The micro:bit by BBC has arrived! This is a big deal for schools and educators because the micro:bit is specifically designed for the classroom.
The micro:bit is a microcontroller board designed to help teach students programming in a friendly and interactive way. Aside from the usual offerings like input-buttons and LEDs, the micro:bit sports modern peripherals like a 3-axis accelerometer and compass (magnetometer) and low-energy Bluetooth; Interfaces guaranteed to please the next generation of maker. There's also connections for the usual alligator-clips and banana plugs you'd expect to see in a school science lab.
micro:bit have really gone to town on their educational content - there are complete lesson plans and projects available, and there's no need for a software rollout in schools because code development happens completely within the web-browser. I admire the approach taken for these lessons - focus is on programming as a problem solving philosophy rather than just memorising syntax.
There's probably an entire generation of UK-based programmers and scientists that can remember their first brush with computing using the BBC Micro back in the 80's, so it's really exciting to see the BBC pick up the torch again.
I've been given a couple of micro:bits to have a play with, so expect to see some reviews coming soon!