Today, so many programming jobs and activities are out-sourced to countries who have focused education on such skills, it is now apparent we are losing out on one of the most lucrative revenue and economic growth opportunities available.
The vast majority of ‘apps’ written today, be they for iPad, iPhone, Tablets, Phablets (!), Android devices, Kindles and so on, are not developed here in the UK. The programmers are not working here in the UK, much to our Government’s chagrin I’m sure. And to make matters even worse, every paid ‘App’, generates revenue that goes elsewhere too.
It doesn’t take more than a quick dose of common sense to see where we went wrong and what we can do to put it right.
Education ministers are sending out the message to schools, colleges and universities to get programming to the forefront of the curriculum to ensure we are soon developing the skills needed to compete and thrive in the new market place.
However it’s also painfully apparent, many schools and teachers are badly equipped to teach programming to children, teenagers and young adults. Due to programming being ignored for so long the majority of teachers lack the knowledge to confidently teach even the basics of programming and software development.
“Programming filled our Primary school staff with dread, the FUZE changed that to excitement”
John Ronane MA, MBA, NPQH, FCoT, Headteacher, Ickford Combined School
Around a year ago when the Raspberry Pi was announced it became obvious, very quickly indeed, just how desperate the education channel is for tools to teach programming. Its unexpected, but incredible success has done a great deal to highlight the issues at hand.
At FUZE we are driven by the same passions and interests… to get people programming. At the same time we also have a love of electronics. We believe the programming language BASIC is still the best language for beginners. Its easy-to-understand commands teach the majority of programming fundamentals used in all programming languages. BASIC’s main advantage however is that is does not require any previous IT skills or knowledge to get started. Enter a PROGRAM, then RUN and get results, all within seconds of starting.
“We were very excited by what we saw at BETT and know it is definitely something our children want at our clubs and the parents are keen to see us using, we are very keen to be an early adopter”
Fran Greenaway, Managing Director, ComputerXplorers Cotswolds and Wyvern
The FUZE project takes the Raspberry Pi, BASIC and electronics and wraps them all up in a safe, robust and classroom friendly case, designed for learning and experimentation.
“It tackles two side of computing and electronic design in a way that you very rarely see… it brings them both together in a very nice way.”
PC Pro – podcast – April 2013
The FUZE is supplied with Project Cards aimed at the absolute beginner, covering all aspects of the ITC section of the newly proposed curriculum.
After seeing the FUZE in action at this year’s BETT Show, Jack Lang, Chair of the Raspberry Pi Foundation commented; “The Raspberry Pi Foundation is pleased to support FUZE in their development of rugged classroom units for teaching electronics and computer science. The units will help students learn, experiment and explore the vital discipline of computer science and in the process learn computational thinking.”
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