New BBC micro:bit to open up new creative possibilities around the world

BBC Micro:bit
  • The micro:bit now supports teaching with sound straight out-of-the-box 
  • Will provide future support to bring AI and ML into the classroom 
  • Over 5 million original micro:bits now being used across the globe 
Available from mid-November 2020, it will now include a built-in speaker and microphone, enabling people to learn through sound and to get creative with it straight out-of-the-box. The hardware also includes a number of technical upgrades to ensure that in the future the device is an ideal tool for exploring, understanding and experimenting with AI and ML, as these technologies begin to transform the planet. 
The new micro:bit continues to support all of the same features that teachers and students have come to love, and all the existing lessons and code for the original micro:bit will be compatible with the new device. In addition, as part of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation’s commitment to keeping the device as cost-effective and accessible as possible, the new device will be released in November at the same price point as the original. 
Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, said: “The purpose of the micro:bit is to help children unlock their creative potential and learn how to shape the world around them. Learning coding and computational thinking can enhance their life chances in the 21st century. We have worked closely with our thriving community to make it even easier to get the most out of the device both inside and outside the classroom. Getting hands-on and experimenting with the micro:bit is critical to helping children better understand important technologies early in their development, and we aim to make this as fun, accessible and affordable as possible.” 
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, said: “From the very beginning the BBC’s purpose has been to inform, educate and entertain – qualities which are all reflected in the micro:bit project. 
“Since its launch through our Make it Digital campaign, it has helped transform digital skills and learning. I have no doubt the updated and upgraded micro:bit will drive further innovation and creativity, both in the UK and around the world.” 
A key value of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is partnership, and the new micro:bit is the result of a major collaboration between the Foundation, Arm, BBC, British Council, Farnell, IET, Microsoft, Lancaster University, Nominet, Nordic Semiconductor and NXP. The Foundation also announces a new partner in OKdo, who alongside Farnell will be a global distributor of the micro:bit.