ISTE 2017: micro:bit Expands To United States and Canada
The micro:bit is a credit card single board computer designed to lower barriers to technology innovation and invention by teaching the next generation of children fundamental critical skills through computer programming. It’s an easy to program device that is only limited by a child’s imagination. We first saw micro:bit during the expo at SXSWedu when they the British company told us they were considering expansion into the United States. Two weeks ago at ISTE 2017, that consideration was formalized.
“As a low cost programmable computer for students, the micro:bit bridges the gaps of inequality and the predicted shortage of computer science skills in Canada’s future workforce. This is why our organization, Fair Chance Learning, decided to champion the micro:bit in Canada as a reseller and provider of corresponding professional learning services for educators. We share and stand behind the Micro:bit Foundation’s vision wherein all students have a micro:bit, and through it, opportunities for a richer learning experience and a brighter future.” Martha Jez, CEO and co-founder, Fair Chance Learning, said in a statement.
With their expansion into the United States and North America they announced several key partners that will help expand both curriculum around micro:bit and the micro:bit ecosystem. Curriculum partners include; Fair Chance Learning, K12 Maker Integration, Microsoft and Project Lead The Way.
Partners that are helping to further the micro:bit ecosystem include; BinaryBots, DF Robot, Hackster.io, Kitronik, Microsoft, Proto-PC, Python, Scratch, SEED, SparkFun, and Trashbots.
Even with it’s extremely small footprint, micro:bit is loaded with features:
- 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU• Bluetooth antenna• 2 programmable buttons
• 25 LEDs
• Accelerometer and compass
• 3 input/output rings
• Micro USB connector
• Battery connector
• 20-pin edge connector
• Block-based and text-based editors Scratch and Microsoft MakeCode
“Microsoft is proud to working with the Micro:bit Foundation to bring Computer Science Education to all students with Microsoft MakeCode for the micro:bit. With the micro:bit availability in the US and Canada, and the launch of a new Intro to CS course based on the micro:bit, we’re proud to be giving more teachers the tools they need to empower students to create the world of tomorrow.” Anthony Salcito, worldwide vice president of education, Microsoft said.
For more information check out micro:bit online at microbit.org