BBC pledges to get the UK coding

Should kids learn programming in school?

Its been a long time in coming but finally its happening. BBC Micro 2.0? Nope better than that.

We (the BBC) are going to get the Nation coding… with the help of others…

Over 30 years ago, the BBC played a leading role in helping Britain get to grips with the first wave of personal computers by putting the BBC Micro into the majority of schools. However, today the UK risks missing out on vital skills that inspired a generation of digital and technical thinkers, as interest in highereducation IT and computing courses falls. The UK currently faces a skills shortage in the technology sector and the BBC aims to help change that.

Of course I knew it was coming but to have it actually announced and from the very top is fantastic. Its worth stopping and thinking about all those people who pushed and pushed to make this all happen.

People like Ant Miller, Michael Sparks, Alan O’Donohoe, Howard Baker, Jo Classens, Keri Facer, Mo McRoberts, George Auckland, Chris Sizemore, and many more and that list is just people attached to the BBC. These are the hero’s who pushed and chipped away. Yes theres the big stuff like Eric Schmitt’s talk at the Edinburgh TV festival, RaspberryPI, Raspberry jams, etc (I actually have a massive mindmap going back a couple of years mapping out the area, which maybe I should blog one day)

As Andy Budd said on Twitter, shame its 2015, to which Michael Sparks said “2015 is relatively realistic given the turning circle of the BBC

He could be right… The BBC isn’t well known for moving quickly but when its time to do it, hopefully they will do it right… Heck there might even be a BBC Code lab? How freaky would that be… Alan!

All just as the millionth RaspberryPI is made. But honestly the best part of the announcement is the BBC are going to collaborate rather than go it alone.

Details of the programme were limited, but the BBC said that it would partner with government, educators and technology companies. “From working with children and young people, to stimulating a national conversation about digital creativity, the BBC will help audiences embrace technology and get creative,” the corporation said in a blog post.

Of course some of those relationships we’ve built over time will now come into there own.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

11 thoughts on “BBC pledges to get the UK coding”

  1. I also followed up with that I’d hope that we’d continue ramping up to 2015. After all we went to Leeds this year and helped give several thousand kids a taster of digital creativity (including making, text based coding to control an avatar, visual coding to control The Doctor, games making, electronic badges, and so on).

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