Wednesday, 8 July 2015
BBC Offers Free Tiny Computers to UK Students
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is partnering with more than two dozen companies and organizations to provide at least 1 million British school children with a free pocket-sized computer. The device, called the BBC micro:bit, is similar to the Arduino and Raspberry Pi computers used by hobbyists. These small computers have become popular among educators in recent years as a way to teach students about programming.
The BBC micro:bit features a variety of sensors, including an accelerometer for sensing motion and a magnetometer for sensing orientation, two programmable buttons, a microUSB connector, and Bluetooth networking capabilities.
Students will be able to use it as a controller, sensor, or interface for mobile phones, computers, or consumer electronics.
The new device harks back to a similar program run by the BBC in 1981, when it offered the BBC Micro computer as a way to improve computer literacy. The BBC hopes the new BBC micro:bit will help students learn and develop computer skills, and help to build a high-tech workforce. The computers are expected to show up in British schools this October.