The new BBC Schools Primary Computing site launches today (you can find it here http://bbc.in/1qiMs0t).
I think these sites are great (I saw Ocado launched one yesterday as well, though I think that is more about slapping a coat of paint on somebody else’s work). And it is great that corporations are wanting to help children learn the fundamentals of coding and are getting involved.
But there is one big problem (sort of an elephant in the room).
When research is saying children shouldn’t use a screen (TV, tablet, computer, etc) for more than two hours a day it begs the question why are we encouraging children to use computers more?
I won’t bore you with the findings from a recent study on children and screen time but if you’re interested you can read it here… (http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/08/28/343735856/kids-and-screen-time-what-does-the-research-say).
Surely the answer is not to give children more reason to be on computers/tablets but to find alternatives that achieve the same aim without using a computer? This is what Bits & Bytes is about (and one of the main drivers in its creation). It teaches children the fundamentals of computer coding without any screen time.
Problem solved. Now if we can only get the government and corporations to listen.