Here is an inquiry received from a primary school ICT teacher
Hello, my name is (withheld) and I am the ICT and Art and
Design coordinator at (withheld( school in Ramsgate. My
Headteacher put me in the direction of raspberry pi as a good
introduction to programming for gifted upper primary aged kids. I have
no idea about any aspect of programming or indeed what the Rasperry Pi
is or how it works.
Would training and / or a demonstration be possible before we purchase
any of the devices? Any information greatly appreciated.
and here is my response ...
Dear Mrs (withheld)
I am not certain that the RaspberryPi is the best option for primary
schools ... unless you and your staff are prepared to do a lot of
learning ... or are already familiar with Linux.
It also depends on what your teaching objectives are ...
e.g. if you are planning to teach Linux then the RaspberryPi would be
a good addition to the curriculum
If you are planning to teach something about embedded systems and
robotics then, I think that the Arduino would be a better choice, or
even the LeTry teaching kit
(successfully used in Asia ... ) ... we do sell them through Robotiq
) - and it can be combined with nano format
Then, of course there is Lego Mindstorms, VEX Robotics and Tetrix ...
I think that the RaspberryPi is quite frail for classroom use ...
even at £30 a go ... breakages would soon add up ... so you would
probably need to get suitable boxes / enclosures for your
RasbperryPi 's ...
If you are planning to use the raspberryPi for e.g. demonstrating how to
control motors, lights, and how to detect button presses ... then the
available boards that interface to the
raspberryPi, typically, use I2C or SPI ...
In this case you might as well use Arduino boards directly ...
Programming wise ... your options are probably Python and Lua ...
Arduino's are programmed in a simplified variant of C/C++ ... not too
complex if you avoid getting sucked into the more subtle aspects of
For gifted primary school children ... say from 8 onwards ... there
are many possibilities ...
If you want to come and have a brief explore (as opposed to coming on
a workshop) then do let me know ...
You could pop up on say a Saturday afternoon to Carshalton and have a
"little explore" ... we have RaspberryPi's, Arduino's, VEX robotics
and LEGO Mindstorms in stock and also an extensive set of books
You might wish to take a peek at the workshops we have put up on
There are more professional ( and therfore more expensive ) courses on
If you read through the various outlines and do some "googling around"
that should be a start.
Hope this is of use