Technology Will Save Us: This UK startup is making kids excited about tech
A UK startup wants to change the way we teach children about technology – and it just raised £1.2 million. Named Technology Will Save Us and founded in Hackney, East London, three years ago, the startup makes DIY kits designed to get kids interested and engaged in technology. Its vision is already proving popular. The most recent round of funding came from a seed round driven by SaatchInvest, and follows a previous £750,000 grant from the likes of Google, Nesta and SaatchInvest.
Like the Raspberry Pi, Technology Will Save Us has tapped into the idea that education is far better when it forces children to think and problem-solve – rather than sit, copy and listen. “Making things in the real world using technology provides more immediate satisfaction, emotional and intellectual awareness and a deeper understanding of the skills learned,” founder and CEO Bethany Koby says on the company’s website.
“Our aim is to inspire a new creative generation that see technology as a tool for solving problems and making things with; equipping them with the skills – soldering, electronics, programming, design, debugging, problem-solving and confidence – that are essential for today’s world.”
The UK startup says it’s already sold 50,000 DIY kits, which range from synths to microcomputers designed and built in London. But there’s even bigger things to come. Technology Will Save Us was approached to design the BBC micro:bit, a microcomputer shipped out to a million children in schools this October.
Will technology save us from the UK tech skills crisis?
As well as improving how children view technology, Koby also hopes the startup could solve the IT skills shortage the UK is already facing. “Having taught alongside our developing careers, we were both aware of the crisis in technology education,” said Koby. “While kids are very much consumers of technology, they typically find computing complex and scary.”
Although it appears Technology Will Save Us is on the right track, only time will tell if its motto rings true. However, with the UK already in a skills shortage crisis, it’s clear that our current methods of teaching children about technology simply aren’t working.