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Education Technology

Raspberry Pi Gets an Open Source Educational Manual 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Last year a group of UK teachers started working on a Creative Commons licensed teaching manual for the Raspberry Pi. That work has produced the Raspberry Pi Education Manual which is available at the Pi Store or here as a PDF. From Raspberry Pi: "The manual is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 unported licence, which is a complicated way of saying that it’s free for you to download, copy, adapt and use – you just can’t sell it. You’ll find chapters here on Scratch, Python, interfacing, and the command line. There’s a group at Oracle which is currently working with us on a faster Java virtual machine (JVM) for the Pi, and once that work’s done, chapters on Greenfoot and Geogebra will also be made available – we hope that’ll be very soon."
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Raspberry Pi Gets an Open Source Educational Manual

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  • Epub (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:06PM (#42457041)

    Could we get an eink friendly format? I understand that technical manuals are not designed for reflowable text, however I would like to read a manual on my Nook and then check diagrams on my laptop.

  • by swell (195815) <jabberwock@poeti[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:59AM (#42459115)

    This is what we want in our working computers. Not our educational tools.

    Long ago, in the days of the Apple ][, there was a computer emulator called the Visible Computer 6502. It was a graphical representation of a 6502 processor along with its registers and IO ports. You could program it in assembly language and watch it execute the code. Top speed was probably about 5 cycles per second, but you could slow it down for a better look at program execution, or you could step thru one cycle at a time.

    This was an intimate look at the inner workings of a computer that a 9 year old could appreciate. It gave insights that elude college graduates today.

    If someone will use Raspberry Pi to demonstrate this elemental relationship between hardware and software in a visually compelling format, then it will have served a revolutionary purpose and millions will see computers in a new light.

    speed power expandability not required

  • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @06:19AM (#42459985)

    In itself, the Pi is just another small cheap computer. Right now it's got a great lead over other similar devices because of all the fan-publicity (I suspect mostly led by dewey-eyed 40-somethings who remember their teenage programming years on the BBC B and the like). At some point the honeymoon will be over and the Pi will be in a box in the back of the garage with all the other Christmas geek toys that were fun for a week in the holidays.

    What will give it life in the educational sphere will be the development of decent educational supporting material. Provide educational material - particularly content that ticks off required elements in the National Curriculum that teachers have to deliver - and you have something will get taken up by thousands of schools.Without it, the Pi will be just another piece of hardware foisted onto teachers that they have to manage and maintain on top of their already busy schedules, that they will get fed up with and dump as soon as they can.

  • by yo303 (558777) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @07:22AM (#42460289)

    Yes. [ObGeekCred: I wrote Wayne's World for the Gameboy in Z80 assembly and put my picture in as an Easter egg.]

    This would be an amazingly revealing tool. If debugging and tracing tools had been a standard thing the whole time for everybody, we would have so many more programmers now, because they let you look inside. It's like when they invented grandfather clocks with windows showing the mechanism: it made for more grandfather clock makers, because more people saw how cool it was to be able to make grandfather clocks.

    Further, this needs to be a standard free app on smartphones. More kids are likely to develop for and on their smartphones than for Pi or Arduino. This is much more true in the 3rd world, where many have limited access to PCs while they easily find cheap Android phones.

    Once you run it and agree, it turns into a debugging service that traces everything. It runs in a side window and has a slider that runs contiguously between assembly language, through system calls, through full speed. It can slow down any app -- their app -- with stepping, tracing, and breakpoints. It is a virtualizer running on the phone itself.

    This tool can easily be developed by a team of ad hoc developers. Imagine that anybody in the world can take apart an app and make a list of when it makes a graphic call, or have it freeze when it makes a file system request, or build timing graphs of various interesting things. This is what builds programmers.

    The project needs only a few managers, programmers, marketers, bloggers, braggers, and other passionate people. Building a team of varied people is what will make this work.

    Will you help make this happen? Picture that everybody can suddenly take apart all their apps, and see how they work inside. This could really be how things are a year from now. Mail me at j at jth period co

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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