Raspberry Pi vs/and/or Arduino Shrimps in Primary Education
Its early days yet in the brave new Raspberry Pi/ Arduino Shrimp world, but here’s where I’m at at this present time.
The current standard of doing IT/Control is to use a WinPC and a Data Harvest FlowOl input/output box (£99) – which is generally too expensive to use in a class of 30 working in pairs and the Go software isn’t like Scratch (and Scratch reigns supreme as THE primary programming language)
Raspberry Pi is cool and it can make a nice Scratch programmable Robot but doesn’t bring much else to the Primary Education party.
A full Raspberry Pi setup (Pi,Case,PSU,SD card,keyboard,mouse and HDMI monitor) costs £140 – which isn’t good value/money compared to a Win7 £200 netbook and far less portable and less easy to use in a class.
Plugging a Pi into an existing PC and VNCing into it does bring the cost of a using a Pi down to £50 and then if you add in a breadboard and some chips you could have an IT/Control setup for about £70.
And lastly, Scratch is a bit broken in places on the Raspberry Pi and not much visible effort is going into fixing it 🙁
But you can build a complete Arduino Shrimp for £4 – add in another £10 of extra breadboards/wires/switches/leds and resistors and you have change from £15 🙂 (Will that do you Cefn 🙂 Just plug them into existing PCs and program that via S4A (Scratch 4 Arduino). – much more affordable.
The problem is that the S4A software is quite clunky to use and refers to Arduino pin numbering and isn’t suitable for non-geek educator use.
What’s needed (IMHO 🙂 ) is to create a Python hander (like what I’ve done for the Pi) and then just use normal Scratch (via the hidden handler) to send/receive msgs to and from a Shrimp.
So, my next project is to write this handler and see if it is viable.
Proof of concept http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14kTmkIIXO4&feature=youtu.be
Comments/suggestions either here or via Twitter @cymplecy