back to article Google donates 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK schools

Google has donated of 15,000 Raspberry Pi Model Bs to the Raspberry Pi Foundation. At list price of £25.92, that’s a £ 388,800 gift and one that the Foundation says, in a blog post, represents a “… really good sign … that industry has a visible commitment now to trying to solve the problem of CS education in the UK.” “Grants …


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  1. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    Google Doing Good Things

    Google often lives up to it's unofficial motto of "Don't Be Evil".

    Apart from grooming a new bunch of Google supporters, it generates good will.

    Could be good for a tax write-off, if they paid tax.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Google Doing Good Things

      Maybe, but they may have written into the contract that the kids must load a Google OS with Ads in. The way Google have been acting in recent times this seems far more likely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google Doing Good Things

      "Schools are increasingly being used as marketing venues by companies promoting their own brands in return for teaching resources, books, sports equipment or computers," said a National Union of Teachers representative.

      Says it all really. Good charity is anonymous, another form of charity is all about feeling good or used for publicity.

      1. Nuke

        AC @0750 - Re: Google Doing Good Things

        Wrote :- "Good charity is anonymous, another form of charity is all about feeling good or used for publicity."

        Being anonymous might work with pure cash, but it is difficult to donate hardware or software without revealing who made it and therefore being accused of self-promotion.

        Yes, there is publicity in it, but at least a Raspberry Pi is educational about computers. A copy of MS Office is only educational about MS Office.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Doing Good Things

        "Schools are increasingly being used as marketing venues by companies promoting their own brands in return for teaching resources, books, sports equipment or computers," said a National Union of Teachers representative.

        Trust the NUT to be politically motivated against what's good for kids.

        As long as they also teach the kids to know that the gift can also have benefits for the sender and other products are available then I don't see the problem... it's win/win for the kids and the company.

        The only thing lost is the feeling of importance that the teachers get from spending a big budget (of someone else's money) and giving it to their preferred suppliers (who probably donate to the unions... corporatism at it's worst)

        They didn't complain it was RM supplying the poor PCs at great cost when I was at school, but they whinge when Google gives them some for free?!

      3. Mark .

        Re: Google Doing Good Things

        I remember how my secondary school had a strict policy that coats we wore should not have any logos on them - but the corridors were lined with paintings that had been "donated" by Sainsbury, with clearly visible logos on them...

        (Not that I think this is relevant here, and to be honest if we were worried about companies getting unfair advantages, I'd be far more concerned about the money being spent on vast numbers of ipads. Google here are instead giving the money away to a 3rd party low cost product; as opposed to student or tax money going to Apple *and* giving them a free advert.)

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Google Doing Good Things

      It's no different to MS gifting or giving crazy discounts on their software. MS do it to cynically hook people on MS, but Google are helping to spur education?

      It is simply a different take on the same idea - 'hearts & minds' might be the right term.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Doing Good Things

        Any big organisation is entitled to negotiate what is generally called an "organisation" licence or "site" licence.

        Almost all software companies offer a blanket licence of this kind.

        The NHS had such an agreement in place.

      2. eulampios

        "timeo Danaos et dona ferentes"

        Will Microsoft ever donate π's like Google just did running Debian Linux or some other free operating system?

        Well they will never donate devices running an alien OS, BTW no current version of Windows can run the Pi hardware.

        Microsoft's educational gifts can be equated with that legendary horse, the Greeks had donated to the Trojans. It was the only way to properly educate the people of Troy, according to both Homer and Virgil.

        φοβοῦ τοὺς Μικροσοφτοὺς καὶ δῶρα φέροντας

    4. Code Monkey

      Re: Google Doing Good Things

      Am alternative would be to pay their taxes - then the schools could decide whether to spend the money on Raspberry Pis or not.

      1. The BigYin

        @Code Monkey - Re: Google Doing Good Things

        Google pay the tax that is due (if you have evidence of evasion, I suggest you submit it).

        If you don't like Google's tax structure, write to your MP and urge them to change it.

