The palmtop computer Raspberry Pi is an international phenomenon and seems to be playing a key part in teaching kids to code. It’s made by a small British company, and yet the device has proved so popular that it’s attracted the attention of a giant like Google. Google’s just released some software called Coder that’s all about using the Raspberry Pi as a teaching tool for writing web code.
Coder, when side-loaded onto the Pi on an SD card, adds both a web coding interface and web server powers to the diminutive computer. It’s designed to help teach kids to write web code and web apps, which they can then test on the Pi itself because the Pi can act as a web server. This feature is designed to be a “safe” way to get involved in running your own web server at home or in school, but it’s likely to prove popular among more experienced coders who may find some utility in having a small, reliable web server that’s as programmable as a Pi.
Interestingly Google is making Coder a free open source affair so that users can actually modify and improve on the source code, potentially sharing their discoveries with the greater community. Previously Google has expressed its interest in using Pi as a tool for boosting computer education by gifting 15,000 units to U.K. schools.