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Education Google United Kingdom News

Google Gives 15,000 Raspberry Pis To UK Schools 159

Grench writes "Search giant Google is providing funding to the Raspberry Pi Foundation to give 15,000 new Raspberry Pi Model B computers to schools all around the United Kingdom. Google Giving's partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a significant investment in UK IT education; it is hoped this will help turn around the decline in UK schoolkids going on to study IT in colleges or universities. The Foundation said, 'CoderDojo, Code Club, Computing at Schools, Generating Genius, Teach First and OCR will each be helping us identify those kids, and will also be helping us work with them. ... Grants like this show us that companies like Google aren’t prepared to wait for government or someone else to fix the problems we’re all discussing, but want to help tackle them themselves.' 15,000 Model B units at $35 each would run $525,000."
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Google Gives 15,000 Raspberry Pis To UK Schools

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  • Mmm .... Pi (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I like Pi
    • by joss ( 1346 )

      yes weebl, we know ... []

  • by Just Brew It! ( 636086 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:47PM (#42734493)
    I don't see this accomplishing much though. If they're given to teachers for classroom use, most of the teachers aren't going to know what the fuck to do with them, and they'll sit forgotten at the back of desk drawers and supply cabinets for 20 years. If they're given directly to students, we'll see a flood of 14,950 of 'em hitting eBay before you can say "Hey, cool -- these are actually worth real money!" and "I don't know what happened to it, the dog must've dragged it off and buried it!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      When I was in highschool, schools were filled with Macs. Worthless in the realworld, in the buisness world... you know, where you could actually get a job. My senior year physics teacher brought the first PC into the school. Then, those of us that knew PCs came out of the woodwork. The entire school was converted to PC's in less than 2 years.

      If even 5% of these make it into the hands of students that give a shit, it's going to make a world of difference in their lives. In my graduating class of 400, I'd gue

      • I sincerely hope I am proven wrong, and that those 50 that don't end up on eBay do make a difference.
        • by nadaou ( 535365 )

          man, you people are all so negative an synical. it's like.. a bummer

          • Seeing the state of public education in the US first-hand will do that to you. Is the UK any better?
            • It must be as we know to put 'u' in colour, honour etc. You lot can't even spell 'aluminium' correctly.
            • by ais523 ( 1172701 )

              Yes, but not by as much as you'd like, and it's been getting slowly worse over time for a while now.

              The government - whichever party is in charge - has attempted to attribute the steady increase in grades to students being better-taught / cleverer, but are failing to hide the main causes of that, which are that the courses are being simplified and the grade boundaries adjusted so that you get higher grades for the same quality of work from the students. Most of this is subjective, but as an objective exampl

    • I don't see this accomplishing much though. If they're given to teachers for classroom use, most of the teachers aren't going to know what the fuck to do with them

      The pi was invented to solve the problem of students leaving without computer science skills [only office skills], part of the problem is solved by the raspberry pi, cheap hackable equipment....if the teachers are not capable of teaching as you claim...that is a different problem.

      • by hughbar ( 579555 )
        Agree, but that's the 'big' digital divide problem, not hardware/software, everywhere has been flooded with that, but teaching is problem, maintenance of an inventory of equipment is a problem. I live in the East End of London and have seen expensive grant-funded computer suites lying useless because no-one much knows about firewalls, anti-virus, teaching people about phishing, drive-by all the 'elementary' things for the geek-minded. Then when they 'work' there's no cash for teaching and limited access [on
        • Teaching and maintenance is more labour intensive and expensive

          I'm sorry, your wishy washy excuses may work in some circles, but for everyone else in the computing industry [every industry] constant retraining, and reactions to current trends is essential. I cannot remember the last time in my life I wasn't in some form of retaining or other.

          As for popularity being a factor. I'm sorry, cutting your nose of to spite your children is a disgrace. As I say everywhere corporations need to pay tax, scapegoating a few corporations, especially when worse offenders like Microso

          • by HuguesT ( 84078 )

            Constant retraining in one's field is relatively easy. It would take most developers only a little effort to learn a new programming language, or the latest trend in web-oriented methodologies. Now you may agree that if one moved developers into management, going them to do an MBA is going to require massive efforts and not inconsequential investment from their company. Yet moving a developer into management without this massive retraining is not unlikely to result in a disaster.

            Now the teachers in elementa

            • Now the teachers in elementary and high schools' expertise is in education, not computer science. This is a massively different field for most people.

              Sorry your talking from an uninformed perspective, most teachers take an *extended* degree, which covers a teaching practice, and a specialist subject. An alternative route into teaching is the teach first which are meant to be *on the job* training for *people exemplary in their field. I'm sorry these are the highest paid *worldwide*, and they are teaching children.

          • by mikael ( 484 )

            One of my relatives are teachers. First thing is, she is absolutely petrified of computers, scared if she presses the wrong key, something will break especially if it is school property and affect her promotion prospects. Can use email but detests using spreadsheets to manage the prescribed teaching objectives of her classes. If she is expected to use or teach any technology related equipment, she expects to be put on the training course, have course and teaching materials provided for her to make sure ther

          • by hughbar ( 579555 )
            I presume that you are some kind of corporate shill from Google or other unhelpful individual. The 666 in the user name provides a bit of a clue. You've never taught have you? I'm not sure why you are 'in constant retraining' or 'reacting to current trends' either.

