timmoore46
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Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:11 am

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/30 ... _donation/

Every School Science dept should have a teacher who knows how to drive a RPi !

(and inspire the kids!)

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Tim

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raspi-config
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:32 am

Sometimes I think if is that a good thing to give children access to computers.

I remember some speeches I attended some years ago, given by a well-known CS professor from Brazil: "Let children be childish: don't give them access to TVs, video games, computers and Internet".
Read more at: http://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer/


Now I have a child, and I guess he was right about his points.

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alexeames
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:49 am

raspi-config wrote:Now I have a child, and I guess he was right about his points.
But you can't put the genie back in the bottle. Moderation in all things.
If you prevent children from having access to computers, they will be the modern equivalent of illiterate and you will hamper their prospects for prosperity.

I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Access should not be completely unrestricted. Each child is unique. You can't have a "one size fits all" policy. As a parent, all you can do is make your best judgment based on your own knowledge and experience. You can't win either. Whatever you do, you will feel you got it wrong somehow. That's parenthood for you. :lol:
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mediakill
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:23 pm

I hate to be the skeptic whenever charities involved but spending that money while nice I think could have been spent wiser. Buying 150000 pi's? when alot of school classrooms are in bad shape and lacking in fundamental equipment etc. Even buying pcs would have been wiser when you consider trying to make jr programmers vs. practical appilcations like giving them normal pc's I'd personally rather they learn how to use pcs and office software and actually programs 90% will encounter in everyday jobs. While it might spark some creativity in some youngsters i seriously doubt a large portion are going to be so inclined to wanna become programmers as a result. I personally don't know many computer teachers in h.s that know linux and programming; much less inclined and (rewarded pay-wise) to sit and teach kids python or whatever Spend the money on buying classroom equipment and if so regular pcs instead of omg lets make future programmers!. Silly and foolish when you look at it realistically. Kids already have so little time in the classroom and throwing another thing at them is not realisic. Real everyday practical pc use? yes trying to make them learn linux programming? puhlease. Not everybody is going to become programmers and its not an essential skill to survive in the marketplace. Better spent on getting them pcs and making them learn practical apps.


Seems like something a tech company would do for good press not realizing how practical it really is. P.R for the sake of it.

mediakill
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:00 pm

Classic case of buying the cheapest thing possible and having to spend much more total than its worth in the long run. Cheapest yes? but at what cost overall? Not when you factor it all up

Hiring computer teachers who actually can teach linux and want to spend it teaching young kids or teenagers? Better be prepared to pay them more. Meanwhile the teacher is rolling his eyes at how stupid this en-devour is and he'd be lucky if a few kids become enthralled enough with programming to actually pursue it outside forced classwork

Using a slow machine to teach computer fundamentals when you could pay not much more and get cheap pcs with windows that yes they would actually use in their overday workplace



[insulting language removed by mod]

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alexeames
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:07 pm

mediakill wrote:I hate to be the skeptic whenever charities involved but spending that money while nice I think could have been spent wiser. Buying 150000 pi's?
I know we've got inflation, but a ten-fold increase in four days is staggering. :lol:
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:12 pm

oops my bad meant 15,000. One too many zeros. yeah 150k would ave been something. How much did they spend total with bulk discount does anyone know the exact amount spent out of curiosity

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:19 pm

mediakill wrote:Using a slow machine to teach computer fundamentals....
I never cease to be amazed by people who think you can only teach using the very latest, fastest machines. In reality their power mostly gets used to make sure the latest wizzy 3D desktops run smoothly. Very few school children are going to be able to write code to take full advantage of a quad core machine + GPU !

Anyway you don't need a fast machines to teach the fundamentals. The fundamentals are partly about learning good programming techniques and algorithms to make the best use of the machine you have available.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:44 pm

Not implying that at all. You can get some second rate used pcs and still get more value for your money. All the points i made i believe still stand. Also factor in 35 bucks plus all the extra hardware teaching costs,etc and your still left with wasting time and/or money better spent teaching them pcs (and yes i'm ready for the linux rage feedback even though not particularly in the mood for it). Factor in all the costs and practicality of teaching linux over pcs and it doesn't make sense long term.

