If you are looking into the Raspberry Pi for programming, you might want to check out the world of Arduino:

Lots of people sell them - including Radio Shack.  Sparkfun has them for $29.95.

There are hundreds of accessories, thousands of projects and the programming environment is very easy - there are even several scratch-like programming systems.

They are particularly fun for schools because they are designed to have easily attached input sensors (light, temperature, pressure, etc) and output devices (lights, motors, etc) making it pretty simple for kids to build stuff that reacts to the physical world outside of the computer.  Great for making interactive art or music projects because at $30 a piece, you have the option of leaving the computer with the art project.

One Arduino project example: Secret Knock Gumball Machine anyone?

On Mar 2, 2012, at 10:48 AM, Seth Bonnett wrote:

For me personally, who is trying to learn programming, I am excited. The only supplier in the US as of now is ( For that price it will be neat to see what comes of this. I bet I can get a couple of kids interested just by showing them the board. 

On Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 11:33 AM, Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

On Mar 1, 2012, at 10:51 AM, Raymond Ballou wrote:

There is 

IT for people who produce
IT for people who consume

its seems that the latter is winning by a landslide?

I think that's a false dichotomy begging the questions of "production" and "consumption." (Aggravated a bit by the habit of calling Microsoft Office a "productivity" suite !!! And a bit by the branding of modern society as a "consumer economy" ...)

Schools, and computers in at and around schools can be "informationally rich, interactively diverse." Or they can be mindlessly rote and boring. Imagine a NCLB regime applied to coding !!!

Seth Bonnett
Tech Integration