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Anybody using the Raspberry Pi in school

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    Any good? Would you recommend them?
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    We bought 6 of them earlier in the year and did a trial in our programming club. We teachers spent ages getting ourselves prepared, and then found out they were more trouble than the hype would lead you to believe. We are now using python, the turtle library and pygames far more successfully. Children much prefer it. The pi thingies are in a box, in the dark and won't emerge until I have more time to prepare work in job time, rather than in my evenings or weekends.
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     I'm beginning to wonder if the Raspberry PI will end up caught between cheap android devices at one end, and the high speed Arduino derivatives at the other.

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    We can't afford all the extra components you need with the Pi multiplied by a classfull, so are waiting to see if things improve. Haven't been impressed with the literature so far, usually consists of a picture of the Pi and then a few pages on how to use Scratch. Have been using Lego Mindstorms (bought with Jack Petchey awards) in Lunchtime clubs in the meantime.
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    We teachers spent ages getting ourselves prepared

    The pi thingies are in a box, in the dark and won't emerge ...

    We can't afford all the extra components you need...

    Haven't been impressed with the literature...

    Just about sums it up really

    RPs are yet another in the long line of gee-gaws and hoola-hoops that are "going to transform the teaching of  (insert subject here) "

     

     

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    I think they are a bit like Lego from years ago a nice idea but its set up time for 30 kids which makes it not practical with quick class change overs - perhaps Mr Gove will come and show us how it should be done!
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    "Why don't they just run VB on one of the more powerful computers they have access to at home.Or just buy an old pc from school for £30. Am I mad ?", me 6 months ago.
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    Raspberry Pis are great *if* you have the space, the money and most importantly the time. We failed on the last count (again) and ours have gone back in the box with all of the other unused equipment we have (including two Kindles and 6 Ipads).

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    Tosha
    "Why don't they just run VB on one of the more powerful computers they have access to at home.Or just buy an old pc from school for £30. Am I mad ?", me 6 months ago.

     

    We've bought 3 devices and bid for funding for many more.  I'll be integrating them into GCSE Computing - but outside of that, no idea.

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    I have one at home and I can see how it could be very useful for control as it's dead easy to hook up sensors to them and they're much cheaper than USB interfaces for a standard PC. However past that they're frustrating. They are very slow (even with overclocking mine and installing the latest Raspian) - Scratch runs slow, Libre Office runs but again slowly. Python runs OK on it, but if you've already got a lab of computers, why not just run Python on them?

    My personal opinion is that they are a solution looking for a problem sadly. I hope to change my mind if something comes out that makes me go "oh, cool".

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    My 2 (personal) are destined to become a wireless media centre for home and a portable media centre to take away to my caravan ...... forgot I ordered one from RSuntil it finally arrived 6 months later!

    A friend set one up to use for monitoring 6 security cameras at his dad's business, with remote access via web. Works a treat for that. Maybe he should contact schools who have bought them about creating a cheap system for them?!?!?

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    pinny24
    I have one at home and I can see how it could be very useful for control as it's dead easy to hook up sensors to them and they're much cheaper than USB interfaces for a standard PC. However past that they're frustrating

     

    Arduinos are probably easier and have more software.

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    I'm in two minds about them. I agree that cost of the peripherals for a full class set may be prohibitive for some. I also agree that some of the material isn't really fully up to standard yet. However for a school to have at least one or two for those pupils who show an interest in them to have a play with, build some circuitry and then run some basic Python to control the circuitry it's not a bad idea. Having attended some raspberry pi meetings I can see that with some time and effort they can produce some fantastic creations with the Pi which go beyond basic programming and more towards full electrical engineering (which is what this country needs).
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    tyhopho
    full electrical engineering (which is what this country needs).

     

    Evidence?

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    tyhopho
    Having attended some raspberry pi meetings I can see that with some time and effort they can produce some fantastic creations with the Pi which go beyond basic programming and more towards full electrical engineering (which is what this country needs).

    The problem is that these are VERY keen people who largely know what they are doing. Classes of 30 sceptical kids with cables being pulled out is not the target audience. I'm not anti RPi (I have my own and it's still in the box) but I am happy using Open Source IDEs on our existing computers and getting kids to install them on their own laptops so we can learn programming and computing without ADDITIONAL cost as the RPis aren't compatible with our massive bin full of VGA cables.

    If they had been VGA compatible (and I know the reasons why they weren't) from the outset, they could plug into HDTVs and all those many, many legacy monitors in cash-strapped schools across the country.

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     We have a class set of them and use them to cover networking. We use one as a file server and another as a web server. The rest can run as clients, firewalls, DNS, etc.

     Takes up far less room that a set of workstations and servers when storing the equipment away and yet, once set up the scope of learning is the same.

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    It seems to me that hardware is not a problem if you want to teach programming.  Programming can be taught on any PC.  What matters is the choice of programming environmnet, and there are several suitable environment.  The RPi only provides hardware for programming - which isn't a problem anyway.  It solves a problem which does not exist.
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    staxis
    It seems to me that hardware is not a problem if you want to teach programming.  Programming can be taught on any PC.  What matters is the choice of programming environmnet, and there are several suitable environment.  The RPi only provides hardware for programming - which isn't a problem anyway.  It solves a problem which does not exist.

    I'd agree with this - wait til Intel NUC gets going and replaces all those desktop boxes with micro PCs with same level of computing power. Space no longer a concern!

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    Here's something I wrote on this very topic back in October last year Big Smile

     http://brianuk.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/raspberry-pi-hyperbole-or-just-plain-bollox/

     

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    JonathanTorbitt
    staxis
    It seems to me that hardware is not a problem if you want to teach programming.  Programming can be taught on any PC.  What matters is the choice of programming environmnet, and there are several suitable environment.  The RPi only provides hardware for programming - which isn't a problem anyway.  It solves a problem which does not exist.

    I'd agree with this - wait til Intel NUC gets going and replaces all those desktop boxes with micro PCs with same level of computing power. Space no longer a concern!



    Those NUCs are over £200 with no storage and limited connectivity aren't they?
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