BBC plots to inspire next generation of coders

BBC plots to inspire next generation of coders
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

October 9th 2013 at 10:30AM

New initiative launching in 2015 designed to close tech skills gap and encourage children to pick up programming in schools

The BBC is looking to inspire the next generation of coders through a new initiative set to launch in 2015.

The UK media giant is to roll out special tools and resources and harness its TV, radio and online services to help bring computer programming "to even more homes, businesses and schools over the coming years".

Details are currently low, but the BBC said it is looking to help teach the nation to create apps, websites, games and digital art, as well as learn robotics.

To achieve this, the BBC will be partnering with a number of national and international companies across a number of sectors, including the government, educators and technology firms.

This could potentially mean a relationship with not-for-profit organisation the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which aims to bring coding to children through its tiny credit card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi, which costs as little as £20.

The director of BBC television Danny Cohen has also hinted at the implementation of commission programmes, which could suggest a similar initiative to Channel 4's own commission scheme, through which it awards developers with funds up to £25,000 to create their games.

The scheme will also be launched just after computer science is implemented into the school curriculum from September 2014.

More details on the BBC's initiative are expected during the coming months.

"The BBC has played a hugely important role inspiring a generation of digital and technology leaders in the past, but now it’s time to reignite that creativity," said BBC director of future media Ralph Rivera.

"Digital skills are absolutely fundamental in the modern world, and we’re in a unique position to help people develop them and provide a safe online playground to try them out. We want to transform the nation’s ability and attitude towards coding, and bring together different organisations already working in this area."

This is not the first time the BBC has attempted to get people into coding, having released the BBC Micro over 30 years ago into a number of schools.

It is hoped the new scheme will have a similar effect of encouraging people into coding and overcome what the BBC calls a national skills shortage in the technology sector.