News & Analysis

OKdo opens up channel for new BBC micro:bit computer

13th October 2020
Mick Elliott

OKdo, the technology arm of Electrocomponents, is partnering with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation to distribute the new micro:bit.

The new BBC Micro:bit computer will be available from mid-November at RS Components and Allied Electronics in the US, and direct from OKdo.

Through this extensive distribution network OKdo will support the Foundation’s aim of extending the reach of the BBC micro:bit, so that every child in the world has the possibility of learning digital creativity and computing skills.

Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, explained: “We launched the micro:bit to help children shape the world around them by using computational thinking and technology to unlock their creative potential and enhance their life choices in the 21st century. We’re excited to partner with OKdo and Electrocomponents because they have the capability to help us reach new markets, inspire new generations and support our objectives for the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.”

This new revision of the pocket-sized BBC micro:bit, the first significant update since its launch in 2016, now incorporates a built-in loudspeaker and microphone. With its enhanced audio and voice capabilities, children can expand their creative skills while continuing to benefit from all the features and functions of the original micro:bit.

Hands-on learning both inside and outside of the classroom is an essential part of children developing a passion for new technologies early in their educational development.

To support this, the micro:bit hardware is now powerful enough to run machine learning systems, and the Foundation will support this with new resources in the future, again significantly extending the range of learning opportunities possible from this cost-effective, accessible, and compact computer.

Lindsley Ruth, CEO Electrocomponents, commented:“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and to be supporting the launch of the BBC micro:bit version 2. Since its launch in 2016, the micro:bit has helped over 25 million children to learn computing and digital creativity skills, and we’re extremely pleased to make our contribution to extending the reach of the micro:bit and get it in the hands of every child, whether that’s through OKdo, or through our global distribution networks in RS Components and Allied Electronics in North America. Our involvement with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation is at the very heart of our own ambitions of providing technology solutions that can change the world.“

OKdo was created in 2019 and its mission is simple; to inspire and enable people to use technology to make life better. The company is committed to working with the best educational technology organisations in the world to get kids coding and inspire a future generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and engine

Richard Curtin, OKdo’s SVP of Technology, explained: “We are so excited about this new partnership with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, who share our passion for getting technology in the hands of everyone and inspiring children around the world to create their best digital future. They are absolute trail blazers and we are hugely proud to add them into our growing eco-system of the world’s best technology businesses.”

Can do: Richard Curtin (left) with Gareth Stockdale.

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