BlogThe PC Support Group approves of BBC’s coding plans

The PC Support Group approves of BBC’s coding plans

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The PC Support Group’s Managing Director, Philip Bird, has offered his backing to the BBC’s proposal of getting more young people coding.

30 years on from trying to make computing mainstream by installing machines into the majority of schools across the country, the BBC has announced plans to “bring coding into every home, business and school in the UK”.

Plans for the scheme are, as yet, unclear but it shows a willingness from the organisation to change the way the nation thinks about coding.

In a speech to staff, BBC director general Tony Hall said that the initiative would launch in 2015.

“We want to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time when Government and technology experts are becoming increasingly worried that vital computing skills are no longer being taught in schools – leading to a feeling on complaisance and apathy.

Interest in higher-education IT and computing courses has also been falling in recent years.

However, PCSG’s Phil Bird has encouraged the move if it means it can benefit the economy.

“My first computer was a BBC Micro and I used to watch the associated BBC TV series and learned how to program in BBC Basic,” said Phil.

“That was the start of my whole career in IT and I’ve been lucky enough to turn that initial interest into a number of successful ventures including The PC Support Group.

“If the BBC can inspire a new generation to create interesting and exciting new software applications then that has to be good for those individuals and the future UK economy.”

Education Minister Michael Gove has made it clear that he wants to see coding taught as a priority and just this term a new computer science curriculum has been introduced to schools in England.

Ralph Rivera, director of future media at the BBC, said: “The BBC has played a hugely important role in inspiring a generation of digital and technology leaders in the past, and now it’s time to reignite that creativity. We want to transform the nation’s ability and attitude towards coding.”

Although, the involvement of the broadcasting organisation may not go down too well with everyone as their undoubted power and unrivalled market share is bound to be questioned once again by rival companies.

When the BBC teamed up with Acorn computers in the 1980s, the pairing angered inventor Clive Sinclair, as he prepared to launch a rival machine, the ZX Spectrum.

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