The pi-top  programmable computer is suitable for use in multiple learning environments from traditional classrooms and homes to libraries, after school clubs and makerspaces.
Farnell, the Development Distributor, is now shipping the new pi-top  - a programmable computing device to support digital making, coding and practical projects for educators and students, as well as makers and inventors. Suitable for multiple learning environments in school, at home or in the community; students can develop key skills including coding and circuit design, as well as increasingly in-demand soft skills such as communication, critical thinking and problem-solving.
Every pi-top  computer comes with a Foundation Kit within a metal ‘bento box’ containing 14 components such as programmable sensors, buttons and LEDs. Users can get started right away and learn the basics of coding and physical computing, then continue their learning by progressing into guided lesson plans in advanced coding, robotics, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Equipped with a modular design and internal battery, the pi-top  can even take learning outside to the sports field or playground.
The software learning environment is built specifically for the classroom and designed by educators for educators to help teachers to get the most from their students. pi-top  is also the only platform to be endorsed by the OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Review board) national examination awarding body for use in the Computer Science curriculum in the United Kingdom. Support materials include step-by-step ‘how to’ guides that help students write code to control different electronic components such as lights and sensors. The software suite, which is bundled on the 8GB SD Card, also provides hundreds of hours of project-based learning.
Other key features of the pi-top  include:
- Processor - Powered by the 1.5GHz quad core Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of RAM
- Communication – USB 3.0, Gigabit ethernet, Dual 4K HDMI output, 40 GPIO pins and a 128x64 mini screen
- Connectivity – The pi-top can be connected to any monitor or other device including Windows, Apple and Chromebook computers and third-party products such as Arduino and micro:bit. Raspberry Pi GPIO connectivity is included as standard.
- Hardware compatibility – pi-top  connects easily with products of similar construction, such as LEGO® and Meccano. Users have instant access to thousands of free projects and resources that utilise the Raspberry Pi HAT architecture.
- Software compatibility – The pi-top  supports a variety of educational software and apps including Scratch 3, Sonic Pi and Mu-Python code editor for beginner programmers as well as Chromium web browser and Google Suite, Photo Editor, mtPaint/ ImageMagic, VLC Media Player and Minecraft Raspberry Pi edition.
Farnell has worked with multiple educational organisations and governments to support strategic rollouts of STEM learning solutions into the classroom, and stocks a broad range of education devices that can be supplied in class, school and multiple-school quantities. Farnell can also offer support with provision and bundling of equipment for bespoke large-scale programmes similar to the Super:bit programme in Norway.
The pi-top  computer and Foundation Kit is available for fast delivery from Farnell in EMEA, element14 in APAC and Newark in North America.