        The scandalously low taxes being paid is the fault of MPs, no on else.

  2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Are these the original prototype Raspberry Pis or the proper education version, with case, which were promised by last autumn?

    More to the point, how many Pis is each school involved getting, and what are they supposed to do with them (or it) which they could not do with their existing computers (or one of them) running Ubuntu, or even just Scratch under Windows.

    Most schools these days have computers for the children all over the place. It's not a lack of small, low-power computers which is stopping them teaching programming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the problem is the computers in schools are locked down and the IT staff are to afraid to allow someone to connect up electronics they have made.

      If they break a Pi it's not much to replace and if the OS gets buggered an SD card image can be written to a new card in minutes.

      1. aahjnnot


        "I think the problem is the computers in schools are locked down"

        You don't have kids in school, right? My son knows four administrator passwords for his school network (he assures me that he never uses them); almost every pupil in the school knows how to avoid the web proxy; kids routinely overcome 'security' to install preferred software - Chrome instead of IE, Python and Eclipse instead of VB, games instead of no games - and overwriting the official Windows image with Ubuntu is an almost daily practical joke to be carried out whenever the teacher leaves the room.

    2. Roger Greenwood

      "how many Pis is each school involved getting"

      Well at around 5000 schools in the country, I make that about 3 each. Your last point is of course the real problem. The story itself raises awareness though so many more schools may look into this further than would have otherwise.

      1. JetSetJim

        Re: "how many Pis is each school involved getting"

        There are 3,941 secondary schools (excluding the private sector) in the UK as of 2010, so 3.8 computers each

        1. Minophis

          Re: "how many Pis is each school involved getting"

          I would think Pi's were at price point were rather than the school getting a few to share each child could be given one of their own. After all they do cost about the same as an average text book.

          The things that still need to be worked on for this are more teaching materials, volume of production and a decent curriculum to make use of them.

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: "how many Pis is each school involved getting"

        According to the DfE, there are around 25,000 schools in England alone, of which google tells me about 3,000 are secondaries.

    3. Esskay

      I think the advantage over existing computers is

      a) kids can be left with them more or less unattended without the hard drive filling up with virii and porn

      b) The Pi's can be bricked at little cost to the school

      c) Can double as embedded devices, media players, small PC's - generally as a learning tool they offer the flexibility that desktops don't.

      d) the pi's can be taken home by students, taken from class to class, don't require large amounts of labour to get them to school classrooms, don't require large amounts of power, don't require an entire classroom to be dedicated to them, don't require setup on the same level as desktops, are less of a target for thieves...

      So there's quite a few advantages.

      It may be a bit of a token efffort by Google standards, but any donation to a school in the name of education can hardly be frowned upon - and it's more than most other big tech companies are doing.

      1. Craig Chambers


        Plural of virius?

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        These advantages only really kick in if every child has one. Take 'em from class to class? You need a monitor, keyboard and mouse available everywhere they are going to be used. Using it as an embedded device? In that case, no one else is using it as a desktop PC or media player.

        I'm afraid that, as with the OLPC project, this is what happens when well meaning technical types try to guess what's needed for education.

        1. Esskay

          If they're being shared between classrooms already occupied with "old, low-powered PC's" then the monitors, keyboards and mice are already there.

          True, embedded device excludes usage as PC or media player - but I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard for the school to get their hands on more to replace them - if indeed the students are finding useful applications for them and making use of them as embedded devices then obviously it was a good idea to put them in schools in the first place, and the small additional investment from the school to increase the numbers of Pi's would be a very intelligent one.

          Purely from the perspective of letting schools know that there are alternatives to constantly updating PC's in classrooms, having a "sample" of Pi's saves schools money in the long run - if a school decides, as you already have, that they're not suitable, then the school hasn't lost anything. If they decide there's a good use for them, they've got potential savings - since populating the entire school with them would be cheaper than the purchase of a few desktops.

