Session 3 – Computers

During this session we looked at computers and the different types which have been created and used over the years. What I found most interesting from the seminar was the information and discussion about ‘input > process > output’. To think that a PlayStation uses those three components means that it is technically a computer also, and I have never thought of my PlayStation 3 being a computer?! We also researched the advantages of using ‘old school’ computers, laptops, chrome books and iPads in school and discussed them amongst one another. From this I have decided that if I could choose which out of those 4 technologies I would want to use with my class it would probably be the laptops! This is because I believe they are the most convenient, for example, they are portable, they have keyboards, you can connect them to the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) and they have recording facilities (and those are just a few of the benefits!).

Computing at School, (2012) The Raspberry Pi Education Manual

If the Raspberry Pi is very similar to a normal computer, why do most schools not use one?! I have never been into a school which has used a Raspberry Pi before and I doubt I ever will be in a school where they do. This is something which I do not understand because schools complain about their budget and not being able to afford technology – the Raspberry Pi is ‘affordable’, ‘easy to use’ and ‘powerful’, according to the Raspberry Pi Education Manual. Is this because most teachers are unaware of them or unaware of how to use them effectively in class?

With the new computing curriculum out now, I think a Raspberry Pi is an easy and cost-effective way to teach it, seeing as you are able to access Scratch and other software to support the teaching of computing, such as Python. Python is something which I would not use with children in my class as I think it is very dull and boring! Yes, children are learning how to programme but in a very boring way! I also think it may be confusing for the children and could even be too difficult to understand (I am even having a difficult time reading about it!).

Moreover, I have come across teaching resources used with the Raspberry Pi which teachers can use in school. I found these on the Raspberry Pi website and it is something I can look into on placement or in the future when teaching computing to children.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/teach/

There are also guides on the Raspberry Pi website on how to set up a Raspberry Pi and how to use it. This website is something I will definitely refer to in the future if I use a Raspberry Pi in my class.

Computing at School, (2012) The Raspberry Pi Education Manual

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