TeenTech are one of the partners for the BBC’s Make It Digital initiative and a champion for the BBC micro:bit which will be given to every Year 7 pupil this Autumn.
What is this initiative?
Make It Digital will provide lots of opportunities for young people to get creative and learn digital skills. It will also raise awareness of why young people need to develop these skills to take advantage of the best opportunities in the future. It’s also lots of fun. At the heart of this initiative is the BBC micro:bit.
Who’s involved? Some terrific organisations who really care about the future of young people. Check them out here Many of them are close friends, sponsors and partners to TeenTech and it’s very exciting to work with everyone on this.
What is the BBC micro:bit? Every Year 7 student will be given one in Autumn 2015. Many people look back with fondness to the BBC Micro and say having access to it in their classroom was why they developed an interest in tech. The micro:bit will belong to the student – we want them to take them home, have fun with them and learn digital and coding skills along the way. In their press release the BBC describe it as their ‘most ambitious education initiative for 30 years’ . Up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free.
Can I get one?
Yes! The BBC micro:bit will also be available for people to buy.
What are TeenTech doing?
We’re providing information and context – so helping young people, their teachers and parents understand what they can do with the BBC micro:bit and also to understand where an interest in tech can take them. We’re doing this in a number of ways:
1. We’re making short films
Our first film is about the fascinating world of robotics. We were invited into the world class Bristol Robotics Laboratory to find out what it takes to work in robotics- take a look here. Robotics is bigger than you think !
2. TeenTech Clubs
From September you will be able to get ideas for how to get the most from your micro:bit from our TeenTech Clubs in Maplin stores. You’ll be able to get free advice and support and we’ll also have free resources. At some stores there will be a monthly TechTechMeet with a hands on workshop. A great way for students, teachers and parents to explore the potential of the micro:bit. More details coming soon here.
3. TeenTech Awards
Look out for the special category in our TeenTech Awards where you can show off what you’re doing with the micro:bit!
4. Google HangOuts
Join our Google HangOuts to get project ideas and support for your most ambitious plans.
5. TeenTech events and TeenTech Digital
As always our events will be giving young people insight into the career opportunities in the digital world. Many of our supporting companies are also micro:bit partners so they’ll be sharing their resources at our events too.
More about the BBC micro:bit.
- 25 red LEDs to light up, flash messages, create games and invent digital stories
- 2 programmable buttons activated when pressed. Use the micro:bit as a games controller. Pause or skip songs on a playlist.
- On-board motion detector or “accelerometer” that can detect movement and tell other devices you’re on the go. Featured actions include shake, tilt and freefall. Turn the micro:bit into a spirit level. Light it up when something is moved. Use it for motion-activated games.
- A built-in compass or “magnetometer” to sense which direction you’re facing, your movement in degrees, and where you are. Includes an in-built magnet, and can sense certain types of metal.
- Bluetooth Smart to connect to the internet and interact with the world around you. Connect the micro:bit to other micro:bits, devices, kits, phones, tablets, cameras and everyday objects all around. Share creations or join forces to create multi-micro:bit masterpieces. Take a selfie. Pause a DVD or control your playlist.
- 5 Input and Output (I/O) rings to connect the micro:bit to devices or sensors using crocodile clips or 4mm banana plugs. Use the micro:bit to send commands to and from the rings, to power devices like robots and motors.
Each element of the BBC micro:bit is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on a dedicated website (available later in the summer at www.microbit.co.uk) that can be accessed from a PC, tablet or mobile. Your personal area on the website will allow you to save and test your creations in a simulator before they are transferred to your micro:bit, and the available tools scale to be as complex as your ideas, imagination and skills require.
TeenTech CEO, Maggie Philbin says, ” “I am so proud to see the BBC embark on a mission to make a very real difference to the future of young people in the UK. Over twenty five years ago, on the iconic Tomorrow’s World programme I stood next to the satellite dishes at Goonhilly and pronounced ‘We are in the dawn of a digital era’. That era is well and truly with us and it’s so important to ensure that everyone has the skills to take advantage of the many opportunities it brings. BBC Make It Digital is bringing together people and organisations who have been working hard to make this happen and with the support of the BBC we will be able to do so much more together. The BBC has done a huge amount in recent years to broaden the general understanding of science – it’s really heartening to see that it is now doing the same for the world of digital.”