UK-public service broadcaster BBC has revealed the final design of the Micro Bit, a pocket-sized computer set to be given to about one million children for free.
The ultimate aim is to teach digital literacy to the next generation of British programmers. According to the BBC, the microcomputer, should help “tackle the fact children were leaving school knowing how to use computers but not how to program them.”
The Micro Bit will land in schools all across the UK in October, with a free device offered to children around 11-12 years old. The device will help bridging the “growing digital skills gap” in the the country.
Stimulating children’s digital creativity
The broadcaster says it’s hoping to encourage children to focus on the Internet of Things and “be creators of their world”.
Echoing the 1980s Micro computer initiative, the Micro Bit is part of the BBC’s 2015 “Make It Digital” campaign which aims at inspiring children to get creative with digital.
Though some educators expressed concern that technology might affect children, researchers suggest that involving children in digital inventions may aid in kid’s cognitive development and actually create a new generation of tech pioneers.
What’s Micro Bit?
Small in size, and user-friendly, Micro Bit has already been labeled as being the perfect programming device for kids. The technology is the result of the BBC joining hands with 29 partners including Microsoft.
Teaching programming to 1 million children in the UK
Literacy skills have always been considered important, but if in past centuries past, people communicated via pen and paper, digital literacy is now considered ‘as important as reading and writing’.
In the near future, partners will be collaborating closely with teachers and educators over the summer to encore that Micro Bit gets successfully integrated into schools’ curriculum in autumn.
If you are jealous of the fantastic device that British kids are about to get, the good news is that Micro Bit will also go on sale in the United Kingdom and other countries before the end of the year.
For more information on how Micro Bit works, click here.