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Introducing the BBC micro:bit Introducing the BBC micro:bit

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Find out what's happening on Twitter with #microbitsinlibraries.

 

Share your micro:bit projects with us @WSCCLibraries!

Useful Coding Sites Useful Coding Sites

microbit.org - everything you want to know about micro:bits!


 

codeclubprojects.org - useful micro:bit projects

 

 

Tech Will Save US

techwillsaveus.com - instruction manuals, activities and challenges for micro:bit and more



librarymakers.net - micro:bit projects from UK libraries

microbitThe BBC micro:bit is a tiny computer that can be programmed to do many different things, from displaying a flashing heart to playing a game of Rock Paper Scissors. 

There is no special software required – the micro:bit can be programmed on a PC or laptop via the website https://microbit.org.

 

It can also be programmed on a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet via the official micro:bit app for Android or Apple from the relevant app store. See below for information on Kindle Fire compatability.
 

The micro:bit is a fun, accessible resource for children and adults taking their first steps into coding.

IMPORTANT! Safety First! IMPORTANT! Safety First!

warning triangleBefore getting started with your micro:bit, please read the official safety advice from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.

 

 

In particular:

  • It is recommended that children under 8 years are supervised by an adult when using the micro:bit Starter Kit. 
  • Handle the micro:bit with care - its electronics are exposed! Only handle the micro:bit by its edges and avoid touching the components.
  • Do not use portable battery chargers or USB charging ports (often marked with a lightning bolt or 'SS') to power your micro:bit. 
  • Only use zinc-carbon or alkaline batteries, and do not mix different types of battery or leave spent batteries in the case. 
  • To remove the battery pack, pinch the white plug with your fingers (do not remove by pulling the wire).
Useful Information Useful Information

Image result for microbit layout

For more information about the features of the micro:bit, visit: https://microbit.org/guide/features/

 

Not sure where to start with the BBC micro:bit? Download or read our useful helpsheet here.

Using the micro:bit with PCs and Laptops Using the micro:bit with PCs and Laptops

Block coding example

To use your micro:bit with a PC or laptop, you will need to connect it using the micro USB cable provided in the Starter Kit. It will show up as a removable drive.

 

When you have created your code on the website, here’s how to download it to your micro:bit:

 

 

1) Click the purple Download button on the bottom left.

2) Ignore the Download to your micro:bit pop-up. At the bottom left of the screen in your Downloads bar, you’ll see a .hex file – click the up arrow and select Show in folder.

3) You should now see your .hex file in the Downloads window that appears.

4) Click and drag the .hex file onto the MICROBIT (D:) drive in your Quick Access toolbar on the left.

5) You will see a progress bar on-screen and a flashing light on the back of the micro:bit during the transfer.

 

These instructions apply to downloading from Google Chrome. For other browsers, and to see screenshots of the download process, see our more detailed guide.

Using the micro:bit with Mobile Devices Using the micro:bit with Mobile Devices

App stores

To use your micro:bit with a smartphone or tablet, you will first need to download the micro:bit app from the relevant app store.

 

Once you have installed and opened the app, it’s time to ‘pair’ the two devices: make sure Bluetooth on your smartphone/tablet is switched on and connect your micro:bit to the battery pack provided in the Starter Kit, with x2 AAA batteries inserted.

 

From the app’s home menu, select Connections (Android) or Choose micro:bit (Apple), then Pair a new micro:bit. Follow the instructions on-screen to pair the devices.

 

Next, select Create Code from the app’s home menu to create your program using block-based coding. When you are ready to transfer the program to your micro:bit, press the purple Download button on the bottom left. Your device will search for the micro:bit and may ask you to re-pair it. Follow the instructions on-screen until your program ‘flashes’ to the micro:bit, indicated by a blue progress bar.

Kindle Fire Compatibility Kindle Fire Compatibility

The micro:bit can be programmed via a Kindle Fire using an app called BirdBlox. It isn’t quite as straightforward as the micro:bit app for Apple and Android – although it’s still block-based coding, what you see on-screen looks quite different from the MakeCode block editor.

