“Make your next computer a Raspberry Pi and see just how much fun telling your computer what to do can be!”
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, season 2, episode 3.]
The Raspberry Pi (that’s spelled P I) is a credit-card sized computer that retails for about $35. Connect a usb mouse and keyboard, connect an HDMI display, download the Linux-based operating system onto a Micro SD card, and you’re ready to go. Onboard wi-fi lets you connect to the Internet via your home wireless network.
It isn’t a mega-powerful gaming system – but this product of the not-for-profit UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation is plenty powerful for web browsing, basic productivity tools, and – the best part – programming the General Purpose Input/Output (or GPIO) pins that are oh-so-easy to get to. Physical computing – controlling lights, buzzers, switches, sensors, and some fantastic optional attachments – is literally at your fingertips.
Learn blocks-based programming with the locally-installed version of Scratch, then graduate to true text-based coding in Python.
In his magnificent 1980 book, “Mindstorms”, Seymour Papert wrote, “In many schools today, the phrase computer-aided instruction means making the computer teach the child. One might say the computer is being used to program the child. In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology….”
The Raspberry Pi gets us one step closer to that nearly-40-year-old vision. Make your next computer a Raspberry Pi and see just how much fun telling your computer what to do can be!
Get started at raspberry pi dot org.