BBC microbit

Microsoft is one of the many partners that the BBC has recruited to help create the BBC micro:bit. The small computing device will be given to every Year 7 student (age 11-12) in the UK later this year in an effort to help them learn more about programming.

The BBC micro:bit itself is half the size of a credit card and is designed to be connected to a full PC via USB. Kids will create programs that use the device via a web-based platform called Microsoft TouchDevelop, which can be used on touchscreen devices.

Microsoft says:

"With Microsoft TouchDevelop, even a child who has no experience in coding whatsoever can quickly start creating simple programmes for their BBC micro:bit, such as a set of commands that makes the gadget's lights blink. The fact that they can use Microsoft TouchDevelop on any device also means that this isn't just confined to the classroom – they can take the BBC micro:bit home and carry on exploring outside of school."

"The Microsoft TouchDevelop platform has been designed so that as students get more advanced, they can create even more sophisticated programmes and build libraries of code that they can re-use and share with other users. Eventually, they can progress to use the computer language C++, which professional computer scientists use."

Source: Microsoft