alecthegeek
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:32 am

G'Day,

I was looking to get an understanding of the scope that the RasPi Foundation has set itself? I had made some assumptions that don't seem to be supported by the community discussion around what IP will be delivered with the device.

I had assumed that RasPi would be a great platform for educators and self-learners to adapt for local needs and various pedagogical outcomes. i.e. a cheap, useful, open, working computer.

However there is a lot discussion around what specific education material and software should be included with the platform. This to me suggests some very specific aims around how RasPi will be used? I think this may give people a reason not to try RasPi as the 1st version they experience _may_ be the opposite of what they think they need.

Speaking for myself I would like to see a RasPi deliver the core platform and then the community providing support for educational and other tailoring; with a clear distinction between the two. I can see a huge market for RasPi "respins" (in a similar way to the Fedora and Ubuntu projects' variants)

Sorry if this topic has already been addressed.
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Alec Clews <alec.clews@gmail.com>
http://about.me/alecthegeek

Mark Hudson
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:38 am

I think we just all have lots of our own ideas and have bounced them around here, but nothing we have said is in any way Raspi policy etc.. and in any case, by a HUGE margin, the majority of the interest in this device in this forum has nothing to do with education at all - it all seems to be very individual interest/needs by already fluent programmers/engineers. Not saying that is bad, but it is my observation.

Re being a core platform, the early posts here from the Raspi team seemed to suggest that this would be a Python setup, with everything else being potential user ideas (including mine), so lets wait and see. I agree with you that a likely way forward for successful educational use might be community/3rd party 'variants' but I also think that the Raspi team will want to (or at least I hope they will) take a lead on this once the hardware is finished. As you say, this was the initial motivation for the project... I don't see them dropping this even if others do also create their own projects.

jacklang
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:53 am

As a trustee (I'm secretary and treasurer of the Foundation) and one of the originators I can answer this. I hope Liz will forgive me for jumping in.

We are very much in your hands. The platform itself is agnostic, but the intention is to provide a user friendly platform that, like the old BBC micro boots (or at most one click away) into an easily accessible programming environment. There may be several environments available, and no doubt the community will provide more, and the support, documentation, lesson plans, learning tools etc etc that needs to go with them.

Python will hopefully be there (that's the Pi in Raspberry Pi), and we are still debating what else should go in the initial release, and your input really helps
Other candidates include

- The MIT work and its successors: Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu/ BYOB http://byob.berkeley.edu/ Alice http://www.alice.org/ which were built on Squeak http://squeak.org/, and the original LOGO

- a Java environment, maybe with something like Greenfoot http://www.greenfoot.org/ from University of Kent

- BBC Basic, maybe via a BBC emulator, if we can figure out who now owns the IPR, although this might be just nostalgia

- C++ etc

However we are only a small team with limited resource, so we need your help.
We are working with (and let me recommend) the Computing at Schools group http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/ .

Other educational resources you might like to look at include the excellent CS4FN work at QMUL http://www.cs4fn.org/ and http://csunplugged.org/.
The Royal Society has a project in this area http://royalsociety.org/educat.....n-schools/

RP's potential in the developing world is a whole other topic, and we hope to work with NGO's to understand the requirements. Its too easy to be culturally arrogant and believe western solutions are the only ones. For example text based systems are not much use if you can't read or write.

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liz
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Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:39 am

Lovely to see you here Jack - hope you can stay around to answer some of the inevitable questions!
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

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ukscone
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:18 pm

Quote from jacklang on August 14, 2011, 10:53

- BBC Basic, maybe via a BBC emulator, if we can figure out who now owns the IPR, although this might be just nostalgia



there is always brandy http://jaguar.orpheusweb.co.uk.....npage.html it would need some fixing up for sound and graphics in the linux version but it is quite good. It's GPL2

bruceD
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:39 pm

The only must-have is virality - the ability to go viral.

Shane Hudson
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:59 pm

As long as the hardware works well enough then, being linux, it will be able to do anything you want!

subminiature
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:44 am

A language for creating education and training programmes was Tencore. I don't know where it progressed to, if anywhere. I later used Pascal and then VB and VBA for similar training packages. The advantage of these is the way the debugger worked and that even the worse program/programmer could be corrected. Some program code in some languages can't be worked out even by the programmer.
Children might want to write games, but will not put in the effort to write them when they also need to be graphic artists. The potential might be better realised in control. A range of sensors and motors and building something to control by programming. Kits already exist but are expensive.

subminiature
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:07 am

The unreleased http://www.vdelta.com/history.vdweb seems to be were it is at. At $38 and $18 annually it's cross platform and easy to make a start yet flexible enough for more advanced work and designed for CBT and education but could equally write more general applications. If it is anything like TenCORE it certainly is open for any teacher to use instead of PowerPoint with much less difficulty or learning curve.

raffy
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Re: Scope of RasPi project in education

Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:16 am

I agree with the idea of RP making available a core computing platform which educators may use for their own purpose. That would imply RP + OS will be sufficient. The foundation's personnel may want to get involved in educational projects of their own choosing, but that should be their own decision (ie, if they really want to get immersed in a pet project, and if they still have the energy and time). Let it be said that the "core platform" itself is already a big enabling contribution in education, and expanding its coverage (producing more RPs) is already a big challenge.

As to programming, Puppy Linux creator Barry Kauler has adopted BaCon (structured Basic with converter to C). Barry expounds on his reasons here, foremost of which is HUG (Highlevel Universal GUI). Hmm, that is no surprise at all -- that Puppy loves both Bacon and Hug. :D

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