Google Donates 15,000 Raspberry Pis to UK Schools

Google has had a deep interest in education, but this is a big move

By on January 29th, 2013 15:21 GMT

The Raspberry Pi has been a great hit, the small and cheap computer has sold in the millions. Yet, it's likely that most of the people that bought it are geeks and hobbyists, not schools and students like the Raspberry Pi Foundation initially envisioned.

The project was put together to make it easier and cheaper to teach coding to kids. In that vein, it's nice to see that at least some of the devices do end up in schools.

Google has bought 15,000 of them from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and is giving them away to schools in the UK via its Google Giving program.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt got together with RPi Foundation cofounder Eben Upton and taught some coding classes to some kids in Cambridge. The Raspberry Pi project got started at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory.

"We’re going to be working with Google and six UK educational partners to find the kids who we think will benefit from having their very own Raspberry Pi," the Foundation announced on its blog.

"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," it explained.

For Google, the move makes a lot of sense. The company has been very involved in education, especially computer science education.

The more people that learn how to code, that learn to work with technology, the more Google can benefit from their talents in the future.

Schmidt, in particular, is very interested in the education side and, since he's been spending most of his time lately on this sort of humanitarian and political missions, it's no surprise to see him very involved with this new initiative.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is understandably excited about other companies taking a direct interest in education, it's why the foundation and the device itself were created in the first place.

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Raspberry Pi Foundation's Eben Upton and Google's Eric Schmidt teaching kids at a Cambridge school
   Raspberry Pi Foundation's Eben Upton and Google's Eric Schmidt teaching kids at a Cambridge school