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BBC Micro Bit Delayed Again

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Pocket-sized computer hopes to teach schoolchildren coding skills

The BBC Micro Bit pocket computing device has been delayed again over concerns that it is still not ready for release.

The Micro Bit, designed to help teach children simple coding skills, was meant to be given out to every secondary school child in Year 7 or equivalent across the country, but now faces an unknown period before it can be available.

This is the second time that the Micro Bit has been delayed, having suffered an issue before Christmas concerning its power supply.

‘Complex’

bbc microbitThe news was revealed at the Bett education trade show in London, with “some fine-tuning” given as the only explanation.

“We have created hardware, it’s very complex, it’s very sophisticated, it’s very new,” BBC Learning executive Cerys Griffiths said.

“What we were really hoping for was that the teachers would get their devices before Christmas.

“But our commitment to teachers has always been that we would get them the devices first to give them time to play and get familiar with them.”

The BBC said it is now aiming to hand out units, first to teachers, soon after the half-term holidays, adding that it was “pushing to deliver as many as possible” to pupils before the end of the current term, but was unable to provide concrete information on when or how many units would be available.

The BBC is collaborating with 29 partners on the project including Barclays, Microsoft, Samsung and Lancaster University. Other organisations such as Cisco, Code Club and Teen Tech, are also providing educational resources.

Its design was finalised in July this year, but the new design lost a slot for a thin battery, which many felt would compromise its appeal as a wearable device. One of its possible applications for example was for it to be pinned to a child’s clothing.

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