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What is pi-top?
Jesse Lozano, pi-top co-founder & CEO
Computer science is a vitally important subject. Skills in this area are necessary for the world we live in today, but there is a lack of qualified teachers in the field, even though it is now a compulsory subject in many curriculums around the world. Educators have struggled to find creative, engaging and inspiring ways to teach new and real-life computing skills to their pupils while ensuring that content is relevant and clear to both the students and the teachers themselves.
To learn these skills effectively, teachers and students need high-quality, cost-effective hardware and software tools. When it comes to buying products, it is a challenge to find superior technological tools that last, often within tight budget constraints.
Pi-top devices are modular desktops and laptops powered by a Raspberry Pi, a tiny affordable computer that anyone can use to learn programming through fun, practical projects. Beginning with this humble circuit board, students can use pi-top hardware to build their own fully-fledged laptop (a pi-top!) or desktop computer (a pi-topCEED). Both devices are upgradable in the future with new 'brains' for just $35 every 18 months. pi-tops bring physical computing to life by allowing learners to create their very own machines.
In addition to the pi-top hardware, pi-top has created a range of software solutions to support educators in delivering an excellent computer science curriculum to their students. pi-top offers an accessible learning environment that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a world of accelerating advancements in science and technology.
The foundation of pi-top software is to provide teachers with an easy-to-follow framework and set of worksheets that students can solve at their own pace, with the teacher acting as a guide and facilitator. This creates a more inclusive working environment for pupils of all abilities. The pi-top operating system, pi-topOS, includes features designed especially for the classroom.
pi-top aims to make computer science and STEAM education fun, affordable and accessible, by giving teachers all the tools they need to create a transformative learning experience, including lifetime support and educator webinars. The UK examination board OCR has endorsed all pi-top materials as part of the computer science curriculum.
The focus of pi-top is on learning by doing and building. It is the first truly modular laptop in the world. Students can change sections or the entire brain of the computer by swapping different components, facilitating high-quality STEAM learning.Impact
pi-top significantly improves student engagement. Learners see that computer science is an exciting subject and the world is full of people using it to create amazing things. They become part of that inspiring community.Scalability
There are currently 20,000 pi-top devices being used to teach thousands of students in schools and coding clubs all over the world. The software is available in English and Spanish. As the worksheets are adaptable, any teacher can create personalized lesson plans for any curriculum.