It’s called Raspberry Pi, and is basically a miniature computer. It contains just the basics (with the Linux-based operating system downloaded onto an SD card), but is more than enough to encourage kids to think for themselves, and use their own imagination to create their own uses and opportunities.
It’s an amazingly simple way for kids to learn programming and electronics, without big price tags or any overwhelming hype. It gets kids back to basic computing, so that they can learn the basics safely, and then they can build up to bigger and better things as they feel more inclined.
Apparently the computer is only about £30 (currently about $65 AUD), but it can do most things a normal computer can do, just without all the peripheral bits. You can hook it up to a standard mouse, keyboard and tv screen, which most homes already have anyway. And the Raspberry Pi educational foundation provides an awful lot of support and resources, to give you plenty of ideas to get you started.
Something to look out for anyway. Not sure whether I’ll be giving this a go, but it certainly sounds intriguing. Anything that encourages hands-on learning is worth a look, in my book.