From BBC B to Python
BBC CodeLab - what happens next?
At a recent talk at BBC Mediacity, Salford Quays, Manchester - Alan caused quite a storm when he reported the success of the BBC.CodeLab pilot. News of the national initiative to teach every child in the UK programming, by providing them with their own computer and resources quickly broke, and was being tweeted and retweeted to thousands on Twitter.
He spoke entusiastically of the impact that the BBC Micro project had in 1982, and of the lasting legacy that many of today's programmers and developers speak fondly of. Many of these cite the BBC Micro (or other 8 bit computers) as the catalyst that ignited their interest in computing and programming.
Alan bemoans the year-on-year decline in quantity and quality of high quality computing science graduates, the lack of pupils selecting A level Computing and the prevalance of teaching Powerpoint to school children, not programming. This is leading to 'offshoring' of talent, as recruitment of developers is shifting overseas.
As 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the BBC Micro project and the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing, it is poignant that BBC.CodeLab be rolled out to all school children in the UK, the timing could not be any better. Imagine the profound impact it will have on the UK digital entertainment and software industry in years to come if every child learns how to program, not to mention the enjoyment, engagement, entertainment and educational benefits that this initiative will bring.
In this talk, Alan will describe some of the resources and tools that are already available before the launch in Spring 2012. However, before BBC CodeLab can be launched publicly, there are still some barriers that need to crossed. Alan will share these with the audience and ask the audience to suggest how they may be best overcome.
The second half of the talk will be an open discussion where audience members are invited to participate, there will be an opportunity for delegates to sign up for updates on BBC CodeLab
If you agree with Alan that children should be taught how to program, not Powerpoint - please come to this talk and show your support. You owe it to today's children.
Alan will ask Should children be taught how to program? What should they be taught?
Alan O'Donohoe, @teknoteacher first started to program in BBC Basic in 1983, he was also a contributor to the BBC Domesday project. For the last 20 years, he has been teaching children how to use office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and databases, but this has been changing. After recently deciding to TEACH COMPUTING, he has been teaching programming and computing and encouraging others to follow.
At Our Lady's High School, Alan is the principal teacher of Computing & IT. He is a recent convert to Python programming. When he is not at work, he walks, cycles and sleeps in fields. gravatar.com/teknoteacher twitter.com/teknoteacher teachcomputing.wordpress.com