The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is giving every 11-year old in the UK a mini-computer. The company plans to give the mini-computers to all students in autumn. The computer will be similar in size and power to Raspberry Pi.
The broadcast company also plans to launch coding-based programs for kids.
The United Kingdom forecasts that there will be a growing need of digital professionals in the next 5 years. Estimates show that there will be a shortage of 1.4 million digital professionals during this timeframe. The BBC is hoping to bridge this gap, and help UK students explore computer programming and the digital world.
There are several companies working on this initiative. Google and Microsoft, among many others, are also working on ways to further expand technology education and availability.
This isn’t the first time that the BBC helped spread computing. In the 1980s, the company partnered with Acron Computers and played a big role in promoting computer usage in the country.
Currently, Micro Bit, the mini-computer that the company will give away, is not finished. Still in the prototype stage, the BBC has partnered with several companies, such as Microsoft and Samsung, to ensure that the Micro Bit is ready for launch.
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Micro Bit will include three programing languages: C++, Python and Touch Develop. Users will be able to create basic games on the device as well as connect to other devices via Bluetooth.
The company has stated that they do not want to enter into the computer market. Instead, a company spokesperson states that the BBC wants to bring awareness and focus to the shortage of digital professionals and will only give away one million Micro Bits. Afterwards, the company will stop all of its Micro Bit production.