Trust me cost wise you will not be saving much when you really consider all the costs. Any second hand pc or mac would be money better spent and the specs will be better. I;m not arguing tech specs as the main or real reason against using pi's to teach. Your telling me you really think its a good use of limited resources and class time to spend trying to teach programming to kids vs. actually getting a second hand pc or even mac and having them spend their time using/learning those instead?

not every kid wants to become a programmer so pushing it on them is a pointless exercise. Not everyone becomes programmers and its highly unlikely forcing it on them in school will make it any more appealing. Teaching them how to use windows and apps they will however use in their future jobs one way or another :D

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:51 pm

Since Google wants Engineers it would be pretty stupid of them to encourage a curriculum that teaches stuff that doesn't lead to more Engineers, wouldn't it? Also these 15k Raspis do not go to schools but to children who can make use of them, so it isn't even pushed on them, so your argument is moot.
You will also have a hard time with your stance on the site of a Foundation that was deliberately started to change a curriculum that does exactly what you propose.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:08 pm

Obviously, not everone should become a programmer, but many children don´t know about the joys (for some joys at least) of programming until they are too old to take it seriously as a career. I personally got exited as a 4 year old, I worked out how to program different coloured stripes on my dads bbc (laugh if you want, but I was proud). I got bitten by a bug and don´t regret it for one second. If we all waited until we´re adults to make this experience, and decide whether or not we want to do something with it then it may be too late. I´m all up for kids seeing such things, and getting a go at simple programming early. Don´t ram it down their throats, but let them know it´s there.
As for google donating 15000 pi's? Well there are many examples where money could have been better spent, but this is not the worst.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:10 pm

I would be a little more enthused about this if it was a UK company that hd put it's hand in it's pocket.

After all, it's always UK "business leaders" who are forever bitching about the lack of talent amongst school leavers (in between threatening to up sticks to the far east if they don't get more tax breaks and mincing about at the British grand prix / Wimbledon final, etc...)

Fair play to Google. I'm sure it's all part of their plan for world domination and they'll see plenty of return on their investment.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:18 pm

mediakill wrote:Not implying that at all. You can get some second rate used pcs and still get more value for your money.
it's a false notion that one could speed "a little more" and get the windows experience. In 2004, I used to work as the campus tech for a Jr. High School (grades 7-9) that had in the 300-500 student range. Part of my duties was purchasing new equipment for the school and due to the increasing cost of new trackballs for the mice I tried to get the school to purchase some $5 mice from tiger direct. Instead the school board said "you have to buy it through dell" and we spent $15 on every mouse. It paid off in the long term, of course, but it was completely needless.

The point to the story is that the schools aren't going to buy second hand equipment. You can argue that they *could* do it all day long, but at the end of the day they *won't* do it. More importantly, let's say they did buy second hand equipment. This isn't going to be rummage bin stuff, any half way intelligent IT administrator is going to know that he's going to waste more time than he'd save if he bought this model here and that model there. There needs to be consistency. That doesn't mean you have to have 100% conformity, but it does mean you keep it limited. Ergo you're going to buy from a supplier who can consistently provide the model you need.
mediakill wrote:All the points i made i believe still stand. Also factor in 35 bucks plus all the extra hardware teaching costs,etc and your still left with wasting time and/or money better spent teaching them pcs (and yes i'm ready for the linux rage feedback even though not particularly in the mood for it). Factor in all the costs and practicality of teaching linux over pcs and it doesn't make sense long term.

Trust me cost wise you will not be saving much when you really consider all the costs.
Ah, classic argument. Of course it fails to consider that any device you purchase is going to need "extra hardware" that second hand PC tower is going to need just as much spent on it to get a full set up as the pi will. Let's, for the sake of argument, say that the pi comes out 30 USD more expensive than the tower because you need to buy something extra like an active hdmi->vga convertor. That makes the pi $65 instead of $35, and even a second hand decent pc as your describing would cost in excess of $200 just for the tower.

In fact, let's go one step further, let's say you're buying second hand laptops for exactly $200 a pop. That means everything beyond the base cost of the pi of $35 (we'll say $40 after shipping, there is no discount for bulk items, but you might save something on shipping more than one pi at a time) you need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, dvi cable, sd card, hdmi->dvi passive cable, we'll even through in an active hub. Let's say everything costs $20 (which is grossly overpriced) except the monitor which you got second hand for $75, which brings us up to 175+40 = $210.

Well well you say, $210 for the pi after accessories, the second hand crapTop came out ahead. Oops, while you were waving it around gloating you dropped it on the pi and broke both. Now you have to buy a replacement, that makes it another $40 for the pi bringing the total cost up to $250 and another $200 for your replacement crapTop making your total $400. Cost of replacement is an important factor when budgeting. Bring those numbers for the pi accessories down to realistic levels and the gap becomes more drastic.

