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BBC to distribute 1million coding devices as part of major project

As part of a major project which aims to build on the legacy of the BBC Micro, the BBC plans give a personal coding device to every child across the country starting secondary school in September 2015.

The device, which is still in development, is currently called Micro Bit. The BBC says it will be a small, wearable device with an LED display that can be programmed in a number of ways. The standalone, entry level coding device will allow children to pick it up, plug it into a computer and start creating with it.

Early feedback from teachers has shown that it encourages independent learning, gives pupils a strong sense of achievement and can inspire those who are not usually interested in computers to be creative with it.

More than 25 partners are involved in project, including ARM, Freescale, Nordic Semiconductor and Samsung.

Simon Segars, ARM's chief executive, said: "Technology is now as much a part of childhood as riding a bicycle or kicking a football but going from user to innovator is something we still need to encourage. The BBC and Acorn Computer, where ARM technology was first created, came together 35 years ago to develop the BBC Micro and that inspired the engineers now at the forefront of shaping our increasingly connected world. The new BBC Micro Bit has even greater potential because it can inspire boys and girls toward a career in technology at a time of unprecedented demand for science and engineering skills across all areas of the global economy."

Author
Graham Pitcher

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