British Ambassador donates Raspberry mini-computers to Estonian school (3)
Chris Holtby, Her Majesty’s ambassador in Tallinn, will hand over 20 Raspberry Pi mini-computers on Monday, at the Gustav Adolf Grammar School, one of the oldest secondary schools in Europe.
The collaboration project between British Embassy and Raspberry ultimately intends to provide all Estonian schools with the tiny mini-computer.
The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers that was developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.
The Gustav Adolf Grammar School became the first school to receive the computers after approaching the local British Embassy, seeking support in its intention to become the technology leader among Estonian schools.
It is planned that the next step in the collaboration programme is to identify other suitable Raspberry Pi programming hubs in other Estonian towns, before providing all schools with the tiny computers.
Raspberry Pi costs just about 34 euros and it has all of the functionality of most home computers, but is designed to be accessible to all. It is optimised for schools programming – the reason for its creation by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge, a charitable trust which devotes all its profits to education – but is also widely used by businesses. So far about 5 million units have been sold globally, a whopping British success story.
Following an invitation from the British Embassy, two members of the Raspberry Pi team visited Estonia just recently. A consultation with the local technology and education specialists resulted in the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s decision to co-fund the provision of Raspberry Pi mini-computers to every one of the 520 schools in Estonia. The foundation also agreed to offer training to Estonian teachers in their two-day training sessions in the UK in March, as well as providing training in Estonia.
Estonia’s success in information technology helped to sway Raspberry’s decision. The foundation hopes that Raspberry Pi project will support the further development of education in Estonia, but also significantly to boost the profile of the UK as a partner in technology and as a provider in the education sector.
The event on Monday coincides with the Tallinn visit by British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond.