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Micro:bit faces further delay

The BBC has announced that the release date of its educational Micro:bit computer has been delayed again.

The small, low-cost computer designed to teach Year 7 children how to code was supposed to have been released last October. This was pushed back, first due to design problems and then due to changing the power supply from a coin-shaped battery to an external AA battery pack. The BBC said that teachers would receive the devices by the end of 2015 ready for use by students in the New Year.

At the Bett education trade show in London this week the BBC admitted that the Micro:bit will now be available by the end of the current term in February.

“The main issue has been some fine-tuning,” said BBC learning executive, Cerys Griffiths. "We have created hardware, it's very complex, it's very sophisticated, it's very new.”

The news left some teachers concerned that they will not have enough time to implement their lesson plans by the end of the academic year.

Griffiths stressed that "This device was never intended for just for one year. Each child will own their own device, so we are hoping they will use them during the summer holidays. We will have loads of activities and stimulus for them to use into Year 8, so it won't be just for one term."

Tom Austin-Morgan

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