Welcome Gareth Stockdale from the BBC is the new @microbit_edu CEO micro:bit

Welcome Gareth Stockdale, new micro:bit CEO, from the BBC – The Micro:bit Educational Foundation has today announced that Gareth Stockdale will be joining the Foundation as CEO. Gareth joins from BBC Learning where he was joint lead for the original project that designed, developed and deployed the micro:bit to all year 7 or equivalent children…

I have a number of the micro:bit boards with some clever adapters from Adafruit.  This IS “the excellent platform” to start kids in learning about computers and programming.  Schools in the US are paranoid about soldering irons and the micro:bit helps by having large pads to use alligator clips.  A couple of AA batteries and a USB cable and your able to rock that code.  Even though the new federal budget makes it more difficult to contribute to any cause, I plan to help computer learning by donating to DonorsChoose.org.

My 10 yr old grandson will start with the Javascript Blocks editor, powered by MakeCode,  which is a clever drag and drop coding environment with the ability later to drill down into hardcore Javascript.  And as much as I am still in denial, Python is making a comeback and the micro:bit can go there too.

If you are so inclined to teach others the lesson plans include sample code, lecture material, whiteboard examples and teacher notes.  In the process of preparing to teach others, you might just learn something yourself.

via Welcome Gareth Stockdale from the BBC is the new @microbit_edu CEO @stockers1001 @BBC — Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

Get to Know the BBC Micro:bit — Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

It’s time we gave the micro:bit an in-depth look, and showcase what exactly this impressive little device is capable of doing for you.

I recently bought one of these from Adafruit, see my YouTube video Postbag – Adadfruit micro:bit, arcade game pad GMH-063.  

In my first experiments with it, I was a little disappointed.  I tried to compare it to an Arduino or Raspberry PI which I  have become spoiled on.  I dug a little deeper and found some very interesting capabilities including

This was designed for beginners who want to get started without a large investment.  micro:bit runs on two AA batteries.  It has Bluetooth LE 4.0 built in so you can talk to it with just about any computing device.  With a compass and accelerometer, you can use it with motion-based projects, think Jedi Light Sabre.   Large alligator clip pads for when you are not allowed to solder like I am in the living room.  I can see a connector in the future to plug the micro:bit into to use all the pins.   To top it off it has an 8 x 8 led matrix on the back.

I thought maybe because of its size and being an unusual board that would be difficult to code.  Wrong again, “MakeCode: a drag and drop block coding system, and for the “Hard Core” 😉 folk it can be programmed with microPython.  Within 10 minutes after plugging in my AA battery pack I was able to build a block code program to change the led matrix to show rapid acceleration and point to the way to North.  I was very impressed now imagine if you 12 years old how you are going to feel.

I’m ordering one for the grandson for Christmas.  I’d recommend the micro:bit to anyone who still has a 12-year-old sense of excitement trapped in them.

Link to my Postbag video with micro:bit in it.

via Get to Know the BBC Micro:bit — Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

Postbag – Adadfruit micro:bit, arcade game pad GMH-063

Postbag Adafruit GMH-063, packages from Adafruit are always a joy to get. This one was special because it had a micro:bit BBC computer that can be coded with Microsofts Block editor, JavaScript or microPython.

00:29 Raspberry PI 3 Model b – https://goo.gl/NPWBKc

01:52 Adafruit Joy Bonnet for Raspberry Pi – https://goo.gl/BKMJhJ

03:21 BBC micro:bit https://goo.gl/xg1zQb

Microsofts micro:bit web-based Block Editor / JavaScript – https://goo.gl/C89Sfh

micro:bit web-based microPython IDE – https://goo.gl/edkKpA

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