Friday, October 02, 2015

BBC Micro:Bit News–Lots Happening

News about the BBC Micro:Bit is probably more microbit3-300x225useful to my United Kingdom readers than those of us in the rest of the world but I think it is interesting to many more. There has been a lot of stuff flying through my feed the last week or so about it. I’m fascinated with some of it.

Edit: Lee Stott has a bunch of new and additional information (as of 12 Nov 2015) at BBC MicroBit news.

For example I learned about a tie in between Kodu and the BBC Micro:Bit. Check out this Kodu/Micro:bit feature demo What it is about is that a BBC Micro:Bit connected to a computer can be used as a game controller in some interesting ways. The obvious first way is using the BBC Micro:Bit to control robots in the game. You can also create displays on the BBC Micro:Bit LED set as well. But where I got really interested was when they attached sensors and other devices to transmit information to the game AND have the game control devices outside the computer. Watch the video to the end.

I tend to think that the big win for most students is going to come from attaching external “things” to these devices. I’ve played around with the simulator and doing stuff with the LEDs is fun but could get old quickly even for wearable devices. But maybe that is just me. We’ll see. I personally want to learn more about using sensors and controlling external devices though.
They are running a big roadshow around the UK teaching teachers about the Micro:Bit. Some teachers from these events are posting things they are learning:
You can see some of the resources available and try out the online simulator (programming in TouchDevelop, Microsoft Block Editor (built on Blockly) and now Code Kingdom’s JavaScript) at the MicroBit home page.

On the down side the BBC says Micro:Bit rollout will be delayed. Teachers should see theirs around Christmas but students get theirs later than that. Probably after the first of the year.

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