            You need to learn the difference between 'scapegoating' and 'boycott' too and some logic too, the fact that one is not boycotting all of them at once doesn't invalidate the process of boycotting one of them.

            I hope it works out for you.
    • Maybe you only have experience of bad teachers. At my son's school the teachers are very knowledgeable on technology; and I am often surprised at the detail they go into at even young ages. I'm sure they would love to get their hands on some more equipment and RPis seem like a brilliant tool for learning.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Perhaps you don't remember the BBC Micro. Most of the teachers didn't really know how to use it, but it was a fantastic tool for students willing to learn. You turned it on and started programming. It had lots of I/O for connecting stuff. Lots of supporting material for teachers and students. Lots of companies producing compatible hardware, complete with documentation on how to operate it.

      That's the point of the Pi. It isn't for everyone, but if some students are interested in, say, controlling a robot or d

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They get amazing PR from the geek press for contributing spare change in Larry and Sergei's coin jar, and they don't even have to open source their code except for some stray "neat hacks" that have zero business relevance. "Summer of Code" was another example.

  • Google, where are the Raspberry Pi for the kids in the United States???

    • They didn't feel guilty enough about their US tax evasion since "all the cool kids do it".
    • Why not kids in Asia, Africa or any other continent? Obviously, Google does not generate their revenue from US alone. They might be 'US-based' or whatever that means, but the people who work there are from tens of countries around the world and their products are consumed by people around the world. I understand you are American and obviously want to know why your fellow citizens are not benefiting from this. But this is not a zero-sum game. Every bit, anywhere in the world helps!
    • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:26AM (#42734963)

      Google, where are the Raspberry Pi for the kids in the United States???

      Maybe because the Raspberry Pi UK project started at the University of Cambridge to solve a UK problem. Computing becoming less about computer science...and more about web design and office.

      Its not a bias thing. The UK is not getting Google Fiber. ;)

    • Which mens that there are no additional import/export issues, if they are sold and distributed in the UK.

      If you are in some other location in the world, design your own damn board, or just manufacture the Raspberry Pi boards locally from the UK circuit diagrams and get your local equivalent of UL and FCC certifications, and money might materialize for your local schools as well ... or not. This happened in the UK because some UK Googlers were excited enough about it to push up their management chain. You;

    • Isn't R-pi a UK company? That could be a factor. Shuffling £ from one british org to another and all the money stays in the country.

    • I'd prefer Google to focus on third world countries before any of those... I might be biased though, considering I'm living in one. :P

  • plenty of raspberry's in my time, they gave me caning's. No you can't see the scars: pervert!
  • Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have one question: why?

    They could have easily invested in a dozen existing programs, or made their own. They could have gotten everyone a wicked deal on second-generation laptops or something. Hell, Google could have setup a giant VM farm on their end ("in the cloud") and given everyone free access to their own tiny private networks running whatever it is you're studying about (Exchange, Active Directory, etc). They've certainly got the hardware and the resources to do something like that if they wanted t

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DeathElk ( 883654 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:42AM (#42735013)

      Why the fuck would anybody be "studying" about Exchange or Active Directory? This is intended to lay the groundwork for interest in REAL computing.

      • by isorox ( 205688 )

        Why the fuck would anybody be "studying" about Exchange or Active Directory? This is intended to lay the groundwork for interest in REAL computing.

        OP is an obvious troll pretending to be a shill pretending to be a troll

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:46AM (#42735037) Journal

      running whatever it is you're studying about (Exchange, Active Directory, etc).

      RTFA. The point of the thing is that the young generation knows how to RUN software, but who is going to design quantum CPUs in 2030, or invent the next revolution like the Internet? You don't learn to build new technologies by practicing being an MS cubicle drone running Exchange.

      Hell, with the prodicts you mentioned you're not even ALLOWED to try to figure out how they work. That's called reverse engineering and it's against the license. The whole point of the Pi is to first learn how things work, then use that knowledge to build entirely new and better things.

      • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:01AM (#42735273)

        Hell, with the prodicts you mentioned you're not even ALLOWED to try to figure out how they work. That's called reverse engineering and it's against the license.

        Here in the UK, the right to reverse engineer is legally mandated by statute, so they can't take it away with license terms.

        It is not an infringement of copyright for a lawful user of a copy of a computer program to observe, study or test the functioning of the program in order to determine the ideas and principles which underlie any element of the program if he does so while performing any of the acts of loading, displaying, running, transmitting or storing the program which he is entitled to do.


        Article 6
        1. The authorisation of the rightholder shall not be required
        where reproduction of the code and translation of its form
        within the meaning of points (a) and (b) of Article 4(1) are
        indispensable to obtain the information necessary to achieve
        the interoperability of an independently created computer
        program with other programs, provided that the following
        conditions are met:
        (a) those acts are performed by the licensee or by another
        person having a right to use a copy of a program, or on
        their behalf by a person authorised to do so;
        (b) the information necessary to achieve interoperability has not
        previously been readily available to the persons referred to
        in point (a); and
        (c) those acts are confined to the parts of the original program
        which are necessary in order to achieve interoperability.

        are both parts of our statutes.

