OpenUK (@openuk_uk) today announced its 2021 Kids Digital Glove Giveaway, sharing 5000 Digital Gloves, sustainably made in the UK, and sponsored by Nominet and the Open Data Institute. 

With a focus on engaging children in practical open source software coding, whilst teaching the Open Source Definition and the Sustainable Development Goals, the course builds on OpenUK’s 2020 Summer Camp. It aligns with the Key Stage 3 Curriculum across the UK, by providing ten fun, animated lessons and an accompanying digital magazine exploring open data, sustainability, collaboration and diversity whilst featuring insights from industry experts and organisations.

This year, the giveaway has been designed to engage in the Digital Camp experience 100 schools and community groups; OpenUK will provide 30 Digital Gloves to each of these groups, and organise a competition after the Camp. In addition to the gloves distributed to schools across the UK, OpenUK will also give the opportunity to apply for a pair of Gloves to 800 kids.

“Last year I mentored kids doing the first OpenUK Kids Camp and saw for myself that practical coding activities are essential to link theory to something that kids can engage with and understand. I was in my first year at Cambridge when the opportunity to step up and be this year’s Creative Director for the OpenUK Kids Course came about. It’s been hard work and a massive learning curve, but I hope my relative youth has made the course even more relatable for young people,” said this year’s Creative Director, and second year Robinson College, Cambridge student Lowena Hull. 

With a clear focus on digital inclusion, OpenUK is providing the Digital Gloves complete with micro:bit 2’s, for 1200 young people, focusing on those who have benefited from the provision of tablets and laptops through lockdown. Without this support they would not have the opportunity to take part. 

“Digital inclusion is critical for all young people in the UK. I am extremely proud we can support this at OpenUK, as we teach kids appropriate skills for a future in technology. Supporting the UK’s leadership in open source software will help create the next generation of technologists and business people and build their understanding of relevant technology,” said Amanda Brock, CEO OpenUK

“The power of Open Technology can and should be shared with those living in digital poverty. With it, we can create a more digitally inclusive and flourishing society,” said OpenUK Digital Inclusion Lead, 

Ashleigh Monagle:

“No one should get left behind in our digital world. Digital inclusion has to include everyone – from school children getting an online education, working adults being able to use the tools to do their job, to pensioners accessing digital services.

This reality can happen with everyone, and the tech industry has a role to play in not only supplying the hardware and software, but in supporting education for everyone to have the necessary digital skills to be part of it. OpenUK have been taking a leadership role in this and their second camp will be educationally valuable at key stage 3 whilst allowing kids to enjoy doing coding.” added Freddie Quek, Chief Technology Officer, Times Higher Education and Founder of Joining the Dots. 

 #joiningthedots

The Digital Kids Camp sponsored by Red Hat, will commence on 27 September, with digital ezines accompanying fun, amnimated lessons to be shared weekly (excluding half term) until December.  The course will be followed by a competition from December to February.  Both the course and competition require a glove and micro:bit to take part.

OpenUK will be hosting an education dome in its COP26 Open Technology and Sustainability Day on 11 November at COP26 at the Skypark Fringe, and  is also working on creating both an Apprenticeship Knowledge Module and High School Certification in Open Source Software / Open Technology.

The UK supports a range of companies that are involved in open source, from those headquartered in the UK that are growing internationally around open source, through to individuals working for international enterprises that invest in open source software. The UK is Europe’s biggest contributor to open source software and  these contributions add up to a vibrant open source software business ecosystem that is part of a globally collaborative community. Despite its status as a global centre of excellence, there is a shortage of skills in this ever growing space and OpenUK hopes that supporting the education of Future technologists through its kids camp can engage and inspire kids into coding and contribution.  

OpenUK glove kit giveaway will go live at 10am Tuesday 7 September and to order a free glove and learn more about the Digital Kids Camp visit 

openuk.uk/openkidscamp

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