The BBC has announced plans to give single board computers to every 12 year old in the UK in the hope of inspiring a generation to learn programming. The new piece of hardware is named the Micro Bit. It’s a tiny computer system board, adorned with an array of LEDs, aimed to create immediate visual feedback to inspire young people to create messages and patterns. Introduction to the Micro Bits will be integrated into school curricula to ensure young people can make the most of their new bit of kit.
The initiative follows in the footsteps of the legendary BBC Micro, which was placed into schools in the 1980s, created by Acorn and released alongside a factual TV series named ‘The Computer Programme’ (clever). Its legacy still stands today as it remains pivotal in the careers of many of our current technology pioneers. One of these pioneers is British born global leading supplier of microprocessor technology, ARM, who is showing its gratitude by supporting the current day project. ARM join a list of over 20 other organisations, including Technology Will Save Us, Barclays and Samsung, who are helping to make this a financial possibility.
The Micro Bit has been compared to the Raspberry Pi, that interestingly are said to have approached BBC some years ago with hopes that the Pi could be the Micro for a new generation. Although not financially feasible at the time, the BBC has created the new device supported and aided in part by the Pi team.
On the other side of the corporate giveaway coin, Microsoft has explained its strategy for giving away software – to get you hooked. The freemium model is made of four parts: “acquire, engage, enlist, and monetise”, ensuring the journey from one product to another is seamless and efficient, emulating the ecosystems that have worked so well for Apple and Google.
This list originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20150318
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