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Launch of the BBC Micro Bit computer and potential impacts on FE and HE arts education

The Micro Bit is a small a pocket-sized computer developed through an ambitious collaboration of tech and industry partners led by the BBC and is set to be given to all one million UK based Year 7 school children in October. Micro Bit will also be available to anyone to buy soon after the initial school launch.

We were invited along to the launch of the BBC Micro Bit computer as part of our CCW digital learning, teaching and enhancement work around digital making and collaborations with Creative Digital Solutions. In FE and HE arts education we are seeing an increased interest in use of digital in arts learning and creative practice (see Chelsea Jam).

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General

The Micro Bit computer hopes to provide an accessible entry level into physical computing to support the transition from the passive use of computers for learning to a more engaged learning by doing use of computers and technology for all.  

Micro Bit will provide plenty of scope and new pathways into ‘digital making’ currently only the preserve of the digital experts. Bespoke code can be easily developed using the simple coding site/software provided to take full advantage of the built-in magnetometer sensor, accelerometer, Bluetooth, LED lights and the built-in motion sensor. Micro Bit can also be connected to other computing kit via its input-output rings, including Raspberry Pi, Arduino and Galileo.

The Micro Bit roll out scale and scope is unprecedented and we’re sure to see a wave of grassroots digital making interest and expertise evolve over the next few years.  The increased engagement in digital making will have an impact on creative arts education and practice in generations to come and we are looking to explore this as part of our digital learning, teaching and enhancement work at CCW, University of the Arts London:

The CCW MakerSpace community aims to foster a collaborative approach across disciplines, HEIs, colleges, schools, industry and the sector to explore digital making in arts learning and creative practice.

If you would like to know more please contact or tweet @CCWPostDigital.

Also see CCW Digital MakerSpace and Chelsea Jam CCW Digital MakerSpace Day

Sinead Rocks Head of BBC Learning introducing the BBC Micro Bit computer

Early BBC Micro Bit prototype

Micro Bit technology maker space/exhibition

Micro Bit adapted into a 3D printed design by Cannybots Wearable Micro Bit
Micro Bit Sensors being explored by Technology Will Save Us Micro Bit Nordic Semiconductor


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