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Auntie to give away 1 mn. ‘Micro Bit’ computers

Readers of more mature years will remember the BBC Micro, which was launched in the early 1980s. It was originally designed and built by the Acorn Computer company for the BBC’s then Computer Literacy Project. This machine is reputed to have inspired many of the UK’s leading programmers and games developers.

News now arrives via Endgadget that the BBC is to give away one million ‘Micro Bit’ computers (which it is currently developing. Ed.) to schoolchildren.

a prototype of the Micro Bit
A prototype of the Micro Bit

This move comes in the first year of computer coding being added to the school curriculum (news passim).

The hardware will consist of a small, standalone device with an LED display that children can carry around with them and plug into a computer to continue their work. The hardware will be basic, what the BBC refers to as a “starting point” that will enable them to move onto more sophisticated devices, such as the Arduino or the Linux-based Raspberry Pi.

Although the project is still in a prototype phase, Auntie claims it’ll be ready to give away one million of these new devices to year 7 (age 11-12 years) schoolchildren this autumn.

See the BBC’s dedicated Micro Bit page for more details.