We all accept that technology is developing at an exponential rate and we’re certainly all feeling the benefits. But while we’ve been busying ourselves with the boundless array of interactive games and social media – a significant gap has appeared under our noses. We don’t know how to create the amazing functionality that we can’t live without.
We’ve become so enamoured with the aesthetics of technology (thanks Apple) and the things it can do for us, that we’ve overlooked the importance of technological know-how – the very understanding of how things work and how to create them. That’s why the brainchild of a group of tech guys from the University of Cambridge is just so impressive.
They’ve launched an initiative that looks set to create a new generation of inspired computer programmers. Their idea is the raspberry pi – a cost effective way to put computers into the hands of kids. The raspberry pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can type documents, play games, create spreadsheets and view HD video and all for the cost of $25.
Their idea was born out of the need to get past the IT skills deficit that followed the dot-com bubble bursting, increasingly poor IT education and the development of new games consoles which took away the home-programming capability of earlier models like the Commodore 64. The result is a small piece of kit which gives kids the tools to get started with programming. They’re not evangelists claiming to have the problem wrapped up – instead they’ve found a fun and effective way to make computers accessible and inspirational for any child, anywhere in the world. Seems to me that the real technological revolution is still to come.