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BBC launching Micro Bit Computer

One million of the wearable coding device being given free to school children

by Mark Hodgkinson Mar 12, 2015 at 4:16 PM


  • The BBC is getting back into the personal computing world again with the announcement of the Micro Bit computer.
    Comparisons with the Raspberry Pi are inevitable and it will launch with the same goals; namely, to give children an engaging introduction to coding. This has been a major project for the Beeb, in collaboration with over 25 organisations. Furthermore, they are going to give one free to every child in year 7 (11-12yr olds) across the country – that’s 1 million devices in total.

    Still in development and nicknamed the Micro Bit, it aims help them realise their early potential and, ultimately, put a new generation back in control of technology. It will be distributed nationwide from autumn 2015.

    The Micro Bit project builds on the legacy of the much loved – but more expensive than a Spectrum - BBC Micro, which was put into the majority of schools in the 1980s and was instrumental in the careers of many of today’s technology pioneers. Computing and digital technology has become ubiquitous since then, says the BBC, but for many the emphasis has shifted from creation to consumption. The Micro Bit, and the wider BBC Make it Digital initiative, aims to help redress the balance.

    The Micro Bit will be a small, wearable device with an LED display that children can programme in a number of ways. It will be a standalone, entry-level coding device that allows children to pick it up, plug it into a computer and start creating with it immediately.

    It is designed to be a starting point to get younger children interesting in coding so they can move onto other, more complex devices in the future. And the Micro Bit can even connect and communicate with these other devices, including Arduino, Galileo, Kano and Raspberry Pi, as well as other Micro Bits. This helps a child’s natural learning progression and gives them even more ways of expressing their creativity.

    More than 25 partners are already involved including ARM, Barclays, Microsoft, Samsung and CISCO and we can’t wait to see this launch in the new school year.

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