          Regarding how many are going to each school, that depends on the implementation - it's entirely possible that they could be going to a small portion of schools in less well off areas, or on a first come first served basis, or distributed evenly - trying to convince yourself that it's pointless and fruitless doesn't necessarily make it so.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            OK, so put 'em in a classroom that already has PCs and either you unplug and replug everything each time to change machines (how much of a lesson will that take?) or you stick the PCs in a cupboard for good. And all you've done now is reduce the speed and capabilities of the machines.

            Given a choice between a room full of PCs (which can, of course, boot Linux if you want the Pi expereince) and a room full of Pis (running a slow, crippled version of Linux) which school in their right minds would choose the latter. Cost? Irrelevant. Compared to the cost of staff, accommodation, services and support, the cost of the PCs in a computer suite is lost in the noise.

            My solution? If you want something cheap, portable and interesting to program, use cheap Android tablets.

        2. sabroni Silver badge

          @Ian Johnston, 9:14

          >> this is what happens when well meaning technical types try to guess what's needed for education. <<

          As opposed to technically illiterate and totally out of date teachers trying to guess what technology is needed for education?

          Maybe, both groups need to work together. Sniping about it won't help. Pis are a cheap affordable way to learn to code, if teacher's have better ideas about getting kids coding they need to express them, not dis this attempt to help.

          And I hate Google! But they didn't have to do this, so fair play to them.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: @Ian Johnston, 9:14

            An existing PC running Scratch under Windows or Linux is an even cheaper way to learn to code.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: An existing PC running Scratch under Windows or Linux is an even cheaper way to learn to code.

              Yes, if you remove the cost of the hardware then it's incredibly cheap to use an existing pc.

        3. Mark .

          But the low cost means it is far more feasible to give one to every child. For every one laptop (or worse, an ipad) you could buy 15 of these things.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            State secondary education costs around £30,000 per child over six years - and that's just the money spent in schools. A Nexus 7 at £250 is trivial.

            1. Sosman

              Nexus 7

              What would be the point of a Nexus 7 in schools?

        4. Rob Beard

          I'm not so sure every child would want one. But it might spur some kids into playing with them, who knows, maybe one or two kids might get their hands on them at school and want to know more.

          I'm starting to get the impression from your posts that you're maybe a little closed minded to it all? That's okay, there's plenty of us who aren't :-)


      3. Nuke

        @ Esskay

        Wrote :- "the pi's can be taken home by students"

        Sounds like that could be a serious disadvantage, if they don't come back again.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A child would find it very difficult to write a media player for Raspberry PI. They may be able to put building blocks together but what would the learn by doing that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, I think the bare bones board is a better approach as it teaches kids what a computer really is, rather than a shiny box with magic happening inside. It's like all these people who don't know that meat comes from animals on legs in fields; they just see packs of orange breadcrumby things in the freezer which they put in the oven and dip in ketchup.

      It only needs a couple of kids in each class to be inspired by having a play with a Pi to go on to do great things.

    5. Rob Beard

      Well I kinda agree about the Ubuntu thing, but how many schools would allow Ubuntu or Linux in general near their desktop PCs?

      The Pis also have GPIO connections on them so the kids can attach things to them. My daughter who is nearly 13 was facinated by the Raspberry Pi Ladder Game, it was reasonably simple, at least simple enough for her to put together herself and she can play around with it to her hearts content at home (not sure about school, I know the IT teacher has mentioned the Raspberry Pi, Linux and Ubuntu in her IT lessons and she was the only one to raise her hand about knowing about all three) and she could also possibly learn to integrate the Pi into the simple things she's learning in her Technology lessons (or whatever they call them these days).

      I dare say the same thing could be done with an Arduino and a PC too, but at home the Pi is plug in and play pretty much (no having to install IDEs etc on a PC, not something I'd be too worried about doing, but some folks might not want to attempt it).


  3. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    Should have also given away some LEDs too so that the nippers can make some clichéd electronics projects - Google coloured red, green, blue and yellow ones!

    Paris 'cus she's well into flashing things with her good old 555 timers!

