We Need a Pine64 School Please!
#1
Lightbulb 
Idea time!  Wink  I don't know whether the Pine64 team will see this, but it seems like there are many people who have purchased Pine64 as their first dev board -- myself included! Just from web browsing, I see that dev boards from various brands can be very different in specs, capabilities, etc. It makes it pretty overwhelming for a new person to try to pick up and learn, especially when Pine64 is so brand new and there are few resources out there for beginners. Much of the Internet talk about Pine64 tends to be at the expert level. So us new folk are pretty much left to our own devices (no pun intended Big Grin )! If we weren't interested in learning how to use Pine, we wouldn't have gotten it for ourselves. By reading the questions on here on the forum and elsewhere, it's clear that us new-folk need a single resource geared towards adults and kids who have zero experience with dev boards.

That said, I'm wondering if the team and/or any expert souls, might be interested in creating a website that's dedicated to teaching new adults and kids how to use Pine64. I'd love to see modules geared toward getting started, what can potentially be done with Pine64, showing us what the various parts (ie: wires, modules, sensors, adapters, etc.) are meant to do, and then get into teaching us how to accomplish various Pine64 projects (including what materials/parts are needed). Once you get past the basic, you could gear lessons and projects to various interests like coding, making, gaming, etc. and organize them like lesson plans with videos photos, and pictures to guide us through. I

I'm thinking this should be one website dubbed The Pine64 Classroom, The Pine64 Project, Pine64EDU, Pine64 University, etc. I'd love to see the Pine team officially take this on as a project since they've said they are really into education and want to see Pine used in schools, but it'd be neat if someone with extra time on their hands wanted to do something like this unofficially too (or help the team get it done)!

I'm pretty certain there would be interest, not just from individuals like me, but also parents, teachers (from K-12 and university level), curious teens, etc. And with the right educational support for beginners, Pine would likely sell even more boards . . . after all, I haven't seen any such resource made by any of the other major players (ie: RasPi) . . . and even if the major players do have such a thing, that's all the more reason for Pine to create such a resource too!

I hope this can happen and ASAP!! I'd love to hear whether any other newbies would find a Pine64 school of sorts useful! (And btw, courses could theoretically be designed for all skill levels!) Free access would be nice (I bet Pine could even ask companies to help sponsor such an endeavor) so that everyone at any age would have access, but it would be worth it even if I had to pay a small one-time fee. Or maybe it could be free to educators, kids, etc. I'm sure that could all be sorted out. I just really think this is important to getting new people interested in learning to use Pine straight from experts who made it and know how to use it best!

 . . . . . thoughts anyone?!


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#2
Hi MashaT22!

Great post. Let me premise what I'm about to write by pointing out a key distinction between the RPI and the Pine64 (as well as most other SBCs); the RPI was introduced by an NGO with education in mind, whilst the Pine64 is aimed at tinkerers. The RPI foundation's efforts are, and have always been, primarily focused on educating kids and promoting computer science. They have effectively revitalised computer science in school in the Northern Hemisphere (take a look at Uni enrolment numbers pre and post RPI) and brought computing to deprived parts of the globe.

On a philosophical meta-level, the Pine64 is a different beast altogether and it remains to be seen what the community does with it - its still very (VERY!) early days. The key word here is 'community'. For instance, Lenny  started a website which will - in time - provide various tutorials as well as different resources. From what I understand, anyone is welcome to author a tutorial or walk-through and gets credited for it. This is the first initiative of this sort that I know of - but I am sure that other will follow. 

Now we need to see if/ how much interest there is in education focused Pine64 applications (I have JUST spoken to a teacher about the Pine64 - so I know there is). If you are interested in (co-)creating a classroom focused Pine64 resource site let me know - I can try to get others on-board. But as I've already written, its all about the community's will to contribute and make this happen at this stage. We can all contribute in different ways: some by building kernels and OS images, others by helping on the forums or other social channels , and yet others by creating resource sites. I feel that insofar we got the first 2 of the three covered  .... 

Thanks again!
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#3
This is an interesting idea, but I feel it's somewhat misplaced.

When I see the questions that are asked in RasPi communities, I feel that perhaps 90% could be asked (or, more likely, are already answered on) Ubuntu or Debian fora.

When Linux is installed on the device, many, many questions are more Linux related than hardware related.

This is a lack of understanding, and it's not really anybodies fault, which may be where a stack overflow type community should step in, cross referencing other great answers to solved problems.

An article on how to set up a VPN with the Pi, is entirely an article about how to set up a VPN on Ubuntu. The hardware is irrelevant.

