Education professionals have warned that the UK's IT teaching difficulties will not be solved by simply handing out Raspberry Pi devices to every schoolchild in the UK - a stance backed by the device's creators.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was set up with the aim of getting its devices into the hands of as many students as possible, starting later this year. The charitable organisation has received enormous publicity in recent months, after producing an ARM-based Linux computer for only £22.
The low cost of the device has meant that there have been suggestions that Raspberry Pi devices should be handed out to every UK schoolchild.
According to speakers at a Westminster Education Forum this week, it would cost just £50m to give a Raspberry Pi to every UK schoolchild - although it is worth noting that the cost could soon rise once the necessary accessories have been acquired to run all the machines.
The cost seems trivial, they argued, given the belief that the device can substantially improve digital literacy and IT understanding among children. It could also alleviate the IT skills shortage that is worrying industry.
But Raspberry Pi Foundation executive director Eben Upton said such proposals, especially if led by the government, risked undermining the Foundation's goals and ethos.
"On some level [handing out a Raspberry Pi device to every school child] seems a great idea, but we are more about providing the opportunity to have one than forcing it down everyone's throat. We would almost lose something if we did that," he said.
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