The Raspberry Pi foundation has, over the last decade or so, utterly transformed the way in which children around the world learn about the fundamentals of computing. No longer are educational establishments burdened with the cost of a large, expensive machines – many of which must be shared between multiple students. Instead, they can hand out Raspberry Pis.
While the project launched to cater to children’s educational needs, it offers a number of other qualities that have appealed to both hobbyists and professionals, too. It’s not unusual to see these devices in serious industrial applications.
So what’s so appealing about the Raspberry Pi, and how is it proving so influential?
Slots into the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things provides a common language through which the wireless devices in your home can communicate, both with one another, and with the manufacturer that produced them. This provides an incredibly powerful research and development boon, as well as unlocking functionality of which isolated devices wouldn’t be capable.
The Rasberry Pi supports both WiFi and the 5G protocol, albeit with the aid of peripherals. Thus it’s capable of slotting neatly into the IoT ecosystem.
Among the crucial advantages of the Pi, and the one that’s made it viable as an educational tool, is its price. For less than the cost of a good pair of shoes, you get a fully functional computer that’s the size of a credit card. If one breaks (which they never do), it can be easily replaced with another one. There’s no danger that the manufacturer will stop supporting the device, or that replacements will be difficult to come by. You’ll find plenty of Pis, and the associated kit, on Okdo.
Perfect for Kids
The purpose of the Raspberry Pi is to teach children to code. It’s therefore hugely approachable, with a shallow learning curve. Huge amounts of online resources are available, helping users to fulfil a variety of ambitions. This approachability doesn’t just appeal to children, but to professionals with limited time to commit to wrestling with difficult new devices with obscure quirks.
The Raspberry Pi is designed to be programmable and adaptable. If there’s a project you have in mind, the chances are that the Pi can help to bring it to life. It’s not without its shortcomings – among them a limited complement of GPIO pins – but these can often be addressed with the addition of an expansion board.
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