BBC’s Make It Digital Initiative Will Give 1 Million Microcomputers to Students

BbcMakeItDigitalMicroBit031315The BCC has revealed a microcomputer called Micro Bit, part of its Make It Digital initiative, a program for students to start learning code to prepare them for possible careers in the tech world. It's a tiny little thing, about the size of a credit card. It definitely will remind you of the Raspberry Pi, in it's appearance and intention. Micro Bit will be soon available to secondary schools across the UK, where it will add the basics of coding to student's education in grades 7 and up.

BbcMakeItDigitalMicroBit031315-1Getting involved in computing isn't new for BBC, who revealed the BBC Micro as a learning platform as far back as the 1980s. The broadcaster doesn't plan on competing with the likes of the Raspberry Pi, rather, complimenting it with the Micro Bit, which is pitched as a gateway to more complex computers. In fact, according to game industry veteran Ian Livingstone, Micro Bit will work as an introductory platform for learning coding and programming, and if the children enjoy it, they will move onto devices like the Ardiuno and Raspberry Pi (The Guardian). The microcomputer is a simple little device with an LED display that plugs into any computer via MicroUSB connection, and contains low power Bluetooth.

BbcMakeItDigitalMicroBit031315-2Just how many of these units will be given to schools? Over one million, as soon as fall of this year (the device is still in a prototype phase). Compatible devices include the Arduino, Galileo, Kano, Raspberry Pi, and other Micro Bit computers. Also part of the Make It Digital program is a digital traineeship, where 5,000 unemployed individuals will have access to programming training in hopes to expand creative thinking about technology (The Verge). Even some of BBC's most loved TV shows will be part of the campaign. Doctor Who, EastEnders, and The One Show will have some sort of exposure focused on inspiring coders; and a new show called Girls Can Code, a drama about the making of Grand Theft Auto will soon be released. Micro Bit may not be as versatile as the Raspberry Pi or Arduino, but it's got a great mission. With one million devices going to students, I'd say this program will go a long way.

Topics: Technology News Gadgets & Peripherals Inventions & Innovations Mini / Nano PCs Raspberry Pi

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