Much of the content of this forum seems to be dedicated to the idea that we can educate all children into becoming programmers, or at least in having some understanding of how to write code. I'm afraid that's not realistic. An awful lot of children are going to have absolutely no interest in how to code at all.
That poses some problems for this project, like for examplle how you can run CS as a core curriculum subject, when only a few of the pupils are ever going to become programmers. That's not helped when you're only presenting your product as being about teaching programming. It needs to be about more than that, it needs to be about other things to. Like teaching computer based graphic design, for all those budding artists who will in future be designing gaming graphics. It needs to be about teaching security, for all those future budding security auditors... yeah, I'll leave that one alone.
There are many more aspects to computing than programming, and I'm afraid the way this comes across at the moment (from this forum) is that this is a programming tool. That's not a bad thing, it just creates limitations for the final product which brings into question the viability of it as a teaching tool. Promoting it as being useful for much more than just teaching programming wouldn't be a bad thing.
Someone said something about office skills being taught somewhere else in the curriculum, I would say it belongs in English* (replace with your own language where English isn't it). Moreover I would suggest RasPi should be being promoted as the ideal platform for teaching it on. It's cheap enough that the English department of the school could have their own computers for teaching it on. It's easily re-imagable thus making fixing the software on it easy for the English teacher, who would of course be aided by having a dedicated office platform SD Card image. The same could be said for art... There are so many potential applications across so many different curriculum subjects, which the price of RasPi makes possible. Promoting it as only being a programming tool is going to limit where it can fit.
Sort of disagree with a few points there. I don't think we are dedicated to making ALL children programmers. That's completely unrealistic - but what we will hopefully find is that more people will understand what its all about and more people become interested to look further. There must be many good computer programmers out there who have never programmed. It's finding them.
Yes, there are more aspects to computing than programming, but this device doesn't cater for them. It's not powerful enough to run project management tools for example. Those sort of things are best taught using a desktop - a Raspi is just not a realistic choice for that sort of teaching - its not powerful enough for a really good experience. And not in English classes - why would you teach spreadsheet use in English classes?! They belong in ICT classes, where some aspects are taught at the moment (in the UK).
There may be future Raspi versions that are more suited to the role however. As Arm chips get faster and cheaper, you will be be to run bigger packages on the device and give good responses etc.
But version one, it's really all about programming. IMO.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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