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07 June 2024

Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor - TC meeting

Becci Peters profile image
Written by

Becci Peters

This is a summary of a thematic community meeting showcasing the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.

Key Summary Points

  • The Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed a simplified code editor tailored for educational use.
  • The code editor supports Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and emphasises a simple, clean user interface.
  • It is designed to work directly in the browser, ensuring zero setup and compatibility with various devices.
  • The tool is compliant with GDPR and the ICO children's code, prioritising data privacy and security.
  • Future updates will include enhanced classroom management features, improved Python support, and integration with educational platforms like Oak National Academy.

Reflecting on the Raspberry Pi Code Editor

This tool is poised to make a significant impact on our teaching practices, offering a streamlined, accessible, and secure environment for our students to learn coding.

The presentation began with Phil Howell, the Chief Technology and Product Officer, introducing the code editor. The code editor, is designed to address the specific needs of educational environments, which existing tools like sometimes fail to meet due to their complexity or professional-level features not suited for classroom use.

The primary aim of the code editor is to provide a high-quality, free, and age-appropriate tool for text-based coding education. The Foundation's focus was clear: create a product that minimises setup time, runs directly in the browser, and supports a range of devices, from desktops to tablets and even Raspberry Pi hardware. This ensures inclusivity, catering to various technological availabilities in classrooms.

The code editor currently supports Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with a strong emphasis on simplicity and ease of use. During the demo, Pete from the development team showcased the editor's intuitive interface and its ability to run code without needing user registration, though accounts can be created for saving progress. Features like auto-completion, error messaging, and accessibility options such as dark mode and adjustable text sizes were highlighted.

Feedback from educators has been overwhelmingly positive. They appreciate the platform's simplicity and its focus on educational use rather than professional coding environments. This feedback is crucial, as it directly informs ongoing improvements. Future enhancements will include more robust Python support, expanding the code library, and introducing comprehensive classroom management tools. These tools will allow teachers to create and manage student projects, monitor progress, and provide personalised feedback—all within a safe, controlled environment.

Encouraging Reflection and Adaptation

Watching this presentation, I found myself considering how this tool could reshape our approach to teaching coding. The emphasis on simplicity and accessibility is particularly compelling. Here are a few questions and exercises that might help us, as educators, reflect on and integrate this tool into our teaching practices:

Questions to Consider:

  1. Accessibility and Inclusivity: How can the code editor help bridge the technological gap in classrooms with limited resources?
  2. Integration with Curriculum: How can we align the use of this tool with our current curriculum and learning outcomes?
  3. Student Engagement: What features of the code editor are most likely to engage and motivate students, particularly those who might struggle with traditional coding environments?
  4. Assessment and Feedback: How can the classroom management features be leveraged to provide timely and constructive feedback to students?

Try out the code editor

Give feedback on the code editor 

Register your interest in the classroom management features 

Watch the recording 

See the slides