Why we need the best tools on Chromebooks and Raspberry Pi
Jay Rodgers
20713

My brothers are going through primary school now. It’s amazing how IT driven education has become. It’s entirely understandable that this has happened however it’s not without consequence. Each student is required to use an iPad for _everything_. Schools barely use books anymore. One brother is struggling as homework piles up because it takes so much longer for students to navigate the tiny screen instead of being able to put a sheet of paper next to a book and simply look back and forth. On top of that, disorganized teachers can assign things at 8pm due the next morning. It all adds up.

While not directly related I wanted to share that anecdote. I share your worries, but for me it goes beyond education. Over the last few years I’ve imagined a world in the not-so-distant future where no one remembers how to actually program a microprocessor and accompanying board and all they can do is use sandbox applications to make other sandbox applications. I asked some application developer friends a few years ago how many of them knew how to attach a debugger to a running process. I got blank stares. I asked how they debug applications they’re working on, “well we click the little icon”.

Whatever it takes schools need to expose children to these machines. But it doesn’t stop there, we also need open platforms and systems so that students can learn how they actually work. The iPad and Chromebook are promising, but just about the worst thing I can think of for young minds sans the type of tooling you’re working to support. Thank you.

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