Founders4Schools announces new partnership with BBC to support BBC micro:bit campaign
17th June 2016. Founders4Schools (F4S) is partnering with BBC Make it Digital to support the national BBC micro:bit initiative by launching a new nationwide service making it easy for teachers to get tech experts into their classroom to maximise the impact of the technology.
Every 11-12 year old (Year 7) across the country is being given a free BBC micro:bit - a pocket-sized codeable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology - meaning a whole generation of kids will own their own personal programmable device that they will grow up with and learn to do more with as time progresses. Teaching the students to use the computers would usually be limited to an ICT teacher, or after school code or STEM club leaders. With the new service, F4S gives teachers access to over 7,000 tech leaders who, in just a couple of clicks, they can bring into school to inspire, educate and advise the kids on using the computers - and explain to children how technology like the BBC micro:bit can help develop the skills they will need to survive and thrive in the digital economy.
It couldn't be easier for the teachers. All they need to do is enter the date, time and location they need - and the F4S platform will recommend business leaders to them. If the teacher agrees with the recommendation, F4S invite them and get them into the classroom. Imagine being taught about tech by Alicia Navarro (skimlinks), Michael Fasosin (spindrift) or Joachim Horn (Sam Labs)!
Jessica Cecil, Controller of the BBC Make it Digital campaign said: “Founders4Schools and its large network of tech leaders is an extremely positive force in inspiring the next generation. I am delighted to partner with Founders4Schools to bring tech experts in the classrooms of thousands of Year 7 students across the country to help them understand the role of technologies like the BBC micro:bit in today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy.”
Sherry Coutu, Founder and Chairman of Founders4Schools said: “The BBC micro:bit initiative is one of the most exciting developments for coding that the UK has ever seen. We’ve heard from school teachers that there is huge appetite for hearing from people who can give kids the perspective from the outside world that will show them how these skills will be applicable to their careers. We have a community of 10,000 business leaders in the Founders4Schools network and 70% of those are from the tech industry, so perfectly placed to offer that perspective. The potential benefits are huge, not just for the kids themselves but for the UK economy as a whole.”
Each Founders4Schools ambassador will come into class fully briefed on the BBC micro:bit and its potential thanks to a library of background materials created by Microsoft.
Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft UK said: “Helping teachers feel comfortable using the BBC micro:bit is critical to its success, which is why Microsoft developed a wealth of resources to help them get to grips with the device. We’re delighted Founders4Schools network of tech leaders will be supporting the BBC micro:bit project in the classroom with this new service and using our resources to show pupils the true creative potential of coding and digital skills.”
· Founders4Schools is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to helping close the skills gap by inspiring young people about the jobs of tomorrow by giving them access to leaders of growing businesses.
· Founders4Schools enables young people to understand how the subjects they take at school relate to the businesses that are driving economic growth in the UK thereby helping them to raise their aspirations
· Our nation-wide network means we are supported by more than 100 partners and 10,000 volunteers who lead growing businesses with more than ￡1 million in revenue and who are willing to visit schools to speak to students in the classrooms
· For more information on Founders4Schools see http://www.founders4schools.org.uk
About BBC Make it Digital
· Make it Digital is a BBC initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.
· Make it Digital will help all audiences see how Britain has helped shape the digital world, why digital skills matter and their growing importance to our future.
· For younger audiences, Make it Digital will help them discover the world of digital, see their creative potential in it and inspire them to take their first steps in computational thinking and digital skills.
For more information about BBC Make it Digital see http://www.bbc.co.uk/makeitdigital