Many kids a generation after me got their start programming TI calculators, which have become a standard requirement in high school mathematics classes. Most students just learn the very surface of the available functions necessary to get their homework done, but some dig in and discover.
So I suspect that the best way to get the Raspberry Pi into the hands of the kids who will really benefit from it is to go the same route; it needs a ready-to-use software stack that is valuable to educators for use in the classroom, without consideration of how open and tinker-friendly the device is.
I have heard (by way of efforts like Edubuntu and Sugar/OLPC) that there's lots of software already out there based on Linux. I'd like to know what educators think of this software.
- What's lacking, or missing? (Is there software available for e.g. music education?)
- What's too hard to use or install in the classroom?
- What tools might be useful to help manage assignments done on the Raspberry Pi and submitted electronically? (I think this would be a great way to bootstrap knowledge about public key encryption and digital signatures.)
- What tools are good, but are too demanding on the hardware to be of use?
I'm sure the Raspberry Pi founders have been thinking about this sort of thing, too. If the discussion is already happening elsewhere I'd appreciate a link to it.