In a unique initiative to make British kids fall for coding, the BBC has today announced that it is giving away 1 Million pieces of its new “MicroBit” PCs, to Year 7 (11 yrs. old) students across the country.
The MicroBit computer is being developed in partnership with over 25 organisations across the globe, to laiunch a nation-wide coding initiative, which “builds on the legacy” of the seminal BBC Micro, which was put into the majority of schools in the 1980s.
The new MicroBit PC however, is still under developed, and the media giant has given a glimpse to just its prototype as yet.
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.
The wearable’s connectivity however isn’t just limited to PCs. It can even connect and communicate with these other devices, including Arduino, Galileo, Kano and Raspberry Pi, as well as other Micro Bits.
Announcing the prototye, BBC says,
BBC and its partners recognised that a hands-on learning experience could help children grasp the new Computing curriculum in ways that other software and traditional classroom learning couldn’t. In particular, the Micro Bit can help learners develop an intuitive understanding of physical concepts in technology and computing, which helps develop complex thinking, analytical and problem-solving strategies.
To develop the prototype and eventually the entire stock of device, BBC has partnered with over 25 hardware vendors, including the likes of ARM, Microsoft, Barclays, Samsung among others.
BBC says that the initiative will be similar to the seminal BBC Micro initiative it held in 1980s.
Good to see wearables getting into some mainstream usage, instead of being just some fashion statements, costing as much as $10,000. And oh, MicroBits will be distributed for free, just so yu know.