        • Last time I checked, it was similar for the Italian law. As long as you own a usage license (be it temporary or not), you can do whatever you want with a program. And you are explicitly allowed to reverse-engineer/modify it as long as it's done to "improve its functionalities", not only for interoperability reasons.
    • I'm currently reading Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End, and one of the chapters is entitled "No User Serviceable Parts Inside." That's something that you see a lot in today's electronics (and even software), and it is extremely frustrating for a would-be tinkerer who wants to learn how things work, the way I was when I was a kid. About thirty years ago an aunt of mine got me a C-64, and it was on such a platform that I first learned how to program, first in BASIC, and then later 6502 machine language (by peeks a

      • by ais523 ( 1172701 )

        This still worked 10 years ago. Admittedly, 6502-based computers were quite rare by then, but also very cheap because most people considered them junk. (And my machine code reference manual was a book, rather than photocopied.)

        The putting hand-soldered circuitry into the printer ports came later for me, with Windows (back then I hadn't more than vaguely heard of Linux) and an RS232 port. That's still possible nowadays, although you probably need to get a USB to RS232 convertor (i.e. an RS232 port that's dri

  • delay for anybody wanting to purchase a Raspberry Pi for personal use.
  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @12:53AM (#42734839)
    To be precise, Google gave 15,708 Raspberry Pi. That's ten thousands pi / 2. Yes Google likes pi! [].
  • I was wondering why there was such a wait for deliveries. Now we know, Google bought tens of thousands of them and distributed them to people who'll use them as door jams.
  • Keep your hardware. If they paid the amount of tax it'd benefit the schools a lot more.
  • Great. 500000$ are maybe 20 teachers (without infrastructure) for 1 year. It is indeed great that Google donates money to schools and I do not want to belittle that fact. However phrases like these leave me baffled:

    Google aren't prepared to wait for government or someone else to fix the problems...

    Not Google, nor any other private company or entity is going to fix the education system. That is the whole point of having public schools. Without the state committing to education you are screwed. There

    • I think Eton might disagree with you. Maybe you're a geologist or something, but it's been running since 1440 - that's quite a long run. I'm not saying I like it, but it clearly works.
    • Are you kidding, the majority of MP's in the UK went to Public Schools, Public Schools are in fact privately funded.

      Privately funded education for the masses well that is a different matter, just how much education is needed if the end result is working on a simple production line...

      The situation is a bit different these days in order to be competitive most production needs to be automated and to maintain and create these automated facilities needs a well educated and trained work force. It also needs a cre

  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Funny)

    by gweihir ( 88907 )

    What's that, Google running out of money? This sum is so low for the search giant that is comes close to being an insult.

  • there will be 14,000 in the rubbish bin within a week. Sorry, I just can't imagine 15,000 kids interested in a device that requires serious interaction. I know it sound like trolling, but they will be used in some contrived 'computer hardware and programming' course which will actually appeal to 1% of the people that participate.

    • In my high school we had to make powerpoint presentations in a shop class about ______ subject, which was completely worthless. If you give a class a few raspberry pis, some breadboards, a manual, and minimal instruction, you can bet you'll see creativity at its best. Show an example of how its used, and some practical tools and by the end of a course some kid will have programmed lights for the theater class' play. It could be a failure, but it could be a lot of fun. Kids like to have some creative tim
      • by mikael ( 484 )

        That's like the early home computers and the era of DOS programming. You just needed some RS-232 ports or analog-to-digital ports and you could plug anything into your computer - light sensors, pressure pads, thermistors. With DOS programming you set up a couple of interrupt handlers for the mouse and keyboard, one more for the video screen and the rest was up to your imagination.

  • Plenty of businesses are doing fine, so I suspect the problem is not with the taxes, but rather with you.

    ROTFL. The private sector is doing fine, right? Even you President Kardashian couldn't say that with a straight face. When he tried to say it, he had to come back out and retract that statement, saying "It is absolutely clear that the economy is NOT doing fine."

    I've been in business twenty years. (or 25 if you count part time businesses). I've launched four completely different companies. Our business, and thousands of others, was taken down when Obama launched his attack on business. We were fine u

    • In the two years following Obama's election, business failures increased by 40%. 40% man. If you like Obama, fine. Maybe you like his smile. Maybe you think he smells nice, whatever. But don't lie to yourself - he's radically anti-business.

      Which Obama's policy led to your loss? What do you mean by "business failures"?

      • What do you mean by "business failures"?

        In economics, "business failures" is defined as discontinuation of operations resulting in losses to creditors. In other words, companies that went out of business AND couldn't pay their outstanding bills when they did. That's easier to measure than just "companies that stopped doing business" because the creditors report the loss, whereas a company that just stops may not report anything.

        Which Obama's policy led to your loss?

        I'd say it was 70% indirect, but I'll give a few examples of direct effects of his policies. We'll limit it to just h

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.