It's hitting the tl;dr point (or did so two paragraphs back) but there's more to consider. With it costing $40 (I'm keeping shipping costs in there) to replace a board, you now have the option of students paying a deposit in the event of damage and actually taking the boards home with them to do homework with, something you'd never consider with laptops (indeed they remained securely locked up in a mobile access point unit)
not every kid wants to become a programmer so pushing it on them is a pointless exercise. Not everyone becomes programmers and its highly unlikely forcing it on them in school will make it any more appealing. Teaching them how to use windows and apps they will however use in their future jobs one way or another :D

I didn't want to be an english major yet I still had to take 16 hours of lit classes (despite the fact that english majors only had to take 3 hours of remedial math) in college. Besides I've yet to hear of this being forced on anyone. This is about giving students who want to learn programming the ability to learn it at an early age than is currently provided in schools. Plus there's already ICT in schools, they've got windows and its "apps" covered, there is a definitive lack of teaching of programming which this will fill. And let's face it, typically speaking, the masses use windows, the artistic types use Macs, and programmers use linux.
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:26 pm

Side note mediakill, this is a warning. We don't mind differing views of opinion on the forum, but we will not tolerate name calling or insults in general. If you want to ignore the cool things the pi is doing because it's not your OS of choice that's your business, but don't go calling those who are excited because they have used the pi to do things they couldn't without it cultist idiots aka kool-aid drinkers.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:31 pm

I thought i was being civil. overreact much?

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:31 pm

mediakill wrote:True. Still think it would have been money better spent to encourage those kids to learn practical everyday computing
The raspberry pi foundation has never been about encouraging "practical everyday computing", it's been about getting kids interested enough in computers to move beyond that. To move to actually programming and tinkering with computers rather than just being passive users of them.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:34 pm

mediakill wrote:I thought i was being civil. overreact much?
calling people "kool-aid" drinkers is not being civil. I would personally suggest to take the warning and be done with it.
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:39 pm

Okay lets put aside the quibble on cost. Call me practical or call me insane, I'd rather get the students on machines they'd 99% percent of the time they actually use in the workplace. Even if they'd have to pay a little more and get a pc instead (new or used either way) those are the machines employers actually want their employees proficient not linux unless your a programmer. To hire a computer instructor for h.s or pre-teens costs money good luck finding a non-university instructor who actually knows linux and is willing to take the time to actually show students how to use it. At that level teaching kids on a non-pc seems like a ego driven thing; look we are teaching young kids linux and programming look at how great special we are! We are forward thinking and tech savy!

uh no it looks selfish and ego driven

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:50 pm

mediakill wrote:Okay lets put aside the quibble on cost. Call me practical or call me insane, I'd rather get the students on machines they'd 99% percent of the time they actually use in the workplace. Even if they'd have to pay a little more and get a pc instead (new or used either way) those are the machines employers actually want their employees proficient not linux unless your a programmer. To hire a computer instructor for h.s or pre-teens costs money good luck finding a non-university instructor who actually knows linux and is willing to take the time to actually show students how to use it. At that level teaching kids on a non-pc seems like a ego driven thing; look we are teaching young kids linux and programming look at how great special we are! We are forward thinking and tech savy!

uh no it looks selfish and ego driven
fair enough. But the RPF is targeting kids who want to learn programmers. This isn't about making everyone learn programming, though truth be told I would prefer to see one less American history 1492-Civil war class (which rather describes my history or social studies classes from grade 3-12) and see one semester of basic programming just to get kids introduced to it.

I agree with the difficulties in finding someone to teach such a course, though I think it's more an issue of hiring anyone who knows *anything* about PCs at all! People who know things about PCs/linux tend to go off and get a nice paying job as opposed to teaching. Still if I can have a teacher read from a book on power point without ever turning on the computer on her desk, I think we can achieve something with teaching programming in a linux environment ;-)
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:03 pm

Again nothing against Pi org's goal as its quite noble but differ on the practicality of trying to get young kids into programming vs. normal everyday computing which i think takes preference. Especially given the limited hours in the school day. Not many kids much less adults seem to wanna get into programming so not sure how practical trying to appeal to young kids into programming really is. The kids that are interested in programming usually do so on their own and not sure anyone should be pushing young kids into it. Appears to me just a politcal push using technology as an excuse. Schools not working? let's push young kids into learning programming. Anyways thats just my opinion

