Which is best for teaching BBC micro:bit or Arduino?

What’s the most popular development board among makers recently? Of course, it must be micro:bit board. Under the cooperation of technic giant companies such as BBC, Microsoft, Samsung and NXP, micro:bit board is endowed a halo of noble class since its birth. Last year, British government had delivered 1 million pieces of micro:bit board to students at grade 7

The new kid on the block (BBC Micro:Bit) is really making some moves.  However, the Arduino has made a great impact in the not so distant past and is considered the learning and makers platform of choice.  So why use the micro:bit?

Well, simply because the micro:bit is accessible.  Now let me tell you why.

The Arduino entry point, for the most part, is the Arduino UNO. An 8 bit processor, yip that's right, 1970's pixelated arcade games technology.  Start trying to do anything that involves math calculations and you are soon looking for a 32bit core. The micro:bit has one of these! Some Arduino processor do too, and they come with lots of pins, but they don't actually do anything unless you build something and that costs more.

So, if you are a teacher, like me, you probably want the students to experience instant success so there is buy-in.  The micro:bit has LED’s on the board, buttons and Bluetooth as well as a compass and accelerometer.  You can control a robot with this thing almost out of the box, all you need it some code.  Rock, Paper, Scissors games are easy to get going and require no add-on parts. In fact, you can run a whole 10-week program without buying anything else! The Arduino, on the other hand, is just a board, without the electronics attached to it, it may as well be a paperweight.

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