Initiative aims to get a ‘Code Club’ in 25% of primary schools by 2014.
LONDON – 26 June 2012 – A video to get primary school kids into computer coding starring HRH Prince Andrew and World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee has swept the web.
The ad for Code Club was created in just seven hours by some of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs. It has been seen over 500,000 times in just 48 hours.
Code Club, an initiative set up by Clare Sutcliffe, a UX designer at digitally-led creative agency Albion, and Linda Sandvik, an interface developer at Last.fm, aims to close the UK IT skills gap by creating a nationwide network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 10-11.
Investors and entrepreneurs from the Founders Form had just one hour to conceptualise an online video that would encourage parents and teachers to get their kids to learn how to write code. It was then created and produced by Albion and Hotspur & Argyle on the same day and distributed by social video platform Unruly the following day.
The Apprentice-style clip sees the HRH Duke of York and some of the world’s biggest and brightest tech entrepreneurs try and persuade a panel of three hard-to-please school kids that they are the right people to join Code Club as a volunteer.
Other entrepreneurs to appear in the video are Chad Hurley, founder of YouTube, Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype, Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane-Fox, founders of LastMinute.com, politician Dame Tessa Jowell and Joanna Shields, Vice President of Facebook EMEA and former Bebo CEO (that’s Bebo, not Bieber…).
The aim is to have Code Club running in a quarter of all UK primary schools by 2014. It is currently being piloted in 25 schools nationwide.
It’s an initiative close to the heart of Unruly COO and Female Entrepreneur of the Year Sarah Wood, who also lectures at Cambridge University.
“As a UK-founded company, with a passion for developing the country’s digital economy, we’re delighted to be part of this project. Innovation and technology is going to drive tomorrow’s economy and the UK needs to wake up to the potential that coding has for future generations.
“As a mum of three, I’ve long been dismayed by the shortcomings of an ICT curriculum that teaches kids how to be ‘users’ rather than ‘makers’ of software. This needs to change. Code Club provides a scalable, simple solution for effecting this change from the ground up. In a way, that’s fun and appealing to kids.
“We’re used to delivering social campaigns for global brands at speed and scale. Our 14,000 media partners give us a reach of 917 million unique users and we’re delighted to use this reach to help raise awareness of Code Club.”
Jason Goodman, Albion CEO, said: “The brief was close to the hearts of all entrepreneurs who see a major skills gap in coding and know it’s a crucial part of the recipe for creating the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.
“We hope we had a big part to play in helping the foundation meet its goal of having a code club in 25% of primary schools by 2014.”
To watch the video, click here.
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