Greetings from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation
I want to say thank you to all our visitors at this year’s BETT. It was such a pleasure to see you there and receive all that tremendous enthusiasm for the BBC micro:bit and the new Foundation. An incredible number of teachers, students, government representatives and partners came to see us at the show. We learned a lot, from the need for more primary school resources to new ideas how to support grass-roots activities around the world! We thought it was a good time to update you on all that has been happening since then.
It was our 1-year Birthday in April. A year since the beginning of the delivery of 1 million BBC micro:bits to the UK, giving every 11-12 year-old schoolchild the opportunity to invent their future. We now have micro:bit national deployments in Iceland and Croatia, with Singapore following shortly and more to be announced later in the year.
There are now 51 resellers supplying micro:bits across Europe, Asia, North America and Australia with another 100 registering to carry micro:bits when they are available in their countries. Our micro:bit ecosystem includes 60 organisations from all corners of the globe, and we now have http://microbit.org available in over 12 languages. Making sure there is a vibrant local ecosystem, teacher support and local language resources everywhere micro:bit goes is important for us.
The Foundation sponsorship scheme is working strongly. We have already sponsored over 20,000 micro:bits to 433 different organisations, schools and people around the globe and we recently launched our Give Shop at https://give.microbit.org/ where anyone can help support our sponsorship program while purchasing micro:bits. For every micro:bit sold in the Give Shop, we ship another one to an educator who needs help to get started.
We've also been updating the micro:bit website with exciting new features and editors and making it easier to use in preparation for the 2017/2018 school year. We have now released a new MakeCode editor and an updated Python editor – check them out at http://micobit.org/code. Don't worry, if you still need the original editors they are still available.
Our cooperation with the BBC is very productive. We have been working with a major BBC brand, Doctor Who, this May with a Live Lesson, 3 major challenges and a fun online learning game.
Moving forward in the UK, the Foundation is working with the UK library service to put micro:bits in libraries and working with Computing At School (CAS), UK Youth, RAF and other great organisations to reach more disadvantaged students across the country.
Zach Shelby, CEO