    1. Mint Sauce

      Have a rec for mention of the venerable 555. I'll see you, and raise with a 741 op-amp :-)

      Ah, happy days in 'design and tech' soldering stuff together in the hope it would actually do something other than use up vast amounts of solder :-D

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        What about those 3 pin ICs packaged the same as transistors that play jingle bells? I have never actually seen one but my old electronics GCSE textbook claimed such a thing existed! I'm guessing cheap novelty musical teadybears are full of then!

      2. frank ly

        @Mint Sauce

        It was proper tin/lead solder in those days, with smoke from the flux cores that made your eyes water, not the modern lead-free rubbish they use nowadays. Ah, happy memories.

        (I still have a half full reel of Ersin 60/40 22swg flux cored solder, in case any electronics soldering is needed.)

  4. Manny Bianco

    I can't help but think this is being done because people are starting to hate Google. They need to do something to raise their profile and image to the public. This seems to be the latest way of doing that.

    Give me the child, and I will take all his personal info and sell him targeted advertising for the rest of his life, etc.

    1. Andrew Newstead

      Not necessarily.

      True, Google has had bit of a booting over tax recently (though I have to admire their honesty over it!) but they have been supporting computing based activities in the UK for quite some time - look at their support for Bletchley Park.

      While this can be seen as trying gain some good publicity after bad, I do think this is honestly meant by Google.

  5. Captain Scarlet

    Google Pi

    I wonder if Google is hoping to get Android on it so school kids can start producing apps for Android instead?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The elephant in the room

    If a teacher really wanted to teach programming in the classroom, loading Scratch onto their existing PCs would be quicker, less-complicated and cheaper than buying Raspberry Pis, configuring them, unplugging their keyboards and mice, and somehow connecting up their probably-non-hdmi-monitors.

    If its programming we want to address, it's the will of the teacher that needs addressing, not the availability of hardware.

    1. Dr_N

      Re: The elephant in the room

      Programming is all very well, but an understanding of the hardware can only be beneficial to education.

      In the old days half the learning experience was when you took the top off PETs/C64s/Beebs/etc.

      The Pi is a cracking platform for learning about both hard and software at a good level of complexity.

      Unlike a PC.

      Agree with the need to win over teachers. It is they who do the educating, after all.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: The elephant in the room

        Learning about hardware? What, exactly, are children going to learn about hardware from staring at the case of a Raspberry Pi, or even at its insides? Except, maybe, that driving an ethernet port from a usb chip is a really stupid thing to do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The elephant in the room

          Wow you really dont like Raspberry Pi's do you??!

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: The elephant in the room

            I'm not convinced by the hype and I am unimpressed by people who know stuff all about education and attempt to tell the education world what it needs. The Pi itself? Well, it seems a reasonable if rather weak solution to a problem which I don;t think anyone has defined. I'll probably buy one, after they have got them working properly.

      2. Kevin Johnston

        Re: The elephant in the room

        Too true...I had the advantage/experience of learning this stuff in the Nascom days where when they said 'learn from first principles' they were talking about junction level. It sets in place good practice for coding and the like as you understand what you are trying to achieve and lets you head that way rather than the more 'lego brick' approach of code libraries which can also get you there but with bundles of fluff added.

        Not that I am saying you cannot do it without knowing the nuts and bolts. To use a metaphor here you can drive a car without knowing the design and construction of an internal combustion engine but you are less likely to run into problems if you can appreciate how your inputs are being handled.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The elephant in the room

      Although I own a Pi and think they're great, I believe most schools already have the hardware they need to teach programming. And it's not as if Scratch, Python, or any "real" programming language has a purchase cost... They have a cost of needing to employ someone with the appropriate experience to be able to teach their use.

      Additionally, I'd go as far as to say that if hardware hacking is what is really wanted, a bunch of arduinos could be used with existing computers, and these have better I/O functionality than a Pi. Or for really simple stuff, there's a USB lego motor controller available that's compatible with scratch.

