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Google funding UK computer science education revitalization

Google has formed a partnership with British independent charity Teach First to fund an initiative that it hopes will help revitalize computer science education in the UK through special training and Raspberry Pi teaching aids.

Mike Rose, Blogger

May 24, 2012

2 Min Read

Google has formed a partnership with British independent charity Teach First to fund an initiative that it hopes will help revitalize computer science education in the UK through special training and Raspberry Pi teaching aids. Google's chairman Eric Schmidt had previously criticized the UK's computing curriculum, leading education secretary Michael Gove to state that he would look into revamping computer science education. A new computer science course is now due to replace ICT in select schools starting from this September. As reported by the BBC, Schmidt revealed this week that Google is helping to fund the move, providing the charity with enough support such that over 100 science teachers can be given special training for the upcoming computer science classes. Through this initiative, Schmidt hopes that up to 20,000 students from "disadvantaged communities" can be exposed to the new education angle, with lessons focusing on how software is made, rather than how to use the software. "It's vital to expose kids to this early if they're to have the chance of a career in computing," he noted. "Only 2 percent of Google engineers say they weren't exposed to computer science at high school." "While not every child is going to become a programmer, those with aptitude shouldn't be denied the chance," he added. Schmidt also said that the funds from Google will go towards supplying "teaching aids, such as Raspberry Pis or Arduino starter kits". The Raspberry Pi Foundation has previously told Gamasutra that it hopes to put programming power in the hands of children and enable them to explore the world of computer development, and inspire a new generation of programmers. "The success of the BBC Micro in the 1980s shows what's possible. There's no reason why Raspberry Pi shouldn't have the same impact, with the right support," Schmidt said.

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