding the filesystem, and looking at text mode and graphic mode, and starting up with and without a password. We also talked about backups (we should have them!) and shutting down safely. I insisted that the students bring a notebook to class to write down stuff they thought was interesting, and what they did to break things, and how they fixed it. I don't think they'll be very rigorous about that.