This is the new kid on the block. Although it is significantly more complicated to understand than computers of old, it is a great deal simpler than a PC. It will get kids interested in programming because it boots into a command line and although it works perfectly well out of the box it sometimes needs a little coaxing to do what you want it to do.

You can program with the aid of high level languages and once you’ve mastered that, you can develop code that runs straight on the hardware, bypassing the operating system.

Does that sound familiar? It will ring bells with anyone who was around during the microcomputer boom of the 80’s and 90’s, the time when most of my peers learned to program.

Computer literacy education in schools has been wanting for some time; learning to use Windows and Office is the bare minimum. Learning about the history of computers, how computers work and basic programming skills is.

If anything is going to reboot IT education in this console age then it’ll be the Raspberry PI. It ticks all the right boxes:

  • It’s cheap.
  • It can be programmed using high level languages (such as Python)
  • It can be programmed using low level languages (C/C++ and Assembler)
  • You can develop on it in Linux or directly onto the hardware (bare metal).
  • The hardware is hackable.
  • It’s got a thriving online community.

I’m going to be spending some time doing R&D on the board at work to evaluate it’s potential and to help me do that I’m going to blog my notes, with links to pages I’ve found useful.