Why does the Raspberry Pi exist?

Computer Studies used to be offered at O-level (I did it). More recently ICT seems to be the only subject taught for GCSE at many schools. Looking at the exam boards' web site some are now offering a 'Computing' GCSE -- for example
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FWIW: My kids' school does teach a bit of cookery.
I could understand that many schools would not be offering a course like Computing. I would guess that many teachers would not have the expertise to teach it. And those schools worrying about their position in the league tables might be put off (as it is probably more difficult than ICT).
At KS4, yes. At KS3, schools should have more freedom now there are no SATs. "Good" schools do often do more than teach just the syllabus too.
IME this is correct. There is so much bureaucracy in schools nowadays - I'm surprised that teachers get any time to teach ;-)
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Mark
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FWIW I was talking to some guys who are going to row across the Atlantic for charity. They're using a RPi for a steering control.
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(\__/)  M. 
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Reply to
Mark
Not my school partners and others. Mainly secondary level in private and public education but same problems exist.
Mainly due to choices of exams to maintain leaguse tables and abilities of staff to perform them in timescales required.
Yep but that one is being rushed through, dont expect it to be good for a few years, the basics of networking 7 layer model and basic network setup, programming will be limited.
It is good for ASSISTING teaching, home play/study by kids, and projects that control real world hardware.
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Paul Carpenter          | paul@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk 
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Paul
IME, schools don't want old computers. When I was working in the City, I tried to give away the machines freed up by "evergreening". No-one was interested. Combine that with the fact that we couldn't give away the MS licenses, so the machines came empty, and that the beancounters got all excited about the tax implications and I gave up.
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Reply to
Huge
A term which itself should be scrapped, since it is used nowhere outside of schools.
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Today is Setting Orange, the 24th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3179 
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Reply to
Huge
Thank you. I neglected to point out that "whatever" is to be pronounced "wo'evva". Something like that.
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Reply to
Peter Percival
is to
especially
computing."'
those
Conversely there is nothing to suggest the opposite either. B-)
That's making the assumption, explained else where, that the school owns the PC's, they may only be leased or only provided whilst the IT support contract runs.
That assumes that the school has a staff member with the knowledge and skills to dual boot a PC. Add that to the contract for the schools IT supplier and up goes the cost... That's also assuming that the IT contractor has those skills they may well be so deeply into the MS trench they can't see over the top.
The school enviroment is *very* hostile, machines are very well locked down and in some schools have to be very well physically locked down as well!
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Reply to
Dave Liquorice
I keep hearing this about the rpi "having poor IDEs". It runs ubuntu Linux, dammit[1]!. You got _all_ the stuff in the repos, which stood at 23000 applications last I looked.
You got a good graphics engine. VERY good, actually. It feeds my ex$pensive screen better than any laptop over HDMI at 1680x1024. It has adequate networking, and hooks right up to the other stuff I have. With the powered USB hub in the screen it gets power and attach some external devices like a large USB disk very easily.
I work building a lot of ARM based, process control applitactions. So I have a trimslice, a few phidgets, some OEM boards running freescale; but the rpi has become the IDE host of choice. I run ARM code, OK, but so should any serious student; at least to get the experience of doing something *completely* outside the wintel duopoly.
I build with svn, c, some c++, use emacs a lot, and use all the tools in the *n*x "default IDE" all the time, from strace, tcpdump, gdb/ggdb to logs and all the mundane stuff. There are "boxed" IDEs also, but I don't use these. I don't run windows, except to run 4 important applications, and then I run XP under emulation.
So, please, don't belittle this PI. It doesn't have all the cpu power in the world, but it has reasonable performance among the process control thingys. And it outperforms (just barely) a CRAY-1.
-- mrr
[1] OK, Raspbian, which is about as close to ubuntu you can get without having it officially sanctioned.
Reply to
Morten Reistad
so now you have tow locked down operating systems to choose from, what has been gained?
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Reply to
Jasen Betts
Aye, sort of BTDTGTTS with the local Primary School when they had a dozen or so machines to get rid of. OK not very high spec machines but good enough for word processing, browsing the web, email.
Couldn't transfer the MS licence(s), any body who expressed an interest wasn't interested in Linux and the retail cost of doze made it a non-starter. Then there where the implied liability issues that the 'elf 'n safety lot dreamt up...
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Cheers 
Dave.
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
I worked part time for a charity looking after their IT system. All of it with the exception of the routers was second hand. The last batch of PCs I had to contend with were about 60 from a local secondary school. No OS and no DVD or floppy drives. USB was there but only two.
Fortunately the charity got special rates for windows and office from microsoft so I could put those on under a group licence. I ended up with about 20 spare machines which were used as a source of spares for the rest. Needed too because they were all on their last legs. About the only thing I had to buy in were a few cooling fans.
We went through loads of PCs while I was helping out there. Almost all second hand from offices and schools in the area and all on their last legs. It became quite difficult to dispose of them after the laws regarding commercial waste came in. I had to drive to several sites to get rid of scrap machines one or two at a time.
I retired a few years ago and gave up but AFAIK they are still struggling with mainly second hand kit on its last legs.
Reply to
AlanG
Oh, yeah, forgot about the latter. We just sold them to a technology disposal company in the end.
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Today is Setting Orange, the 24th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3179 
        RIP Iain M Banks, 16 February 1954 ? 9 June 2013
Reply to
Huge
Back on-topic. Thank goodness! Impressive, too!
Reply to
tony van der Hoff
One would hope that staff members without that knowledge would be teaching something else. (I suggest PE.) In secondary state schools I think teachers are required to have a degree in (or largely in) the subject they are engaged to teach, but I also think that once they are engaged they can be asked to teach anything.
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Reply to
Peter Percival
The big problems are
MOST donations are usually 5year+ age machines, and most schools need new systems to last at least 3 years and when editing video or looking at needs for even newer web technologies they have to use, some cannot do it.
All systems are better running at the same level of OS and memory etc which sometimes is not possible even with a site license for some systems to be loaded on.
There is a feeling that a lot of donations (whatever the materials) are one way to avoid tax or paying for correct wast disposal.
Other times its moire about marketing and all schools only need old stuff, then the same parents will complain that the schools are not teaching "latest methods" or "industry standards" (ask someone to point to the written standard and what they mean is "what I use at work".
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Paul Carpenter          | paul@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk 
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Reply to
Paul
For primary now must have GCSE Maths and English
For secondary to teach a GCSE subject at least A level to teach A level at least a degree.
However with cross training and those who have come from industry or even started as teaching assistants this gets blurred.
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Paul Carpenter          | paul@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk 
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Reply to
Paul
Would they have noticed if you set up a Windows-alike environment? Wine is pretty good these days.
Reply to
Rob Morley
And many schools will pick the best qualified people they can get. In two secondary schools near here even the lab assistants have degrees.
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(\__/)  M. 
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Reply to
Mark
And I hear that soldiers may get in with just two years training, which worries me.
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Reply to
Peter Percival
That's a sad reflection on the job prospects for people with degrees.
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Peter Percival

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