When the Raspberry Pi first came on the scene back in 2008 it seemed like a revolutionary idea: An affordable and programmable computer that could be used to teach kids (and adults for that matter) how to code. As is often the case, the genius of the concept lay in its simplicity. The Pi was a modular blank slate that could be used flexibly in all manner of projects, and like LEGO bricks, the resulting creations were only limited by the users’ own imagination.Yet its CEO and Co-founder Eben Upton doesn’t see it as a disruptive idea per se. Having grown up using the BBC Micro, it seemed natural to provide 21st Century children with a similar tinkering platform. The fundamental irony that his product addressed was that, that as more people got to use technology at an ever earlier age, fewer and fewer of us got to learn the skills required to actually make it. This digital skills gap is a problem that still persists today, but with over 7 million units sold, it is clear that Raspberry Pi has made significant progress in tackling it.They have since blazed a trail for other companies such as Arduino who have now brought similar offerings to this arena, and even prompted a revival of the BBC Micro(bit) but when asked, Upton did not actually identify these as competitors. That might be because Raspberry Pi thrives on a culture of collaboration that is a million miles away from the cut-throat tech world of chasing billion-dollar valuations. In fact, they went to market financed by an incredibly modest $200k loan, all of which has now been repaid. They currently operate on a scalable model which licenses the technical design for the product, along with the trademark, for partners to manufacture and sell the Raspberry Pi devices.[caption id=attachment_998 align=aligncenter width=500] The quality of teaching, rather than any technological quick-fix will remain the key determinant of success Eben Upton, CEO Raspberry Pi Ltd.[/caption]They’re not resting on their laurels though, and their future plans are nothing if not ambitious As they continue to expand their Cambridge-based operation and reinvest their profits in educational initiatives, they’re pushing to scale up digital skills education on a global scale.In November 2015 they merged with Code Club with the aim of bringing such initiatives “to every community in the world”. This was quickly followed by the launch of the Pi Zero, which retailed at a staggeringly low price of £4 ($5 in the US). At the time of writing, units of this model are – understandably - selling out as quickly as they’re being shipped.The low – some would say ridiculous - price point is an important factor for the success of the Raspberry Pi, not only in making it universally accessible, but psychologically it serves to demystify technology. There is no need, after all, to feel nervous when playing around with something that only costs a few dollars, and it’s that attitude of encouraging playfulness that makes the device such an effective teaching tool for educators to engage children with.But tools are only as effective as those using them, thus the huge emphasis placed on building and engaging a global community around the product. A visit to the foundation’s blog quickly reveals how successful that strategy has been, with hundreds of projects showcasing the endless possibilities that the Pi enables. But although this crowdsourcing of ideas might not have been possible in the pre-internet age, Upton is keen to emphasize that technology is not the most important element in that equation; it’s still up to educators to find ways of bringing it to life in the classroom:“Much as in the past - the quality of teaching, rather than any technological quick-fix will remain the key determinant of success,” he says.
Via F. Thunus
If you are new to the world of Arduino, these 4 simple projects will provide you with lots of fun while being a little challenging. Enjoy these Arduino DIY projects for beginners that you can put to use right away. Buy the best Arduino Starter Kit. Pulsating LED Cube In this project you will be…
“If you like tinkering with both hardware and software, then there are few hobbies more fitting than Arduino. Arduino is a programmable logic controller which can do lots of neat things depending on how creative you are with your code. One particular "genre" of projects, if you will, involves using the Arduino to create or augment…”
Via Jinbuhm Kim
“ This is the start page for my series of over fifty Arduino tutorials. Each tutorial from chapter zero to thirteen will cover a variety of topics and lessons, then from chapter fourteen each chapter...”
Via Andrew Angus
Schools are not preparing children to succeed in a world where intelligent robots have transformed the workforce, MPs have warned.
A report by the cross-party Science and Technology Committee suggests that the education system should be adapted to “focus on things that machines will be less good at for longer,” rather than skills that are rapidly becoming obsolete.
The committee also warned that while “robots as portrayed in films like Star Wars” remain some way off, the government’s role in preparing for major social change is lacking.
Dr Tania Mathias, acting chairwoman of the committee and Conservative MP for Twickenham, said: “Science fiction is slowly becoming science fact, and robotics and AI look destined to play an increasing role in our lives over the coming decades.”
In this series of Arduino tutorials, ten circuits that use the built in example programs from the Arduino IDE are built on breadboard. These tutorials are great for beginners wanting to know what some of the capabilities of Arduino are.
“ At Let's Make Robots, you can share your homemade robots with the world. Share your cool ideas and stunning designs here or see the clever inventions of others (Arduino RC Car | Let's Make Robots!”
Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
“Beginner-level Arduino projects, while they can be educational, are often not all that interesting. Creating a traffic light is good for learning programming, but once you've done it, its usefulness is over. An Arduino-powered Pomodoro timer is great, but not all that exciting. Want to tackle something more fun? Try building a robot controlled by…”
Via Jinbuhm Kim
Fritzing is an open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product. We are creating this software in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, developing a tool that allows users to document their Arduino and other electronic-based prototypes, and to create a PCB layout for manufacturing. The complementing website helps users to share and discuss drafts and experiences as well as to reduce manufacturing costs.
Fritzing is essentially an Electronic Design Automation software with a low entry barrier, suited for the needs of designers and artists. It uses the metaphor of the breadboard, so that it is easy to transfer your hardware sketch to the software. From there it is possible to create PCB layouts for turning it into a robust PCB yourself or by help of a manufacturer.
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