      And, as a final thought, the PTA at my child's *infant* school is determined to buy a class worth of ipads... The mind boggles as to why kids that young need them, and my money is on at least one getting dropped and broken within a week of them arriving, or them getting locked in a cupboard and brought out once a term.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: The elephant in the room

      Kids and schools already have low cost tools to learn about hardware; Arduino, Genie, PICAXE, Stamp and other microcontroller systems are widely used for that. The Raspberry Pi is actually far less robust for interfacing than any of those with a Gertboard or similar being essential to bring it to the same level of robustness.

      That's not to say the Pi isn't a welcome addition but it does seem most people hyping how the Pi will revolutionise education have no idea about what is already being used in schools for teaching students. It's perhaps worth noting that the near £400K gift is buying 15,000 Pi computers where it could have instead bought more than a quarter million micro controller kits.

      The main thing is not what kit schools and students are using but what teaching materials, help and assistance there is for that kit. In that respect the Foundation has a long way to go in catching up with the established players.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: The elephant in the room

        @ Jason.

        Some points are right, but with Arduino etc you have to have another PC to code and program them. This isn't necessary with the Raspi. So you need to add that cost in (in those case where another PC isn't available) Raspi's are also much more versatile - not yet seen an Arduino running Libreoffice or a browser, or running a LAMP stack or serving up webcam images to the internet. Not to say Arduino's are not good bits of kit - they are great for their target market.

        If you listen to Eben Upton talking about the gestation of the Raspi - it's was aimed at filling a void that Arduino's are their ilk had failed to fill, and if nothing else, the Raspi has opened people eyes to the sorry state of ICT teaching in the UK. Arduino et al hadn't done that, despite being available for some time before the Raspi was launched.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR damage tax-dodging limitation stunt

    tax-deductible, no doubt

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: PR damage tax-dodging limitation stunt

      Actually, this deal had been in the offing well before the tax issue reared its head.

  8. robert_raw

    alot of the schools around my area buy lots of Ipads (despite being strapped for cash) so kids are taught alot about media consumption, i think it is a great idea to fill schools IT departments up with these things, the amount of kids that are still coming out of school into an office environment that have very poor IT skills is ridiculous.

    In my school, our IT lessons consisted in how to use MS office and we had to follow specific instructions. I can safely say that I learnt nothing about computers in school.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Office environment?

      So you think the job of schools is train little apprentices to work with computers for the office or factory? I rather thought the job of schools was to educate children, so that when they are ready they can choose a job and train for that job and use the education outside work too. With a good education, they have got options. If they are just apprentices, they are committed to some education authority's idea of what workers the state will need.

      Industry should accept that it must train its entrants and can reasonably demand just a good educational level for its recruits. Then, as work changes, the worker can retrain and adapt. With a bad education, just a training in today's ideas of computers (MS office packages? Google equivalents? Raspberry Pi hardware design?) or car engines or house painting will make that little worker not just bored stupid; he or she will also be redundant by the time he is forty.

      Personally, after thirty years of "heavy" software engineering, systems administration and support and so on, I think informatics, for the vast majority, is a thinly disguised version of working on a factory conveyor belt with even less job security or satisfaction and ever less financial reward.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    It's the classic 'give a man a fish' v 'teach him to fish' scenario, and in this case Google has it dead right. Unlike the MS baitware there is no restriction on what OS or software you run on the Pi.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      See a Pi running Windows, yet? Or OSX? Or iOS?

      I think the Pi has some great strengths and possibilities, but they are nothing whatsoever to do with school education, for which they are a stupid, ill-thought-out idea. The strengths are in encouraging programmers to develop interesting standalone applications for them, and for bringing some coherence to the fragmented single board titchy computer market.

    2. A J Stiles

      Fish analogies

      Or, to put it in terms without using the nasty word "give" that corporations don't like very much:

      Sell a person a fish, and you have sold one fish.

      Sell a person a course of fishing lessons, and you can keep on selling them expensive proprietary bait and tackle for the rest of their life.

