Make it Digital

BBC launches flagship UK-wide initiative to inspire a new generation with digital technology

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Date: 12.03.2015     Last updated: 12.03.2015 at 10.07
Many of the BBC’s biggest and best-loved brands across TV and Radio are creating online and interactive content to inspire their audiences with digital technology, including Doctor Who, EastEnders, Children in Need, Radio 1, Appsolute Genius, Technobabble and Nina And The Neurons.

This complements a range of Make It Digital content from BBC Online:

BBC Make it Digital
The BBC Make it Digital Hub launches today and will be the go-to place for those wanting to discover the world of digital creativity and get involved. The Hub will feature a wide range of content including news, programmes, events and activities. This will include content from the BBC, but the Hub will also have a major focus on bringing the work of the wider digital creativity industry to new audiences.

The BBC is partnering with a range of organisations offering resources which help people discover and fulfil their digital potential. But the sheer quantity and variety of options available means there’s a need for a single, easy to use place where people can discover relevant resources.

The BBC, together with partners, aims to begin solving this challenge by creating a digital resource finder, which will come to the Hub in the autumn. This will help young people, their parents and teachers make the most of the activities, tools, products and services addressing digital creativity that are already out there. The resource finder will ultimately be able to act as matchmaker, finding out what people personally need - and pointing them to the most useful and relevant tools, tips and learning opportunities.

The digital resource finder is being developed by the BBC in partnership with the Tech Partnership, Google and Nesta, with input from the widest possible range of stakeholders across industry, schools, and key bodies such as CAS and BCS.

BBC iWonder
BBC iWonder will produce a range of interactive content bringing digital creativity and coding to life. A new guide presented by video games guru Ian Livingstone goes live today explaining How British video games became a billion pound industry, featuring 17 games that tell the story of the British video games industry.

Ian’s guide begins in 1975 when he founded Games Workshop, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and was the first games shop in Britain, helping inspire a generation of gamers and developers. Ian also revisits early British gaming hits such as Manic Miner and Lemmings, reflects on successes of the console years, including games he was involved with, like Tomb Raider, and looks to the future with the mobile gaming revolution.

The guide surfaces some classic moments from the BBC archive, from Ian Bell showing off the early sketches for ground breaking game Elite, to Rory-Cellan Jones dropping in on DMA Design (later Rockstar) in 1996 to have a look at a new game they are developing – Grand Theft Auto.

Other guides will be produced throughout the year covering topics such as smart clothes, music and coding, the dark web, and careers in digital. These will join other guides already produced as part of the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative, including Lauren Laverne’s Is code the language that really runs the world?, Piers Linney’s How the world came to run by computer code, and Prof Danielle George’s How can I make my smartphone smarter?

Digital Maker Kits
As part of the Make It Digital initiative, BBC Future Media has been exploring new ways of helping young people move from being digital consumers to creators. Digital Maker Kits – drag and drop tools that allow users to create their own digital content – have proven a highly effective, and popular, way of achieving this.

The concept was initially trialled through a beta product linked to the CBBC show Technobabble - allowing people to create their own games using characters, themes and other assets from the show. Over 6,000 original games have been submitted since it went live in December 2014 and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Digital Maker Kits have been designed in a way that can be adopted by other areas of the BBC, and adapted to allow audiences to create even more types of digital content. Upcoming examples from EastEnders and Children in Need have been unveiled today with potential for many more to follow in future.

BBC Bitesize
BBC Bitesize has already introduced resources supporting the Computing curriculum at primary level and secondary level. Resources are relevant to teachers and learners across the UK, with activities mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. The Bitesize computing guides use animation, graphics, video and interaction.

At primary level, sample topics range from Algorithms, Debugging and Writing programs to Animation, Computer Games and How the Internet Works. At KS3 Bitesize content covers Computational Thinking, Algorithms, Programming, Data Representation, Hardware and Software, Internet Communication and Safety and Responsibility. The new GCSE Bitesize content covers Computers in Society, Binary and Data Representation, Hardware, Software, Networks, Databases and Programming. The resources can be found at bbc.co.uk/schoolscomputing