The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its new Micro Bit (stylized as “micro:bit”), a new device for the company’s computer literacy project designed to capture the imaginations of the next generation of programmers.
The Micro Bit is a small programming device that can fit in your pocket. It hooks up to a tablet or PC via a USB cable, where you can write code and publish it onto the device. Its main purpose is to teach younger users how to write simple code, hopefully inspiring them to become our coders and programmers of the future.
The device comes with features such as a Bluetooth antenna, an accelerometer, a compass, and a reset button (for when you get really frustrated when your code isn’t working). It has a programmable array of twenty-five red LED lights, two buttons, and a motion sensor that is built in.
Kids are becoming more and more computer literate over the years - probably more so than a lot of adults. But BBC’s director general Tony Hall feels that knowing how to use them is not enough. There needs to be a desire from more kids to want to program them.
"We all know there's a critical and growing digital skills gap in this country and that's why it's so important that we come together and do something about it," he said at a launch event in London.
Programming a computer may seem like a tall task for a child, but consider how we teach kids other skills. We give kids a ball and tell them to go play, even when they have no experience playing a sport before. We give them a paint brush or a pencil and tell them to make pictures when they know nothing about art. The BBC thinks it should be no different with computer programming: trial and error, and having fun with it.
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