      What about teaching a person to fish for free, and calling it a charitable donation? You can claim back the VAT they would have paid on the fishing lessons -- plus you still get to keep on selling them expensive proprietary bait and tackle for the rest of their life. Especially if you successfully convinced them in the first lesson that the generic bait and tackle available anywhere were too hard to use, or wouldn't catch all the kinds of fish they wanted. That actually begins to look like something you can build a business model on (if you don't think about it for long enough to realise that they can live quite happily without you).

      But the Raspberry Pi fishing lessons explicitly include alternative techniques that don't depend on the use of expensive proprietary bait and tackle -- they even include demonstrations of how to fashion a fishing rod from a sapling and tie your own flies! The thought of people enjoying successful fishing with homemade tackle and found bait is filling the proprietary vendors -- and to an extent, the people who clean their offices and sell sandwiches to the workers there -- with dread.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My parents are both teachers and this sort of thing, which you would think would be gratefully received tends to be a bit of a double edged sword. Very much like the Tesco computers for schools programme, it will require far more effort from the teachers than you'd expect.

    In this case what's happened is that Google have got some pretty good advertising but:

    1) There are (as far as I can tell) no monitors or keyboards, or mice, possibly even no PSUs supplied.

    2) There is no training for teachers supplied - this will have to be done on the teachers' own time (not entirely popular, considering how much overtime teachers already do)

    3) There is no kitting out of particular rooms to handle the r-Pi class sets

    4) There is no network infrastructure supplied

    5) It's not clear if there is any educational material supplied and if there is, if it's suitable

    6) There is no space in the curriculum to insert new classes, so it's highly likely that just a few kids who can stay after school will be able to get any use of them. Also note: Most kids who live a bus ride away from school can no-longer stay after school because they have to get the school bus, not a normal passenger bug.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm...

      The comments on the pi blog article cover a lot of this.

      Seems the Pi's will go to students(kids) rather than schools, intended for use in after schools clubs. Also sounds like there are lots of organisations involved with all aspects from producing the education material right through to providing free CRB checks for people wanting to volunteer to help at after schools clubs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm...

        " students(kids)": there is an excellent, English word for these: pupils or, in case you get confused with trainee lawyers, school pupils. Not so trendy but much more precise.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm...

          A Student is someone who is studying, usually in a school. A pupil is someone who is under close supervision of a teacher.

          I'd say that investigating new hardware would be more of a student type activity, rather than a pupil's activity.

    2. Nuke

      @AC 09:59 - Re: Hmm...

      Wrote :-

      "In this case what's happened is that Google have got some pretty good advertising but:

      1) There are (as far as I can tell) no monitors or keyboards, or mice, possibly even no PSUs supplied.

      2) There is no training for teachers supplied

      [etc .....etc ..... etc]"

      You must be a blast to give Xmas presents. I give you a camera and you say :-

      "Nice, but

      1) There is no PC with it to edit my pictures.

      2) There is no training provided.

      3) I get no paid house extension to provide a studio and editing room.

      4) There are no alternative lenses, case, tripod, flash unit etc etc

      5) No insurance provided.

      6) I do not have the time to use it."

  11. ukgnome

    Great PR stunt

    But i will only salute Google when they sponsor an academy, this may seem unfair but I believe a dedicated learning environment and adequate IT teaching will show the true potential of what children + pi can achieve.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Pi's will go to students(kids) rather than schools"

    "Pi's will go to students(kids) rather than schools"

    Bears repeating, since so few people here seem to "get it".

    Thank you for actually bothering with the details of the announcement. If only those commentards that went off to find out how many schools there are had checked the details too before spewing over their keyboards with (number of Pies)/(number of schools) in an entirely irrelevant way.

    Still, El Reg's headine is to blame, at least in part.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: "Pi's will go to students(kids) rather than schools"

      Are we supposed to be impressed that rather than giving four or five Pis to every state secondary school in England, they are actually giving one each to 0.25% of secondary age children in England?

