Micro:bit: how it changed the world of coding
Launched in 2016, the BBC Micro:bit Educational Foundation rolled off the back of the BBC micro program that aimed to get students excited about computer programming in the 1980s. In the decade leading up to 2011, less and less student’s elected to take computing and ICT-based GCSEs, leading the BBC to initiate its micro:bit campaign in the face of an increasingly digital future.
Initially, the BBC hoped to deliver free micro:bit computers to every year seven student in the UK, getting young children excited about computing and digital technology. With its huge success in invigorating classroom-based computer and ICT studies, especially with young girls, the BBC started to roll out their flagship micro:bit program around the world.
In Bangledesh, the BBC transformed dwindling libraries into hubs of digital innovation. By channelling funds to help economically developing countries, the BBC hopes to aid computing learning on a global scale to benefit the global economy.
Where did it start?
In 2013, then director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, announced the broadcaster’s plans to “bring coding into every home, business and school in the UK”. Aiming to inspire a new generation of digital innovators to get creative with coding and find solutions for problems that might safeguard the future, the announcement marked thirty years since the launch of the BBC micro.
What did the BBC Micro:bit Educational Foundation aim to do?
With the launch of the foundation, the BBC aimed to revolutionise coding for a new generation. The simple design of the micro:bit was created with children in mind and can fit in a child’s pocket. It’s easy to use interface aimed to make learning computing easy and fun, while giving educators the tools and curriculum to teach coding effectively.
What did the BBC Micro:bit do?
By inspiring children and educators, supporting communities, and making coding accessible to all, the BBC Micro:bit started a coding revolution. Inspiring projects that range from personal tech to climate and environmental innovations, children across the world have been inspired by the micro:bit’s simplicity to innovate on an unparalleled scale.
The success of the launch in the UK enabled the BBC to send the micro:bit to developing nations, along with its support for educators and can now be found in schools in Bangladesh, Uruguay and more.
What does the BBC Micro:bit Educational Foundation hope to do next?
Driven by passion, trust, partnership and simplicity, the BBC has recently recommitted to its core principle of bringing coding and digital innovation to children everywhere. The foundation intends to expand the micro:bit project across the UK, recently hosting remote coding bootcamps, and continue coding and computer education programs with the updated micro:bit.