Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

  1. #1
    HEXUS.admin
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    27,967
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    1,842 times in 625 posts

    ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Will it have the same impact that the original BBC micro had back in the 1980s?
    Read more.

  2. #2
    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    3,263
    Thanks
    139
    Thanked
    325 times in 252 posts
    • b0redom's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Some iMac thingy
      • CPU:
      • 3.4Ghz Quad Core i7
      • Memory:
      • 24GB
      • Storage:
      • 3TB Fusion Drive
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nViidia GTX 680MX
      • PSU:
      • Some iMac thingy
      • Case:
      • Late 2012 pointlessly thin iMac enclosure
      • Operating System:
      • OSX 10.8 / Win 7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2713H
      • Internet:
      • Be+

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    The ability to code is now as important as grammar and mathematics skills.
    Really? Really?

    Strikes me as a massive waste of money. The BBC microcomputer was a defining moment as it was the first time most kids had access to any sort of computer as they were beyond the financial reach of most families. Even then most of the ones I had access to were used for playing Granny's Garden. I certainly don't remember anyone ever talking about coding.

    Giving kids greater awareness of the nuts and bolts that underly modern operating systems and/or computers is a great idea, but why didn't they just use Raspberry Pis? They already have a wealth of documentation and projects, and are cheap as chips.

  3. #3
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the middle of a core dump
    Posts
    9,500
    Thanks
    462
    Thanked
    968 times in 823 posts
    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    Really? Really?

    Strikes me as a massive waste of money. The BBC microcomputer was a defining moment as it was the first time most kids had access to any sort of computer as they were beyond the financial reach of most families. Even then most of the ones I had access to were used for playing Granny's Garden. I certainly don't remember anyone ever talking about coding.

    Giving kids greater awareness of the nuts and bolts that underly modern operating systems and/or computers is a great idea, but why didn't they just use Raspberry Pis? They already have a wealth of documentation and projects, and are cheap as chips.
    Actually, now I have read the projects and played with the web based emulator for their block coding system, I have to say I think they got this right.

    It could well be far more relevant than the BBC micro ever was. Only knew one family with one of those when I was a kid, no-one else could afford them, most people had something cheaper like a Spectrum or like me a Dragon.

    This is a platform for rolling your sleeves up and doing something with it, and programming seems really easy when doing point & click but the Python setup looks quite powerful for more advanced stuff.

    I hope replacements are readily available, I hope kids push the boundaries with these things which means a few are going to get burnt out. That means replacements have to be cheap and easy to not put kids off.

    I think the power here is stripping away the nuts and bolts of a modern OS. None of that complication, just one app that you write interacting with the outside world.

  4. #4
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    86
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    3 times in 3 posts

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    The ability to code is now as important as grammar and mathematics skills.
    Really? Really?

    Strikes me as a massive waste of money. The BBC microcomputer was a defining moment as it was the first time most kids had access to any sort of computer as they were beyond the financial reach of most families. Even then most of the ones I had access to were used for playing Granny's Garden. I certainly don't remember anyone ever talking about coding.

    Giving kids greater awareness of the nuts and bolts that underly modern operating systems and/or computers is a great idea, but why didn't they just use Raspberry Pis? They already have a wealth of documentation and projects, and are cheap as chips.
    Because a Raspberry pi needs a lot of work to get it to do things, and for some it's too complicated - drivers, compatabilties etc. Even if you want to use Scratch, for a Hardware HAT, you have quite a challenge for a 7 year old.

    A Microbit can run the Scratch type environment straight of the bat, and therefore needs next to no support to get a 7 year old to run it, although its' aimed at a 11 year old.

    As a STEM volunteer, the difference to kids being able to use crocodile clips something into the circuit is also very important - that instant "kick-off" point is brilliant.

  5. #5
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    3 times in 3 posts

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    Really? Really?

    Strikes me as a massive waste of money. The BBC microcomputer was a defining moment as it was the first time most kids had access to any sort of computer as they were beyond the financial reach of most families. Even then most of the ones I had access to were used for playing Granny's Garden. I certainly don't remember anyone ever talking about coding.

