With the advent of cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile computing, CS faculty are continuously revamping the curriculum material to address such burgeoning set of technologies in practical and relatable ways. Raspberry Pi (RPi) devices represent an ideal hardware/software framework that embodies all these technologies through its simple architecture, small form factor (that minimizes the volume and footprint of a desktop computer), and ability to integrate various sensors that network together and connect to the Cloud. Therefore, one of the strategies of Computer Science Department, to enhance depth of learning concepts, has been to infuse Raspberry Pi (RPi) in computer science courses. RPi has been incorporated since 2016 in targeted courses, notably, Computer Organization & Assembly Language, Computer Architecture, Database Management Design & Implementation, Unix/Linux Programming, Internet Programming, and Senior Project. An inexpensive credit card sized computer, an RPi lends itself to allow depth of learning of concepts. From implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, scripting, client-server based computing, distributed computing, to interfacing with sensors and actuators, a student is guided to polish concepts taught in a class through RPi Project Based Learning (RPBL). Computer science curriculum already provides breadth of learning. The infusion of RPi in key courses provides depth in targeted concepts. There are peripheral desirable consequences as well, including a student learning prevalently used Linux environment even though a targeted course may have nothing directly to do with Linux. Furthermore, RPi provides an opportunity for students to realize that software programs can be interfaced with sensors and actuators to provide immersed experience in programming. From simply interfacing a switch and a Light Emitting Diode (LED) to getting data from sensors, buffering, and uploading to the cloud, a student already would have touched upon multiple disciplines in computer science. This paper provides a blueprint to infusing RPi in the targeted courses, and how each RPi based project provides depth to a targeted concept.
Khan, Fitratullah; Quweider, Mahmoud K.; Qubbaj, Ala; Tomai, Emmett; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Liyu; and Lei, Hangsheng, "Infusing Raspberry Pi in the Computer Science Curriculum for Enhanced Learning" (2020). Computer Science Faculty Publications and Presentations. 28.
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