 

Here is BirdBlox’s step-by-step guide (open in Chrome) to pairing a micro:bit with a Kindle Fire. You will need to download a .hex code, as supplied by BirdBlox within their guide, onto the micro:bit using a laptop/computer first! If you don't have a device like this at home, you can complete this initial step on a library computer.

 

BirdBlox only works with Kindle Fire tablets made since 2014, including Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HD 8. Older versions of the kindle are not compatible.

Books on Coding and Computers
XX00415445
Class no: MB
Note: The BBC micro:bit is a tiny computer that can be coded, customised and controlled to bring digital ideas to life. The Starter Kit includes a micro:bit, battery pack (x2 AAA batteries not included), micro USB cable and user guide. Suitable for 8+ years.
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0241285062
Paperback:Coding:2017
Year: 2017
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.1
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Limited
Resource type: Physical
Note: 'Coding' explains coding clearly for children with beautiful photography, lively illustrations, and key curriculum information. This series will satisfy any child who is eager to learn and acquire facts - and keep them coming back for more.
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1474735002
Hardback:How coding works:2017
Author: Hubbard, Ben
Year: 2017
Language: English
Format: Hardback
Class no: J005.1
Publisher: Raintree
Resource type: Physical
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0241241332
Paperback:Computer coding projects for kids:2016
Author: Vorderman, Carol
Author: Woodcock, Jon
Year: 2016
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.1
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Limited
Resource type: Physical
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152630869X
Hardback:Coding with minecraft:2018
Year: 2018
Language: English
Format: Hardback
Class no: J005.133
Publisher: Wayland
Resource type: Physical
Note: Get ready to cde with this easy-to-use series full of projects and tips to get kids programming. The language is introduced with clear simple explanations and illustrations, making concepts such as loops and variables easy to understand.
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0750292180
Paperback:Awesome algorithms and creative coding:2016
Author: Gifford, Clive
Year: 2016
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.1
Publisher: Wayland
Resource type: Physical
Note: 'Awesome Algorithms and Creative Coding' explores how computers work and explains how to think in a logical way. The bright and engaging design guides readers through clear explanations of binary code, simple algorithms and computer language.
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1407159410
Paperback:Scratch and python: the basics:2015
Author: Carver, Hywel
Year: 2015
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.13
Publisher: Scholastic
Resource type: Physical
Note: Spiral bound 'Coding Unlocked' is a fun and accessible coding book, guiding children through simple coding concepts and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become active participants and makers in a digital world.
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1445156423
Paperback:Create your own story with Scratch:2017
Author: Wood, Kevin
Year: 2017
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.133
Publisher: Franklin Watts
Resource type: Physical
Note: In this volume, young coders can use and refine their Scratch skills to create a cool, professional story. 'Project Code' is a great series for young coders already familiar with Scratch, who are ready to take the next step. With a series of fun projects to master, each book allows readers to explore, create and learn coding fundamentals as they go
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1526308339
Paperback:Coding with Scratch Jr:2018
Author: Scrivano, Alvaro
Year: 2018
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.133
Publisher: Wayland
Resource type: Physical
Note: Get ready to code with this easy-to-use series full of projects and tips to get kids programming. Each book features four step-by-step projects with an introduction section (Ready), project preparation section (Steady), and the coding for the project section (Code!). The programming language is introduced with clear simple explanations and illustra
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0241317797
Paperback:Computer coding Python games for kids:2018
Year: 2018
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Class no: J005.1
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Limited
Resource type: Physical
Note: Learn how to code in Python by building and playing your own computer games, from mind-bending brainteasers to crazy action games with explosive sound effects and 3D graphics.Whether you're a seasoned programmer or a beginner hoping to learn Python, you'll find Computer Coding Python Games for Kids fun to read and easy to follow.
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Projects Projects

Our project page has lots of different activities and resources to try, both for beginners and the more advanced.

 

Borrow from Libraries Borrow from Libraries

micro:bit Starter Kits are free to request and borrow from any West Sussex library.

 

They come with everything you need to start coding, except 2x AAA batteries.
 

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