For three information technology degree students in Susan Furtney’s Computer Essentials class at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville, the idea of a $25 computer is a reality they experienced directly. IT students Jared Burton, Paul Christiansen and Nicole Mayerhofer learned about Raspberry Pi, an inexpensive and tiny computer that was created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of hobbyist programmers.
The three students were given approximately one class session worth of time to research and experience firsthand the Raspberry Pi before they were asked to present the product to Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville staff. The presentation not only gave students the opportunity to inform others of their research of the product, but it also offered experience preparing a presentation on tight deadline—a professional skill that will be useful in their careers following graduation.
In their presentation, the students discussed that the idea for the Raspberry Pi came from a group of colleagues at the University of Cambridge who realized that there was not a viable and inexpensive option for informal computer programming—something they knew was popular prior to the rise of personal computers and various game consoles.
The students also shared how the device works, going over the device’s hardware specifications and available ports. The students explained that the device’s processor is similar to that of today’s smartphones, which over the past few years have become more affordable and more powerful. Through their presentation, the students shared that the device has much of the same ports as a typical personal computer – USB ports, HDMI, audio and video outlets, and an Ethernet port.
Even though Raspberry Pi was created with programmers in mind, the students believe that the everyday user can also benefit from the device. Because it is a fully functioning computer in which an operating system can be downloaded and access to the internet is available, it provides those who are looking for an inexpensive yet effective computer with a great option.
If you are interested in purchasing a Raspberry Pi, check out the Raspberry Pi Foundation website.