      1. Vic

        Re: "Pi's will go to students(kids) rather than schools"

        > Are we supposed to be impressed that ... they are actually giving one each to 0.25% of secondary age children


        Unless you can beat that, of course.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why computers at all?

    1. Re the size of the donation: do not look a gift horse in the mouth.

    2. I rather think schools should be better at teaching the basics: how to read and understand; how to write even without a keyboards, in a clear, grammatical and logical manner; how to do basic arithmetic correctly and accurately, followed by some algebra and geometry, without using a computer to hide the nitty gritty of how and why; how to solve problems (analysis and solution).

    Having achieved the basics to a fair standard, then introduce computing as a serious tool, now that the pupil is sufficiently educated to question its results and understand what it is doing and to understand that there is a life, even a productive, working life even when the machine stops.

    No need to prattle on about ignorant teachers: most of them are in the same age range as you, with the same social and educational background. Computing in some form has been around longer than most of you, even PCs and similar, so you can take it that the teachers of almost any age have either grown up with them or at least used them in their teacher training colleges/universities and later. Just because some child can press the keys fast and knows a few tricks does not mean that child is a computer expert and the teacher is a fool.

    I am not a teacher and I am a computer expert.

  14. Measurer


    It's called marketing, people!

  15. James Hughes 1

    Far be it for me to bring in some facts...

    1) The Pi's do not go directly to schools - too much chance of being left in the cupboard. They are being specifically targeted to individuals via CodeDojo's code clubs etc. ie People who WILL appreciate them.

    2) The Google cash is going to the Raspberry Pi foundation, who will use it to pay for the equipment, PLUS employing someone to go round schools and help with educational outreach - the guy is an ex-teacher, and knows his stuff.

    3) Total Google cash is actually close to $1M, and approximates to $50 per pupil/student/child. So that's a Raspi, case, cables and SD card. Everything they need to get going.

    As far as I know, Google have not made any provisos re: the cash and what goes on the devices. So no advertising etc. This is a straight up donation for educational purposes. And, yes, it is good advertising for Google, but its also a MILLION DOLLARS donated that they didn't need to give. And note - it's in the UK, not the USA, which some would regard as Google home turf.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Far be it for me to bring in some facts...

      That sounds much more promising, and much more realistic than some of the ideas floating around.

  16. Sosman

    Better value than Ipads

    This is financially and educationally much better value than that silly idea of handing out Ipads.

  17. Oninoshiko

    The number of posts COMPLAINING about this

    Makes me worry for the future of humanity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The number of posts COMPLAINING about this

      I agree, all charity is for some benefit, even if that is just a warm fuzzy feeling on a personal level. Since a company can't have a warm fuzzy feeling, why not be motivated by a bit of positive advertising, it's better than not giving to charity at all.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Donating 15000 to schools...

    Yet another thing that Ms Stob failed to think of doing with RaspPis.

    She must be really kicking herself now.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting children interested in Programming and Electronics

    Children would be more interested in programming Android phone apps and making Robots with Microchips PIC micro-controller. Programming the PIC micro-controller in C is quite easy and the skills are transferable.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Programming Stamps from Parallax with PBasic is fine for children under 12. Children would lean the ability of writing algorithms. For older students 14+ yrs learning basic C and controlling a micro-controler is not too difficult.

  21. b166er

    Reality check, this is a good thing!!

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't, huh? sigh

  22. JeffUK

    Look at the numbers another way

    Average class size :20 kids

    15000 / 20 = 750

    That's 750 schools that could have one classroom with enough RPis in it for every kid to have one each. that's a lot of schools!

    My biggest concern is the fact that the foundation have claimed this donation allows them to hire some new executron, does this mean the donation is just a pile of money to the value of 15,000 pis that the foundation can waste as it pleases, or will this actually lead to 15,000 new devices in schools?

  23. Wil Palen
    Thumb Down

    Net loss

    Now if only the RaspberryPi wasn't so glitchy and unstable, it would be a benefit. I foresee hours and hours of wasted time because of hunting for bugs that don't exist (at least not in the student's code)

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