Early examples of students using the Raspberry Pi

Julian S Wood

Julian is an Assistant Head at an inner-city primary school in Sheffield. He has been teaching for 14 years. He is a passionate advocate of using new technology in education and was awarded ‘Microsoft Innovative Educator 2010 Award’ for using new technology in school, with his project about stimulating writing using QR codes and mobile devices.

Julian co-created the Creative Partnerships 'inathirdspace' project in 2009. Which partnered teachers and artists for their own CPD, staff used mobile phones to post photographs and text to a website and used a twitter account (@inathirdspace) to give lesson feedback in an innovative way.

In January Julian presented in a 'break-out' session at the Learning without Frontiers conference in London. He has also been a speaker for the Open University National event ‘Using Web 2.0 technology and Storytelling’, presented about ‘Creative Web 2.0 Learning Provocations’ at the Cape UK, Yorkshire Creative Partnerships Conference. Julian lead a workshop at the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) Future Leaders Course and also presented at a regional ‘Thinking Skills’ Conference in Newcastle. He has presented at 9 Teachmeets.

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Much has been said about the Raspberry Pi and its usefulness as a tool for learning. The long waiting lists and competitive price of the Pi have created widespread euphoria. However, as all the excitement dies down, and people begin to receive their Pi, many critics have appeared asking how useful is the Pi?

Many critics and blog posts are comparing it to the iPad, which is futile as they are polar opposites. The Pi was developed as a tool to invoke learning, not as a wow piece of technology. The Pi is for content creation as opposed to content consumption. It is not the physical Pi that is the exciting technology - you don’t purchase it because of its processor speed, graphics ability or even its size - its fundamental strength is as a vehicle to develop students' computing competence and understanding.

Photo credit: Roo Reynolds

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