Monday, April 18, 2016
BBC's New Micro Computer
By. George Philbrick
Minimalistic programmable computers have been on the rise recently, especially in the educational field. There are the Arduino, the Raspberry Pi, and the Galileo. Each of these comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, but all have the general purpose of versatility and ease of use. Now, a new player will enter the field, the BBC micro:bit. This device's uniqueness comes from its specific intent to teach children how to program computers. Its educational prowess means that it is fairly simple to use, small, and inexpensive.
It comes with 25 red LEDs to create a sort of display, two buttons, a built in accelerometer, five input and output rings, and a built in magnetometer (This can detect compass bearings and even different types of metal). The coolest feature of all in my opinion is the smart bluetooth technology. This allows the micro:bit to connect to nearly any device with bluetooth technologies, including phones.
With so many younger people owning phones these days, the applications of a programmable microcomputer will be far more appealing to children. The ability to make a remote for their phone or television is pretty useful application.
Even better, the programs for the device can be made using mobile or desktop devices. This ease of access should open technology education up to large groups of people who never would have such an opportunity.
One million of these such devices will be given away to year 7 students in Britain. This will be a truly amazing accomplishment in the country and is something that I personally think all countries with technological capabilities should strive for. The micro:bit will soon be available for purchase to the public for an unannounced price.
Martin, Jim. "Every Year 7 Kid in the UK Will Today Receive a BBC Micro Bit - but What Is That?" PC Advisor. PCA, 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016."The BBC Micro:Bit." BBC. BBC, 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
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