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Potential of the Raspberry Pi Computer

Recently, I ran across a new device being developed in the UK. The Raspberry Pi computer is a pocket-sized computing device the size of a credit card. The device is built with several I/O devices to support USB 2.0, HDMI, wifi, Ethernet, RCA Video, SD, and audio connections. The cost of this device is what is very intriguing, they have two models: Model A is only $25, and Model B with Ethernet is $35. For a device that inexpensive, the first question that came to mind was processing and memory. The device comes with a 700MHz processor and up to 256MB RAM. And this computer runs on Linux operating system. Obviously this computer is not built for heavy multimedia Photoshop experiences, but it sure can provide enough processing power for your everyday word processing and Internet applications. Nevertheless, at that price and functionality, I am intrigued about how this can apply in education.

In our cash strapped education system, it is always critical to look at price point for technology decision makers. Without sacrificing functionality, we always have to ask the tough questions, is this device worth it? With a product such as the Raspberry Pi, and the emergence of web 2.0 cloud tools, this has some serious potential in our schools. As we move our applications to cloud, our students could use a device option like this. It is extremely low cost, just enough processing power, and easy to manage using Linux platform.

Raspberry Pi, I would be delighted to beta test this device in our schools. Time to send out an email…

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