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BBC “Make it Digital” Scheme to Give 1 Million Micro-Computers to Kids

 

Back in the 1980s, the BBC, as part of a new computer literacy initiative, launched its own computer, the BBC Micro (a modified Acorn), in an effort to educate children about emerging information technology. Now, over thirty years later, the BBC are repeating the enterprise with the Make it Digital scheme.

Make it Digital aims to provide a new micro-computer to over 1 million 11-year-olds in the UK, starting this Autumn. The computer, the Micro Bit, is a tiny board, smaller than a Raspberry Pi. Though the final specifications may change between now and its launch in September, the Micro Bit is known to run on an ARM processor, have an on-board Bluetooth controller, and be compatible with C++, Python, and Touch Develop.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall described the Make it Digital project: “This is exactly what the BBC is all about – bringing the industry together on an unprecedented scale and making a difference to millions.”

“Just as we did with the BBC Micro in the 1980s, we want to inspire the digital visionaries of the future. Only the BBC can bring partners together to attempt something this ambitious, this important to Britain’s future on the world stage.”

Gareth Stockdale, developer of the Micro Bit, added, “The BBC’s role is to bring focus to the issue, and then we will withdraw from the market.”

The Make it Digital scheme will also include a documentary on Bletchley Park – the famous code-breaking site during World War II – and, bizarrely, a drama based on Grand Theft Auto.

Source: BBC

Ashley Allen

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