A new version of the BBC Micro that existed several decades ago is being brought back to life, but in a completely different form altogether. However, in comparison to the 80s BBC Micro, the newer one employs completely different methods of getting children to be interested by coding and programming. And not only that it opens some very fortunate and fast-expanding career fields, but it is also being brought into the scene of grade schoolers.
The BBC Micro Bit is a very simplistic platform that you can use to understand and learn the basics of coding. It uses a small 50 x 40 mm sized-build, including 2 buttons and a panel of 25 red LEDs that lay in a 5×5 arrangement. By using a web-based interface that connects to the BBC Micro Bit, kids can program the tiny board to do a variety of things using the several simple controls.
Along with the coding potential, the new BBC Micro Bit is also gifted with a built-in compass and an accelerometer. Thanks to these sensors, the circuit board is capable of detecting movement as well as tell which way it is oriented or where the north is. It connects to devices remotely through Bluetooth, giving the user and ample variety of products you can use it with. The two buttons made available on the BBC Micro Bit can control various features; for example, they can play a role in interacting with the phone or tablet it is being used with.
The new BBC Micro Bit also expands its own very capabilities by leaving some room for improvement open. Towards the bottom end of the circuit board, you can find five ‘crocodile clips’ or 4mm ‘banana plugs’ that can be used to attach other, extra sensors to the gadget, allowing you a more ample array of coding that you can do. Things such as thermometers, moisture sensors or proximity sensors can be attached using these rings.
Last but not least, the BBC Micro Bit has but one last set of abilities. While the edge of the board allows it to connect to a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Galileo or Kano types of single-board computers, the Micro Bit can also act as an USB flash when connected to a computer.
While it will be available for separate purchase for anyone who wishes to get one of their own, the BBC Micro Bit will be pushed into schools for free, one for every Year 7 school student in the United Kingdom, starting today. The total number of BBC Micro Bits is estimated at roughly 1 million units for education alone. The date when it becomes available for purchase is not yet known.
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