Element14 CEO speaks: Computer literacy and Raspberry Pi

Tiny educational computer Raspberry Pi is to be distributed by RS Components and Premier Farnell (aka element14).Premier Farnell’s CEO Harriet Green sees the start of something big:”At element14 we take very seriously the need to encourage more young people to take up technology and IT courses at schools and universities across the world and this is one reason why I am so excited about Raspberry Pi. There has been a serious and potentially worrying decline in the numbers of students in the US and Europe taking these courses. The result is simple – less design engineers to create the amazing innovations of tomorrow.

When I sat down with Eben Upton, the founder of Raspberry Pi, for the first time I knew we shared a common goal - "To ensure the next generation of designer engineers were given the opportunity to learn their trade from as young an age as possible, without limits and at the right price".For years we have been waiting for the sub $100 computer. Now with the Raspberry Pi computer priced at $35 - computing and, more importantly, programming are far more easily accessible for students, hobbyists and designers around the world.I believe we are at the cusp of a revolution in technology education. We are set to break down the barriers of what children and young people can learn about computers. But it is more than that. What we are also about to witness is what economically challenged governments can do with computers and how companies can use technology to improve lives around the world.

This is not about being worthy, far from it. It's about finding new ways to utilise technology that can truly revolutionise the planet that we live in.

For the past two years our element14 community has been the key place for like-minded design engineers to talk about their challenges, their ideas and their designs. That is why we have created a new area on the element14 community especially for Raspberry Pi. It has been many years since a new product has driven such a high level of interest and we want everyone who wants to share, talk and design with the Raspberry Pi to do it in one place.

The concept that Eben has created in the Raspberry Pi computer, is something that no one else has dared to do since the demise of the BBC Micro, Acorn and Commodore 64 computers in the 1980's. Today young people are attached to their Xbox and the Playstations or to playing games like Angry Birds on their smartphones. But how often do they ask how was this created?

Well now is their chance to start creating, developing the programmes and applications of tomorrow. A technology revolution is on the horizon."

Harriet Green
CEO, Premier Farnell plc

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