This forum is not the best medium for that type of question.

The first step in learning how to tinker with devices, or anything, really, is an education that teaches you how to learn. When you know how to learn, you are opened up to a world of possibilities. This is what University is for. And there's clearly a bootstrap problem.

I purchased the Pine as it was the first reasonably priced aarch64 device. It may have been oversold, but I have headless Ubuntu running (thanks @longsleep) and now I can build and test Clang and Boost in an approximate environment that's useful for my own purposes.

For me, it's a pure dev board at a cost I can reasonably assume is a toy.

The first time I played with a dev board, it was an 8bit micro (8051) with 128bytes of RAM (yes, 128 bytes) and a Keil compiler that you had to teach the linker about the addresses that could be used for RAM, ROM, Flash, etc. There wasn't much documentation. (I recently heard Keil are moving to Clang, which I personally feel is pretty awesome). It took me weeks before I could get an LED to flash; that was my debugging tool for the next 2 months, before I got a console working and could debug a tad more effectively. I never learnt how to attach a debugger.

Pine64 was perhaps oversold, it's not a supercomputer or even a personal computer. It's a development device; I don't expect them to bring ARM64 to masses, but neither should I; most development is cross platform, very few do assembly any more, and most of those that do are doing it wrong.

To summarise, I don't see Pine64 as a leader in cheap educational devices aimed at teaching programming to kids, I see them as a provider of cheap aarch64 hardware, and they've succeeded.

Now, can we have a quad core a72 with 8GB RAM so I can really play?
#4
(06-01-2016, 01:44 AM)MashaT22 Wrote: Idea time!  Wink  I don't know whether the Pine64 team will see this, but it seems like there are many people who have purchased Pine64 as their first dev board -- myself included! Just from web browsing, I see that dev boards from various brands can be very different in specs, capabilities, etc. It makes it pretty overwhelming for a new person to try to pick up and learn, especially when Pine64 is so brand new and there are few resources out there for beginners. Much of the Internet talk about Pine64 tends to be at the expert level. So us new folk are pretty much left to our own devices (no pun intended Big Grin )! If we weren't interested in learning how to use Pine, we wouldn't have gotten it for ourselves. By reading the questions on here on the forum and elsewhere, it's clear that us new-folk need a single resource geared towards adults and kids who have zero experience with dev boards.

That said, I'm wondering if the team and/or any expert souls, might be interested in creating a website that's dedicated to teaching new adults and kids how to use Pine64. I'd love to see modules geared toward getting started, what can potentially be done with Pine64, showing us what the various parts (ie: wires, modules, sensors, adapters, etc.) are meant to do, and then get into teaching us how to accomplish various Pine64 projects (including what materials/parts are needed). Once you get past the basic, you could gear lessons and projects to various interests like coding, making, gaming, etc. and organize them like lesson plans with videos photos, and pictures to guide us through. I

I'm thinking this should be one website dubbed The Pine64 Classroom, The Pine64 Project, Pine64EDU, Pine64 University, etc. I'd love to see the Pine team officially take this on as a project since they've said they are really into education and want to see Pine used in schools, but it'd be neat if someone with extra time on their hands wanted to do something like this unofficially too (or help the team get it done)!

I'm pretty certain there would be interest, not just from individuals like me, but also parents, teachers (from K-12 and university level), curious teens, etc. And with the right educational support for beginners, Pine would likely sell even more boards . . . after all, I haven't seen any such resource made by any of the other major players (ie: RasPi) . . . and even if the major players do have such a thing, that's all the more reason for Pine to create such a resource too!

I hope this can happen and ASAP!! I'd love to hear whether any other newbies would find a Pine64 school of sorts useful! (And btw, courses could theoretically be designed for all skill levels!) Free access would be nice (I bet Pine could even ask companies to help sponsor such an endeavor) so that everyone at any age would have access, but it would be worth it even if I had to pay a small one-time fee. Or maybe it could be free to educators, kids, etc. I'm sure that could all be sorted out. I just really think this is important to getting new people interested in learning to use Pine straight from experts who made it and know how to use it best!

 . . . . . thoughts anyone?!
We have work with several Polytechnic schools on making Pine A64 as education project. Thanks on your idea and if there is scholar interest on such activities, we are happen to supply boards for them to jump start.
#5
(06-01-2016, 10:31 AM)benpope81 Wrote: Now, can we have a quad core a72 with 8GB RAM so I can really play?

No need to wait for us, you can purchase directly from this link: http://www.96boards.org/products/ee/cello/


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