    Giving kids greater awareness of the nuts and bolts that underly modern operating systems and/or computers is a great idea, but why didn't they just use Raspberry Pis? They already have a wealth of documentation and projects, and are cheap as chips.
    The BBC micro was NOT the defining moment you describe. It was hideously expensive. An Atari 800 XL $439 (64k), an Atari 130 XE (128K) $659, a ZX Spectrum (48k) $650, Commodore 64 $595. Those were the New Zealand retail prices at the time. I remember drooling over a BBC micro during a shop demo. The price was even more memorable. $2000.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    173
    Thanked
    18 times in 8 posts

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Quote Originally Posted by Axle_Grease View Post
    The BBC micro was NOT the defining moment you describe. It was hideously expensive. An Atari 800 XL $439 (64k), an Atari 130 XE (128K) $659, a ZX Spectrum (48k) $650, Commodore 64 $595. Those were the New Zealand retail prices at the time. I remember drooling over a BBC micro during a shop demo. The price was even more memorable. $2000.
    I think the point was that it was the first computer most *schools* got and therefore most children in Britain experienced.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,709
    Thanks
    339
    Thanked
    338 times in 236 posts

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    My experience of the BBC micro was looking through the window of a locked classroom at them and thinking it extremely unfair that only the elite pupils were allowed to use them once a week, they just sat idle the rest of the time as only a single teacher knew anything about them.

    This BBC Micro:bit is money well spent (IMO) as wanting to learn computing/programing shouldn't have artificial restrictions placed on it, be those financial or academic.

  8. #8
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the middle of a core dump
    Posts
    9,500
    Thanks
    462
    Thanked
    968 times in 823 posts
    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    I think this is going to be interesting from a social point of view.

    Some kids won't want them, will try to sell them on in a playground black market. Others will create wearable badges that appear to do the sad/happy face of the tutorial but a longer press on one button does a middle finger animation and the other button scrolls text saying eg that cookery teachers smell of lard. I suspect there will be a race to the bottom for finding out what you can get away with on those leds, which could give app writing artisans some elevated status or possibly make them targets for "give me a copy of that app and you won't get beaten up".

    Not found any details on how you can use the bluetooth interface yet. I presume you can script for it with the Python extensions at least.

  9. #9
    Previously known as Wozza365
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    403
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    17 times in 16 posts
    • Wozza63's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • FX 8150 @4.2GHz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Kingston HyperX 1600MHz
      • Storage:
      • Intel 120GB SSD, 4TB Seagate
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX R9 390
      • PSU:
      • Corsair TX850
      • Case:
      • Akasa Venom Toxic
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Acer XG270HU + Iiyama E2473HDS x2

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Great to see this. The ability to program shows strong logic and mathematics skills, although I think that a deal probably could have been done for some Raspberry Pi minis. I know from a few teacher friends that Raspberry Pi's are already in a lot of classrooms and are really popular.

  10. #10
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the middle of a core dump
    Posts
    9,500
    Thanks
    462
    Thanked
    968 times in 823 posts
    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Quote Originally Posted by Wozza365 View Post
    Great to see this. The ability to program shows strong logic and mathematics skills, although I think that a deal probably could have been done for some Raspberry Pi minis. I know from a few teacher friends that Raspberry Pi's are already in a lot of classrooms and are really popular.
    Pi really isn't the same.

    Go have a play with the tutorials, I tried this one: https://www.codeclubprojects.org/en-...ractive-badge/

  11. #11
    Technojunkie
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Up North
    Posts
    2,580
    Thanks
    239
    Thanked
    213 times in 138 posts

    Re: ARM-powered BBC micro:bit rolls out to year 7 students today

    Pi can be used for many more things, but microbit's limitations work in its favour.
    They aren't going to be hijacked into being used as media centers for example.
    Chrome & Firefox addons for BBC News
    Follow me @twitter

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •