The BBC together with Microsoft and a range of other partners will provide every Year 7 student (age 11-12) in the United Kingdom with their very own BBC micro:bit, a personal computing device that they can use to explore the possibilities of computer science, both in and out of the classroom.
The device has been specifically designed for students starting with little or no computing experience, to show them that they can progress and ultimately create the type of computer games and other programmes and apps that they use every day.
Microsoft has been working closely with a range of companies, including ARM, Farnell and Samsung, to create the BBC micro:bit. The device itself is less than half the size of a credit card, with a distinctive appearance designed to show off its circuitry and hardware.
Microsoft is providing the web-based programming tool Block and Touchdevelop, the Microsoft Azure-based hosting service and teacher training materials.
For more details on Touchdevelop see http://www.touchdevelop.com
More detailed blog on the BBC Micro:bit and the Microsoft team see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukschools/archive/2015/07/07/microsoft-and-the-bbc-micro-bit-a-million-ways-to-inspire-a-generation.aspx
We also announced a Microsoft Azure offer for student
Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark.com gets you started with the services you need to develop in the cloud at no cost:
- Azure App Service Web Apps is a part of a fully managed cloud offering that enables you to build and deploy web apps in seconds. Use ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python. Run popular web apps and CMS solutions. Set up continuous integration and deployment workflows with VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson or BitBucket – enabling you to automatically build, test and deploy your web app on each successful code check-in or integration tests.
- MySQL Database from ClearDB adds the power of MySQL to your Web Apps. With clearDB MySQL you can deploy more kinds of web apps and CMS solutions such as WordPress, Joomla, Acquia Drupal, phpBB, and more.
- Application Insights provides a 360° view across availability, performance and usage of your ASP.NET services and mobile applications for Windows Phone, iOS and Android platforms. Search and analyze your data to continuously improve your application, prioritize future investments and improve overall customer experience.
- Visual Studio Online is the fastest and easiest way yet to plan, build, and ship software across a variety of platforms. Get up and running in minutes on our cloud infrastructure without having to install or configure a single server.
Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark is available now for all validated DreamSpark students at no cost and no commitment, with no time limit and no accidental charges.
You can upgrade to more services later if you want, but you can host your web apps and websites today with the power of the Microsoft cloud behind you and it won’t cost you anything so its perfect for students building portfolio, career or blogs. see https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?productid=99