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Python in Education by Nicholas H. Tollervey

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Chapter 2. A Pythonic Case Study: Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.

What’s more, the Raspberry Pi has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work.

Raspberry Pi Foundation

In a BBC interview, Eben Upton, one of the founders of the Raspberry Pi project, explained that the device was so named because it was capable of running the Python programming language. He later conceded at Pycon 2013 that their spelling might have been a bit off (“Pi” instead of “Py”).

When talking with Eben and two members of the Raspberry Pi education team, Carrie Anne Philbin and Ben Nuttall, it’s clear that Python is an important aspect of their work.1 They initially chose to concentrate on Python for several reasons.

The traditional first lesson in any ...

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