BBC announces school gadget

BBC White City - Wikimedia CommonsThe BBC, in conjunction with Microsoft and other technology companies, has introduced a device aimed at giving school children better insight into computing.

The Micro Bit will be given to a million UK children in October this year and works with computers.

It has an array of red lights, a motion sensor and a couple of buttons and can be used to write simple code programs using a website. The programs can then be transferred to personal computers and to other devices. It also has a Bluetooth chip, an accelerometer, and a magnetometer on board.

It’s powered using a USB cable but can be powered on its own using an AA battery pack. The 1.6-inch by two inch device is aimed at 11 and 12 years old.

The project was started by the BBC but has received support from ARM, Samsung, Microsoft and Lancaster University.

The BBC is comparing the Micro Bit to the BBC Micro, launched in 1981, but it certainly is a heap less versatile than that device, which had a keyboard and lots of other bells and whistles.