Year 7 pupils to receive delayed micro:bit computers from March 22, BBC confirms

The delayed BBC micro:bit coding computers will be shipped out to students across the UK from March 22, the broadcaster has announced.

The BBC had originally planned to give a free unit of the devices, which help children learn to code, to all year 7 pupils by October last year, but “power problems with the board” prevented this.

Another delay was announced last month when teachers, who should have had the coding computers before Christmas, were told they would have to wait until after the February half term to get hold of them.

Now the broadcaster has confirmed the countrywide roll-out of the 1m devices for pupils will begin before Easter.

Sinead Rocks, head of BBC learning, said: “It has been a joy to see these micro:bits make their way to educators across the country over the last couple of weeks.

“It feels like this adventure into the world of coding is really gaining pace. And so it’s with great excitement that we will be starting our delivery to pupils on March 22.”

The BBC however warned that delivery will take “several weeks”.

The BBC micro:bit is a handheld, fully-programmable computer that encourages children to “get creative” with technology.

The 4cm by 5cm device is the successor to the popular 1980s home computer, BBC Micro, and includes a Bluetooth antenna, USB plug and a processor, linked to a printed circuit board with 25 red LED lights which flash messages.

According to the BBC, it is 18 times faster, 70 times smaller and 617 times lighter than its predecessor.

The BBC said schools will receive an email when their devices are on the way and they can expect to receive additional spares to be kept as a classroom resource.

Schools will also receive all the add-ons including mini USB cables, battery packs and batteries.

The BBC is yet to announce when the micro:bit will be available for the public to buy or how much it will cost.

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