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Perceptions of using the Raspberry Pi to learn computer architecture

Author Trevor Prendergast, Oonagh McGirr
Abstract The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized, low-cost computer designed for educational use. While initially developed to teach computer programming concepts, the device is increasingly being used in more advanced hardware projects in secondary and postsecondary educational settings. This paper reports on perceptions of an introductory course in an undergraduate Information and Communications Technology programme that was redesigned to utilise the Raspberry Pi in a Problem Based Learning context, with dual aims of developing 21st century skills while achieving the course learning outcomes. Data was gathered using two surveys, one institutional and one custom, in addition to two focus groups. Key themes emerging include student perceptions of understanding the tasks assigned to them, the value students placed on these activities and the enjoyment of using the Raspberry Pi device to achieve the learning outcomes. While the device was a cornerstone of the learning within the course, limitations emerged as to its suitability to teaching some core concepts.
Keywords Technology in education, Raspberry Pi, Problem Based Learning, 21st Century Skills
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2016
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