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November 12, 2012
Writing about web page http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/features/digital_makers_open_call_for_ideas
NESTA, a UK charity, have put out a funding call for projects that engage young people in 'digital making' i.e. getting young people to not just consume digital technologies but to be actively involved in the creation of them.
I've been interested in this even before Gove started talking about the lack of coding skills amongst young people. I've always enjoyed programming and have tried a variety of languages over the years. I started with Pascal and Fortran and I am currently learning Objective C. I think programming is partly about being able to solve problems and asking lots of questions. More often that not I start with the 'idea' and then work out if it can be done with the particular programming language I'm using.
I'm teaching a module at the moment where students are using Actionscript to create an interactive application and, while they are finding it hard work, they are loving it! The approach I'm taking is to ask students what they'd like to do and then working with them to identify how to achieve it using code.
Over the last 18 months I've been working with a colleague at Newman University on a number of mobile/server based app development initiatives and this sounds like an ideal opportunity to use the knowledge gained (the funding is for prototypes, not concepts). Fingers crossed!