Samsung launch official BBC micro:bit app


Samsung Electronics inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. They are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, their Smart Home and Digital Health initiatives. 

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Samsung have launched a companion app for the BBC micro:bit. Available via Google Play, the resource will connect the BBC micro:bit to smartphones and tablets, allowing young people to code on the go. By being introduced to connected technology and the Internet of Things, pupils will be able to control their smartphones or tablets via the micro:bit and come up with fun applications, such as building their own ‘selfie’ remote controller. Samsung has also developed micro:bit projects for parents and teachers.

Launched at this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona, the app, with its unique set of features, will allow young people to learn how to code to control their phones and tablets via the BBC micro:bit. The device, which will be delivered free to all Year 7 or equivalent students this year, aims to transform a new generation from passive users of technology to creators and innovators in today’s digital world. Samsung is a key partner in making this free drop of one million devices possible in the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative in thirty years.

“We’re very proud to bring the micro:bit to life in partnership with the BBC and officially launch the app at this year’s MWC,” said Aleyne Johnson, head of Government Relations and Citizenship, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland. “The combination of the micro:bit with the app will be a powerful learning tool for young people, inspiring them not only to use technology but to develop fun applications for themselves and their friends. As digital skills such as coding are increasingly important for all industries, we hope that the micro:bit will give Year 7s a head start by putting them in the driving seat as developers.”

The BBC micro:bit is part of the BBC’s wider Make it Digital initiative, and has been made possible by a partnership between the BBC and over 30 partners. The project aims to improve digital literacy in the UK in light of alarming statistics, such as 1.4 million digital professionals will be needed in the next 5 years, and to inspire a new generation of digital pioneers.

Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning said: “We want children to be able to programme the BBC micro:bit from any device they want, wherever they want, whenever a moment of inspiration hits them. Pupils and teachers have told us they’d love to be able to code on the go, and we can’t wait to see the ingenious ways they’ll get creative with the app. It also means they can start controlling their handheld devices directly through the micro:bit, which is a hugely important part of understanding how the technology works.”

Teachers have already begun to receive their devices which come with teaching resources, off-timetable STEM activity days and hands-on projects that complement the Science, Maths, D&T and Computing curriculums.

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