BBC Micro Bit Shipping Date Revealed

BBC’s Micro Bit pocket-sized and programmable computer is an amazing little piece of technology, but the best of all is that one million of them will be given free to any year 7 pupils across the UK. Originally the BBC Micro Bit should have started shipping out October last year, but there were issues with the power and the project release got pushed back. At first, it was said that teachers should have the new units in December last year with students receiving them early this year. But that didn’t happen and it got pushed once again. Last month we got another minor delay as teachers already should have had their units ahead of the February half term, but that didn’t happen either.

Enough with the old bad news, time for the good news. The Micro Bit is ready and broadcaster has confirmed a countrywide roll-out of the one million devices for pupils will begin before easter. Naturally they won’t send out all at once, but they will start to ship officially on March the 22nd. So mark your calendars if you got children of that age, you might have new toys to play with soon.

Sinead Rocks, head of BBC learning, said: “It has been a joy to see these micro:bits make their way to educators across the country over the last couple of weeks. It feels like this adventure into the world of coding is really gaining pace. And so it’s with great excitement that we will be starting our delivery to pupils on March 22.”

The Micro bit (micro:bit) is a handheld and fully-programmable computer that encourages children to get creative with technology. The 4cm by 5cm device is the successor to the popular 1980s home computer, BBC Micro, and includes a Bluetooth antenna, USB plug and a processor, linked to a printed circuit board with 25 red LED lights which flash messages.

The BBC is yet to announce when the Micro Bit will be available for the public to buy and how much it will cost us ordinary mortals.

BBC Micro Bit Delayed To 2016

The BBC Micro Bit is an intriguing low-cost device to help youngsters develop a keen interest in programming. Unfortunately, the original October roll-out has been cancelled after power supply problems “affected a small number of devices”. According to a BBC spokesperson:

“We’re expecting to start sending them out to teachers before Christmas and to children early in the new year,” 

“As a result of our rigorous testing process, we’ve decided to make some minor revisions to the device – getting it right for children and teachers before we manufacture one million units is our priority.”

BBC director general Tony Hall expects the Micro Bit to “equip a new generation with the digital skills they need to find jobs and help grow the UK economy”. Currently, the device is set to inspire one million schoolchildren and could help forge a new raft of UK inventors. It’s a shame to see the project being delayed until after the Christmas period, but it’s better to make sure the final version is reliable.

In a technologically advanced world, it’s imperative to teach the future generation coding skills to create games, software and unique solutions. Sadly, when I was at school, the ICT curriculum only revolved around spreadsheet macros and I would have loved coding lessons.

Do you know any programming languages?

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

BBC Micro Bit Computer’s Finalized Design Revealed

The BBC has revealed the final design of the Micro Bit computer and it brings along a few changes over the earlier shown prototypes. The Micro Bit is a pocket-sized computer and that even goes for child-sized pockets and there is a reason for that.

The Micro Bit is not only designed for children, it will also be given away for free to them. It will be given away to every 11 and 12-year-old child in Year 7 or equivalent at school. This isn’t the first time BBC dipped their feet into the hardware learning pool, but the BBC Microcomputer System released in the 80s costs hundreds of pounds.

The Micro Bit features a programmable array of 25 LEDs, has two buttons and a variety of sensors and connection options. It has a built-in motion sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. Earlier models had a thin battery attached, but this one will require an add-on power pack fitted with AA batteries to be mobile.

You can program the Micro Bit from any system you’ll want, may it be Android, iOS, or PC based. It is also compatible with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Galileo to carry out more complex tasks.

The idea is to teach children at an early age what technology can do and get them started on the right path for a technological future. The possibilities are almost endless.

Thank You BBC for providing us with this information

BBC “Make it Digital” Scheme to Give 1 Million Micro-Computers to Kids

 

Back in the 1980s, the BBC, as part of a new computer literacy initiative, launched its own computer, the BBC Micro (a modified Acorn), in an effort to educate children about emerging information technology. Now, over thirty years later, the BBC are repeating the enterprise with the Make it Digital scheme.

Make it Digital aims to provide a new micro-computer to over 1 million 11-year-olds in the UK, starting this Autumn. The computer, the Micro Bit, is a tiny board, smaller than a Raspberry Pi. Though the final specifications may change between now and its launch in September, the Micro Bit is known to run on an ARM processor, have an on-board Bluetooth controller, and be compatible with C++, Python, and Touch Develop.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall described the Make it Digital project: “This is exactly what the BBC is all about – bringing the industry together on an unprecedented scale and making a difference to millions.”

“Just as we did with the BBC Micro in the 1980s, we want to inspire the digital visionaries of the future. Only the BBC can bring partners together to attempt something this ambitious, this important to Britain’s future on the world stage.”

Gareth Stockdale, developer of the Micro Bit, added, “The BBC’s role is to bring focus to the issue, and then we will withdraw from the market.”

The Make it Digital scheme will also include a documentary on Bletchley Park – the famous code-breaking site during World War II – and, bizarrely, a drama based on Grand Theft Auto.

Source: BBC