CNET First Look
BBC Micro Bit heading to 1 million UK schoolkidsThe BBC's new microcomputer is designed to get kids interested in programming, and is being offered for free to kids across the country. Hit play to see what it can do.
[MUSIC] There's a strong argument that says if we want technological innovations to continue, we have to find ways of getting younger generations interested in computing. Here in the UK, public service broadcaster the BBC has an ambitious plan for doing just that.>>The Micro Bit is a tiny computer that will be distributed for free to every UK child in the year 7-year group, which means kids around 11 to 12 years of age. Very small and extremely basic, the micro bit is a sort of blank canvas through which kids can let their imaginations run wild, bending as many elements to their creative will to create all manner of projects. Set to enter schools in October, this microcomputer is built for flexibility. It has 25 LEDs on the front, 2 programmable buttons, a built-in accelerometer, and a compass. It hooks up to sensors or other devices by five input and output rings and also packs Bluetooth. Coding happens through a Microsoft build interface which because it's browser based can be accessed from loads of different devices. The micro bit follows in the footsteps of Raspberry Pie which is similarly aimed at getting kids into coding. But with smart buttons and LEDs on the front of the device plus a huge push into schools the BBC's new toy could potentially make more of an impact than other micro computers to date. The BBC says it hopes the micro bit's flexibility will push forward the internet of things. A term that describes all the tech in our lives becoming interconnected. Well [UNKNOWN] using the micro bits won't remember, the BBC does have form when it comes to computing. Aiming with its newest gadgets to match the success of the BBC micro in 80's A machine that was hugely influential in getting a whole generation into programming and into computers. More than 30 years later can the BBC repeat that trick? Let me know what you think, and stay tuned to C Net.