We have therefore made it a requirement that GCSE students own a pi and bring it in.
We've been looking at how we will incorporate the RPis into the existing ICT suite with minimal cost and as easy to use as possible.
We soon dismissed ideas such as replacing monitors, KVM switches and even swapping keyboards and mice and instead come up with a solution we're really pleased with.
Each of our existing Windows pcs will have a 2nd network card connected (~£3-5) this will be configured to share the school network with the 2nd NIC. The pi will be hooked up to the PC and powered via a USB --> Micro lead. Students will then be able to remote connect using either VNC or Putty and voila! they can use the pi on the school network. We're still tweaking the setup and trying to use Avahi to get round the dynamic IP issue. This should hopefully give the students a one icon link to connect to their RPis.
The advantages to this method as we see them:
- Minimal extra cost (~£5 card and cables)
RPis can be used between home and school with minimal tweaks beside initial setup of vnc etc.
Very little extra desk space required
Rpis on school network but PC can act as a buffer / firewall
Still have 2 usb ports available for memory sticks etc.
This should work equally well using a laptop with both wifi and ethernet connection
I'm also really excited to play with the NOOBS system as I'm hoping I can pre-configure a Raspbian image with vnc etc and add to the NOOBS partition. This way if a kid wants to reinstall they can. Other RPis used in lessons with KS3 can quickly be reset to a starting state without having the faff of removing files 1 by 1.
Once we have this setup beyond prototype stage I'll post further info, if people would be interested.