I do think the raspberry pi is a great adjunct for university students that are already into programming and older young adults who have already shown an interest Its also great for diy types who are into technology. As a 35 dollar cheapie machine its really fun to play with and is a nice invitation into learning linux whereas some people might be afraid to touch it or use it on their default machines.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:11 pm

mediakill wrote:Again nothing against Pi org's goal as its quite noble but differ on the practicality of trying to get young kids into programming vs. normal everyday computing which i think takes preference. .
I suggest you spend some time reading up on the situation here in the UK eduaction system, because you seem to be coming at this from a very uninformed point of view.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:53 pm

I haven't read up on the uk education system being that i'm from the states. But regardless I still think young kids should be spending more time with practical computing instead of programming at young ages. Still think I made my point so don't wanna repeat myself as i pretty much said it already. Not sure how reading up on the u.k situation would change my opinion though. The whole issue seems like a politcal thingie remember when people were pimping low cost tablets for the poor awhile back? Seems like every few months theres some new political crusade with a technological bent to grab headlines instead of trying to fix what problems are already wrong with the educational system. System broke? must be the lack of ipads in the schools and not sure programming for young kids is the way to go. Again just my opinion.

Still agree worse things google could have spent money on than free mini pcs for the kiddies =) Hope we will see some new projects posted from them and its not just a fad.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:20 pm

You do know that without programming, in the long term, you can't have practical computing, don't you?
Last edited by stubright on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:23 pm

mediakill wrote:I haven't read up on the uk education system being that i'm from the states. But regardless I still think young kids should be spending more time with practical computing instead of programming at young ages. Still think I made my point so don't wanna repeat myself as i pretty much said it already. Not sure how reading up on the u.k situation would change my opinion though. The whole issue seems like a politcal thingie remember when people were pimping low cost tablets for the poor awhile back? Seems like every few months theres some new political crusade with a technological bent to grab headlines instead of trying to fix what problems are already wrong with the educational system. System broke? must be the lack of ipads in the schools and not sure programming for young kids is the way to go. Again just my opinion.

Still agree worse things google could have spent money on than free mini pcs for the kiddies =) Hope we will see some new projects posted from them and its not just a fad.
Sorry, unless you have some knowledge of the situation then it's difficult to see what the problem is. In the UK we have had 10 years of ICT classes (information and computing technology or something like that). Exactly what you suggest - teaching how to use computers, not program them.

Except, that sucks. All the children already now know to use computers to some extent, are bored to tears with being taught how to use Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Most of them already know more than the teachers do. They learn NO programming at all. Eben Upton was at Cambridge University (it's a University in Cambridge, you may have heard of it) and had something to do with the intake to computer science courses. After the advent of ICT classes and the plethora of comsumer PC's running WIndows, the quality of the intake dropped dramatically, and the number of students wanting to do computer course dropped by 50%. That is the decline the Raspi is aimed at fixing. Getting people more interested in PROGRAMMING (not in consuming) it vital - we are running out of decent home grown software engineers, and the gap is being filled by people from China and India etc who ARE training their students with programming skills. And the problem is the same in the USA.

Its a also worth remembering that the aim of the Raspi is not to replace ICT style course, but to supplement them - of course children still need to be taught the skills in office applications (those they don't already know) as most of them will need those skills. Not so many will go the programming route, but we still need to find them and train them.
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clive
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Re: Google donated 15000 RPi's to UK Schools

Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:11 pm

mediakill wrote:I haven't read up on the uk education system being that i'm from the states.
Let's clear this up:

You don't know how the UK education system works (because you didn't care to read about it.).
You don't know what the Google donation involves or how it will be administered (because you made your own story up and didn't care to ask about it).

Yet you still decided to write:
I hate to be the skeptic whenever charities involved but spending that money while nice I think could have been spent wiser
Even more bizarrely, you have decided that giving children the opportunity to study computer science is equivalent to forcing programming on them:
Not every kid wants to become a programmer so pushing it on them is a pointless exercise. Not everyone becomes programmers and its highly unlikely forcing it on them in school will make it any more appealing.
Here's how silly this sounds:"Not every kid wants to become a musician so pushing it on them is a pointless exercise. Not everyone becomes a musician and its highly unlikely forcing it on them in school will make it any more appealing. "

You can play this game with any school subject. Art, drama, PE , history etc etc. What we really need to do is give students an opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects and let them gravitate towards what they are good at and what they enjoy. At the moment computing is not something they are exopsed to in school. We need to change this.

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