Educational Programming on the Raspberry Pi

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The original aim when creating the Raspberry Pi was to encourage “kids”—pre-university learners—to engage with programming, and to develop an interest in and understanding of programming and computer science concepts. The method to achieve this was to give them their own, low cost computer that they could use to program on, as a replacement for a family PC that often did not allow this option. With the original release, the Raspberry Pi included two programming environments in the standard distribution software: Scratch and IDLE, a Python environment. In this paper, we describe two programming environments that we developed and recently ported and optimised for the Raspberry Pi, Greenfoot and BlueJ, both using the Java programming language. Greenfoot and BlueJ are both now included in the Raspberry Pi standard software distribution, and they differ in many respects from IDLE; they are more graphical, more interactive, more engaging, and illustrate concepts of object orientation more clearly. Thus, they have the potential to support the original aim of the Raspberry Pi by creating a deeper engagement with programming. This paper describes these two environments and how they may be used, and discusses their differences and relationships to the two previously available systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2016


  • Programming Education
  • Raspberry Pi
  • BlueJ
  • Greenfoot
  • Java


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