In 2012 the BBC decided to produce a computer chip that would teach children how to code. But now, almost four years after the announcement of the BBC Micro Bit, schools in the UK are yet to get their computer chips.
The BBC looked at the success of devices like the Raspberry Pi, a low cost computer that can be used for lots of different projects, and decided to team up with British chipmaker ARM to create a spiritual successor to the BBC Micro devices from the 1980s.
Wired UK said that the BBC Micro Bit “will kickstart a coding revolution” in British schools when it’s given out for free. But the device’s release date just keep slipping back.
One of the first problems with the Micro Bit came in the sign-up process for schools. The BBC didn’t do a very good job of communicating to teachers that they had to sign up for the devices using an online form, and a number of teachers only found out about the process just before schools broke up for the summer holidays.
Who on earth decided to wait until THREE DAYs before state schools break up to tell teachers they had to apply for MicroBits? Unforgivable
— Digital Maverick (@digitalmaverick) July 14, 2015
The Micro Bit project has been plagued by delays since its announcement. It was first scheduled to be given out to schoolchildren in September 2015. Then the release date became October. But then it was discovered that there was an issue with the device’s power supply. That pushed the Micro Bit’s release into 2016.
Now there’s yet another delay with the Micro Bit. The BBC reports that the release date has slipped back to just after the half term holidays. That places the computer’s release date into late February (if it doesn’t get pushed back any more.)