This is why BBC launched the Make it Digital programme, within which the company teamed up with more than 25 organizations, including Microsoft, ARM, Nordic Semiconductor and Samsung to develop the Micro-Bit, a continuer of the 80`s BBC Microcomputer.
The Micro Bit is designed to attract more children to the art of coding and to encourage new generations get creative with digital.
BBC announced that, beginning with this year`s autumn, when kids get back to schools, they will give away Micro Bits to every 11 year old pupil starting secondary school in 2015. This means a number of 1 million devices offered to children in Great Britain.
The new hardware gadget to be developed by BBC and its partners is a successor of the BBC Micro, which was launched in the 80`s for the same purpose: popularizing coding among young students. However, Micro Bit`s ancestor was too expensive for the schools to purchase, so a limited number of pupils had access to such a device. It even was a subject of a controversy at that time. BBC decided to partner with Acorn Computers, and it turned out to be an action not welcome by Sir Clive Sinclair, who was preparing to launch the ZX Spectrum, a rival programmable machine.
The Micro Bit is still in the prototype-phase at the moment, but the founders say that it will be already launched in September 2015. When the end-product is ready, it will be able to function with three coding languages: Touch Develop, Python and C++. The machine will allow children to create text, using a series of LED lights, and it also will make it possible for the 11 year olds to create rudimentary games. It will also feature a Bluetooth link that will enable it to connect to other devices, like the Raspberry Pi.
It seems that the Micro Bits are only aimed to bring the coding and the lack of digital-skilled professionals into attention. After the devices will get to the children, they will disappear from the market.
“With a dedicated season of programming on the BBC, 5,000 digital trainees, one million children who take their first steps with a Micro Bit, and a host of educational activity, we hope to inspire a new generation to get creative with digital,”
stated Jessica Cecil, head of Business Management, Finance, BBC.
Image Source: Wired.co.uk