Supporting computing in the classroom: OCR and Raspberry Pi join forces at BETT 2013


Rasp Pi Get Started TutorialFollowing Google's exciting announcement on the eve of BETT 2013 about 15,000 free Raspberry Pi computers to be distributed to schools and colleges, OCR - a partner in the Google project - will unveil its new package of learning support for the Pi for the first time at BETT. OCR and Raspberry Pi are working together at BETT to jointly showcase their support for computing in schools.  

Raspberry Pi is a cheap, credit-card sized, programmable computer which plugs into a TV and a keyboard. It was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to inspire a generation of learners to be creative and to discover how computers are programmed and how they function.  

OCR’s new Pi support pack aims to ensure the device is well used by students and teachers alike. It will include a ‘Getting Started’ tutorial booklet with a clear introduction to using the computer, plus a link to a variety of OCR resources which map directly to the curriculum – such as classroom challenges and advanced tutorials – as well as links to useful resources on the internet, all available on a pre-loaded SD card. 

David Pearce, Head of ICT at Brynteg School, Bridgend, who teaches OCR’s GCSE Computing course, said: “If you wished to, you could do the OCR GCSE Computing coursework on a Raspberry Pi. It’s a very basic computer that enables you to do all sorts of things.  I have one and I know that it’s growing in popularity among students – they are really into it!”

In an exciting programme of events at this year’s BETT, OCR will be working with the Raspberry Pi team, with Computing At School (CAS) and other partners such as Coderdojo (all part of the Google initiative), to boost the confidence of ICT teachers who want more support to get going with computing. 

In the BETT Arena on 31 January, OCR, Raspberry Pi, CAS, Coderdojo and computing teachers will share ideas on how to successfully introduce computing into the classroom. On Friday 1 February, a Learn Live seminar will focus on how Raspberry Pi and the new OCR resources can enhance learning.

OCR will also be running ‘Meet the Experts’ sessions every day on its stand (B240) to share expertise in small groups on everything from Hodder and Raspberry Pi resources, to OCR’s new Entry Level Computing qualification. Staff will also be on hand to answer questions about any of OCR’s IT and computing qualifications. 

Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive said: “As pioneering developers of GCSE, A Level and now Entry Level Computing qualifications, we know teachers in schools need inspirational resources for this new and growing area of the curriculum. At BETT, we’re working with key computing partners to inspire teaching and learning.”  

Read the BETT programme and seminar info