7 things you didn't know about the BBC Microbit
Today, every Year 7 student in the UK will receive a BBC micro:bit - a basic mini computer designed to develop their digital skills. Here's everything you need to know about this nifty bit of kit
1. It looks a bit like this
The BBC micro:bit has been developed by - you guessed it - the BBC and other companies, including Tech Will Save Us. It's proof that good things really do come in small packages - it's 70 times smaller and 18 times faster than the BBC Micro computers that were first used in UK schools in the 1980s. To programme it, connect it to a computer via USB, or to a smartphone or compatible device using Bluetooth.
2. It's completely FREE
That's right - if your child is in Year 7 or the equivalent across the UK, they'll receive a BBC micro:bit in school for free. This is part of the BBC's 'Make It Digital' initiative, aimed at inspiring a new generation to get to grips with technology and coding.
3. It can be coded in loads of different ways
A Tamagotchi-style pocket pet, an electronic fishing game and a pedometer are just a few of the
things that the BBC micro:bit can be used to make - but the real aim is to
encourage kids to use their imagination and start coding themselves.
4. AND it works with other bits of tech
5. You can have a go too
Kids are allowed to take it home with them, so if your child is lucky enough to receive one, you can have a fiddle too! Have a look over here for instructions on how the BBC micro:bit works - then have a go at making the Electro Fish game with your child. Here's an exclusive Mumsnet template to get you started.
6. It's designed to be as inclusive as possible
Getting girls interested in coding and tech is a key aim of the Make It Digital campaign, and
the BBC micro:bit is gender-neutral to reflect this. It's also extremely
accessible - the specially-designed coding platform caters to all levels of coding
knowledge, from total beginner to tech-savvy.
7. Even if your child doesn't qualify, they can still get
You don't have to be 12 to have a bash at coding - Technology Will Save Us have a range of DIY making and coding kits available for children aged 4-14, so everyone can have a bash. There's an exclusive discount for Mumsnetters - 20% off DIY kits plus free shipping with the code HELLOMUMS.
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Last updated: 12 months ago